How Does Your Handwriting Affect Your IELTS Writing Score? - IELTS University (Singapore)

How Does Your Handwriting Affect Your IELTS Writing Score?

Many students wonder if their handwriting will affect their scores. Your handwriting is not assessed during the writing test and cannot affect your score. However, there are a couple of factors about your handwriting that you need to consider.

Technically examiners are not allowed to let a candidate’s handwriting affect how they assess your responses. That said having handwriting that is neat and legible will make it far easier for the examiner to the ideas that you're trying to communicate.

The Better Writing Utensil – Pen Or Pencil?

Both pen and pencil are allowed during the W1 and W2. You should choose the one you feel the most comfortable using. Also, you should note that if you use a pencil, it's much easier to erase your mistakes.

What to avoid when writing down your answers

Here’s a list of some of the big do and don'ts when it comes to handwriting, during the writing module:

  • Avoid scribbling over mistakes as this might be thought of as an illegible word.
  • If you make a mistake while writing in pen then you should simply strike off the error with a straight line across the word, and continue writing. This will make it easier for the examiner to understand
  • For the listening and reading test, you must enter all your answers into the answer sheet in pencil only. Do not use a pen for any of the two questions in these two modules.
  • Avoid cursive or pinning writing. Cursive writing is an old style of writing, where all the letters flow into each other to form continuous lines. This style of writing is messier and harder to decipher than regular block letters just learn to print more efficiently

Should You Write In All Caps?

Previously, students were allowed to write their essays and reports using all capital letters. However recent amendments to this rule require candidates to use proper lowercase letters.

Can Bad Handwriting Lower Your Score?

If you think about it, if your handwriting is extremely illegible, the examiner will have no choice but to penalize your score, which is why good presentation is still important.

How Can You Overcome This Issue?

Writing at such speeds as are required, during the writing test isn’t everyone's cup of tea. If you aren’t happy with how untidy your handwriting is, you could always try taking timed-speed writing tests. The average person can write about 100 words in 5 minutes. Try achieving this goal, while keeping up your legibility to an acceptable rate. Get your friends to read it and tell you just how understandable it is.