Spelling is very important in the IELTS exam but in Listening and section 1 in particular, they may ask you to write down a name, an address, a telephone number and all kinds of information. The tricky part where you might lose marks is how to write those answers, for example, you are not sure whether you should spell or abbreviate the words. This time, we are going to tell you the correct formats.


1. Date


  • Date and month
    May 13th/ May 13/ 13 May


  • Date, month and year
    13 May, 2019/ May 13, 2019
    13th May, 2019/ May 13th, 2019


2. Time


  • Use “.” In the middle
    10.24 am


  • AM and PM can either be in upper or lower case
    a.m./ am/ AM


3. Upper and lower case


  • Letters must be capitalized when combined with numbers (e.g. postal code, passport number, flight number, etc.)

e.g. Flight No. AL2880


  • Capitalize proper names (e.g., names, addresses, book titles, etc.)

e.g. Address: 11B Lake Road

        Location: Greenwood Garden

        Book name: Fame Magazine


4. Abbreviations


  • If abbreviations are used in the recording, both abbreviations and the full name are correct.

e.g. If the recording said “lab”, the answer can be “lab” or “laboratory”.


  • Any well-established abbreviations are not recognized in IELTS listening.


  • You cannot use abbreviations for month, day of the week, unit, etc.

e.g. Avoid: January – Jan, 20 minutes – 20m, 2.9 kilograms – 2.9kg


5. Symbols


  • Numbers and currencies can be replaced by symbols.

e.g. ten percent = 10%

        five dollars = $5