Filling in Forms

You must have at some stage filled in some form or another. Most forms are made to give information that is short and to the point.

They are used in offices and schools to:

  • collect information
  • make selection easier
  • speed up decision making
  • act as record

Forms are therefore part of everyday life,and it is worth your while to learn to fill them in correctly. You may have filled in forms or seen other people do so to:

  • place an order
  • get a passport
  • send money by post
  • get into a secondary school
  • send a telegram
  • be a member of a library
  • take part in a competition

Language use in forms

The words printed on a form may or may not be familiar to you. You will need to understand them before you begin filling in forms. The words used will vary from one type of form to another.

How to fill in forms

  1. Read through the whole form carefully before filling it in.
  2. Fill in all the spaces given, unless you have been instructed otherwise.
  3. If a particular question is not applicable to you write N/A, which stands for ‘Not Applicable’.
  4. It is best to have a draft of certain information on a separate paper before transferring it on to the form. In this way you can decide whether a given piece of writing fits into the space provided on the form.
  5. If you must give more information than you have space for on the form, write it on a separate piece of paper, attach it to the form and draw attention to it (e.g. for question 9 please see letter attached)
  6. Read the completed form and make any necessary corrections. You may find some spaces you have not yet filled in.
  7. Make sure you sign the form, and write the date on it.