Can Poor Handwriting Lower Your IELTS Writing Score

*In an era surrounded by MS Word, e mails, whatsapp and messenger, where everything is written on smartphones or laptops, you are probably going to do something different if you are planning to take IELTS in the near future. Different from other language tests like TOEFL, PTE etc. , IELTS still carries the test in pen paper format. The candidate is required to write answers of both Reading & Listening sections and writing section 1 and 2 with pencil only.

Any piece of writing seems good to read or check if the handwriting is legible and the writing part of IELTS is no different. Hence, a good or a poor handwriting directly influences the score of the candidate in Reading, Listening and Writing module of the IELTS. The answers are checked manually and it depends a lot on the examiner if he or she likes the handwriting of the candidate or not because it will influence his or her final score.

 Let’s take an example from reading section. In the True, False and Not Given questions, if an answer which is written as True using the symbol ‘T’ by you, somehow reads ‘F’ which denoted false, you lose one mark despite being correct. Similarly, spellings which might seem wrong because you didn’t write an ‘e’ or an ‘a’ in the right way, would surely cost you one mark. The same goes for listening section also.

 Moving on to writing section which involves major part of writing, don’t focus on adopting a particular way of writing. Some people focus on changing their writing style in order to make it look better. IELTS never marks an individual on the basis of its handwriting. Whatever is written should be well understood by the examiner. Hence, the need is to work on the writing which is not legible and might change the meaning of the whole sentence if interpreted wrongly by the examiner. Changing the style of writing at this point would never be a wise decision.

When it is evident that good handwriting has some impact on the band score, so let’s see how one can improve his/her handwriting. The best way to do the same is to write more, as much as you can. While preparing for IELTS, most of the students practice by writing down essays and letters which is an easy way to work on handwriting. Over a span of one to two weeks, an average student of 12th standard can easily write with a good hand. In other cases, time span may increase depending upon the requirement. Mere writing without feedback would be of no use. Therefore, it is always recommended to get the answers checked by a trainer who can give you a good feedback. Taking that into consideration, one should focus on improvement.

This is how you understand the impact of handwriting on your IELTS score.

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