Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

Today former Examiner Jessica Beck and 3 Keys IELTS Certified expert Aubrey Carter answer your IELTS Writing questions!

These answers come from students in our 3 Keys IELTS Online course.

These students are able to ask any IELTS question in our private Facebook group.

You’ll receive expert answers to some student FAQ’s.

With the information that you learn today, you’ll be ready to score 7+ on test day.

Question #1: Should Task 2 essays be titled?

You may have heard you should include a title for your Writing Task 2 essay.

You have likely even seen sample essays with titles.

3 Keys IELTS Online Course student Carolina heard this advice from teachers and tutors.

I have a question. In Academic task 2, do I have to write a title for my essay?

Answer: No titles on IELTS essays!

This is terrible advice! Be careful who you take advice from when it comes to IELTS.

This advice was definitely given by a teacher or tutor who doesn’t know details about IELTS writing.

You should not write a title on IELTS essays.

They are not required and are unnecessary and do not help your score.

However, these are a minefield for no reason.

This is because writing a title for your essay could actually hurt you!

If there is a grammar or spelling error, it will still pull down your score.

Titles have different capitalization and grammar rules.

Avoid these pitfalls and do not include a title!

Question #2: Are IELTS score results personalized?

If you’ve taken IELTS before, you’ve seen comments on your scores.

You might see something like this:

Practice writing to give information and make arguments.

Make sure you cover all the points that need to be covered, providing supporting ideas and details.

Reread your work and see if you can make your points clearer.

Is the ordering of your ideas logical?

3 Keys student Vanessa sent in this question:

Do you know if the section “your scores explained,” after you receive your IELTS score, contains a personalized answer for your mistakes or a pattern answer according to your band score?

Answer: IELTS exam feedback is not personalized

These are form responses for the score you received.

They will, in fact, include information that doesn’t relate to your essay.

If you scored a 6 for Task Response, you will get the form feedback for band 6 for Task Response.

You may have expressed a consistent position throughout, and your problem was lack of support for ideas.

However, this feedback may include a note that ‘the position may not have been clear throughout.’

Though this doesn’t apply to your essay, it’s formulaic feedback.

Don’t read into it too much.

Get feedback personalized for your essays instead!

You can get email essay feedback or 1-on-1 classes in our 3 Keys IELTS Online Course course.

Strategies Created by a Former IELTS Examiner

3 Keys IELTS Online Course logo

100% Score Increase Guarantee with our Insider Method

Are you ready to move past IELTS and move forward with your life vision?

Find out why our strategies are the most powerful in the IELTS world.

When you use our Insider Method you avoid the BIGGEST MISTAKES that most students make on IELTS.

Click here to get a score increase on IELTS. It’s 100% guaranteed.

Question #3: Are multiple spellings sometimes allowed on IELTS?

3 Keys student Shakhnoza asked a great question about spelling accepted on IELTS.

I have just bumped into a problem related to spelling when I was doing a listening test, and it’s all about the spelling of “barbeque”.

I tend to write it as “barbeque” but it was considered as a mistake.

What is the correct spelling, “barbeque” or “barbecue”?

Unfortunately, many websites mark answers as incorrect that are actually correct.

This is sometimes because questions are not written by IELTS experts.

It can also be due to human error.

Answer: Multiple spellings are sometimes acceptable

This student’s answer should have been marked as correct.

We see this question about spelling a lot.

There are so many words in English with multiple spellings.

Some of these are due to multiple cultures, and some are even both used in the same culture!

IELTS accepts both British and American spelling as correct.

  • color and colour
  • organisation and organization

Additionally, there are words that are spelled multiple ways in the U.S.

  • ketchup and catsup
  • barbeque and barbecue

Question #4: Does handwriting affect IELTS scores?

You may have wondered how neatly you have to write on IELTS.

Many students have messy handwriting, and it slows them way down to write very clearly.

You don’t have any time to waste!

But will it affect your score if you write quickly and it’s messy?

We recently received this question from a student:

My handwriting is terrible. Will my score go down?

Answer: Handwriting does not affect scores

Your handwriting does not have to be neat and extremely legible.

It does not lower your score if your writing is sloppy.

Examiners get used to reading all types of writing.

They can read some pretty messy handwriting!

There is a box they check if the handwriting is not legible.

As an Examiner, Jessica very seldom had to do this.

That being said, punctuation and spelling need to be clear.

Additionally, it must be clear which letters you’re capitalizing.


As an IELTS student, you likely have many questions like these.

In fact, you have questions about the IELTS exam you haven’t even thought of yet!

You do not want questions to pop up on test day when it’s too late.

In our 3 Keys Facebook group, you’ll constantly see questions and answers.

It is a valuable strategy to not have to think of these yourself!

Join 3 Keys IELTS today to take advantage of this priceless tool!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X
  • App-Store-Button
  • google-play-badge
  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X