Should I use a pen or a pencil in the IELTS exam?
This article will answer some of the most commonly asked questions we receive from IELTS students about whether or not to use a pen or pencil in the IELTS test:
Will I lose marks if I use a pencil? Is it okay if I write my essay using a pen? Should I fill in the answer sheet using a pen?
You can use either a pen or pencil in the IELTS Writing Task 1 or Writing Task 2 paper.
It makes no difference to your score or the marking process. The most important thing is that your handwriting is easy to read.
Therefore, the best one to choose is the one you feel most comfortable using.
If you make a mistake using a pen, you can either:
- Cross it out and continue; or
- Cross it out and write the correction in smaller letters above the mistake.
The examiner will understand that a crossed-out word is to be ignored, so don’t waste time trying to make your answer sheet look perfect.
IELTS Listening and Reading
All of your answers must be written in pencil for the Listening and Reading tests.
It is important that you do not use a pen.
Will My Handwriting Affect My Score?
No, your handwriting will not affect your score as long as the examiner is able to read it.
For the reading and listening tests, your answers are either correct or incorrect. Handwriting is not factored in. However, I’d suggest bringing an eraser so that you can neatly correct any mistakes you might make on the reading and listening answer sheet.
In the writing test, it is fine if your paper looks a bit messy as long as it’s easy to read. This exam assesses:
- Task response
- Coherence & cohesion
- Vocabulary and
Therefore, your writing style will not affect your score in any way.
- It is fine to cross out mistakes when using a pen or pencil in the IELTS exam. Just make sure that it doesn’t affect the examiner’s ability to read what you’ve written.
- You can check with your IELTS test centre to see whether they supply their candidates with stationary. However, you should bring your own just in case.
- Finally, you should check out the IELTS website for more tips for the day of your exam:
IELTS Test Day Advice
Now that you have decided whether you will use a pen or pencil in the IELTS exam, you can check out our resources below to help you with your IELTS preparation: