Assessment Criteria for each IELTS Band Score

Assessment Criteria for each IELTS Band Score
The IELTS exam tests your ability to communicate in English. It tests your English language skills, and you need to score at a certain level to receive your IELTS certificate. Your band scores range from 0 to 9 and are based on a combination of your writing skills and speaking abilities.
Do you know what the IELTS Speaking and Writing criteria are? Don’t you think it will be easier for you to get details on the assessment criteria for each IELTS band score?
If you want to learn more about the assessment criteria for each IELTS band score, you've come to the right place! We'll discuss the different assessment criteria for each IELTS band score and provide an overview of how each score is calculated. So, whether you're preparing for your next IELTS test or want to know more about the assessment process, this blog is for you.

How is the IELTS test Assessed?

The IELTS Band Score Assessment Criteria is a method for assessing an IELTS band score. It is used to determine the level of your English language ability, and it is also used to help you decide on the amount of practice you need to improve your score. The IELTS Band Score Assessment Criteria divides the range of possible band scores into bands and then describes each band's difficulty. The higher the band number, the harder it is to achieve that band.

How is the test Marked?

Listening:

There are 40 questions in the IELTS Listening test. Each correct answer will give you one point. The IELTS 9-band scale is used to convert scores out of 40. Scores are given in full and half bands.

Band score

Raw score out of 40

5

16

6

23

7

30

8

35

Reading:

The Academic and General Training Reading tests use the same grading scale. The difference between the two tests is a matter of genre or text type. However, Academic Reading tests may include texts with more difficult vocabulary or greater stylistic complexity. A higher number of questions must typically be answered correctly on a General Training Reading test to secure a given band score. The tables below show the average points needed for Academic Reading and General Training.

Band score

Raw score out of 40

5

16

6

23

7

30

8

35

Academic Reading:

 

Band score

Raw score out of 40

5

15

6

23

7

30

8

35

General Training Reading:


Band score

Raw score out of 40

4

15

5

23

6

30

7

34

8

38

Writing:

Examiners use assessment criteria to award a band score for each of the four criteria
  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2)
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
The assessment criteria are weighted equally, and the score on the task is the average.

Speaking:

Examiners use assessment criteria to award a band score for each of the four criteria, and each part carries 25% of the mark.

  • Fluency and Coherence
    • Effort or ease of speaking
    • Hesitations
    • Use of connectives and discourse markers 
    • Ability to develop a topic
  • Vocabulary
    • Range of vocabulary 
    • Accuracy 
    • Use of idiomatic vocabulary/collocation
    • Paraphrase
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy
    • Simple and/or complex structures 
    • Flexible use
    • Mistakes and impact on understanding
  • Pronunciation
    • Range of features 
    • Control of features
    • Easy to understand

Speaking Assessment Criteria

IELTS speaking is a compulsory section that tests English language communication skills. The test takers are evaluated on fluency and coherence, lexical resources, grammar range and accuracy, and pronunciation. The average IELTS speaking band score is 6.5. Applicants must prepare for all four eligibility criteria to get a winning band in the IELTS speaking section.
Here are the IELTS assessment criteria for the speaking section.

Band 

Fluency and Coherence

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Pronunciation

9

Speak fluently without many repetitions; hesitant for content, not to find words or grammar correction. Speaks coherently with good cohesive features that sound appropriate. Develops topics fully and appropriately.

Demonstrates vocabulary flexibility and precision for all topics. Uses idiomatic sentences and language naturally without flaws.

Uses a wide variety of structures appropriately and at ease. Creates accurate structures persistently other than slight ‘slips’ characteristic of native English speaker speech.

Uses a wide variety of pronunciation with accurate precision and subtlety. Maintains the use of features that are consistently
easy to understand.

8

Speaks fluently, but repetition is there rarely; hesitation is mostly related to the content, but rarely to search for words.
Create topics that are coherent and appropriate

Uses a wide variety of vocabulary flexibly to give the exact meaning. Uses less common and idiomatic vocabulary precisely, with rare inaccuracies. Uses paraphrase skilfully as needed.

Uses a different variety of structures seamlessly
and creates error-free sentences majorly, but with very occasional inappropriacy or some errors in basic/non-systematic.

Uses a variety of pronunciations 
Maintains features while speaking flexibly, with occasional mistakes. Able to understand the entire speech; L1 accent has fewer causes on intelligibility.

7

Speaks consistently without much hassle or lack of coherence. May have hesitation related to language at times or some repetition and/or self-correction. Uses a variety of connective words and markers to have flexibility.

Uses vocabulary resources in a flexible manner to convey different topics. Uses specific less-common and idiomatic vocabulary to create awareness of style and collocation. But there may be inappropriate choices. Uses paraphrases effectively

Uses a variety of complex sentence structures with limited flexibility. Often creates error-free sentences, though a few grammatical mistakes continue to occur

Includes all positives of Band 6, but not everything from the positive features of Band 8

6

Wants to speak at length; however, may lack coherence sometimes due to repetition here and there, self-correction or hesitation. Demonstrates a set of connective words and markers but is not always appropriate.

Has a decent set of vocabulary to talk about topics at length and make meaningful sentences in spite of inaccuracies. 

Uses both simple and complex structures but with less flexibility. Could make many mistakes with complex structures, though these hardly create problems in comprehension 

Uses a variety of pronunciation features with limited control.
Delivers a few effective features but is not consistent. Can understand to some extent, though mispronunciation of words or sounds may cause a lack of clarity.

5

Maintains a good flow in speech but has repetition, self-correction and/or maintains slow speech to keep talking. Over usage of certain connective words and discourse markers. Talk simple speech fluently 
but may have fluency problems for complex sentences.

 

Able to speak about familiar and unfamiliar topics with less flexibility while using vocabulary. Uses paraphrase correctly but with mixed success.

Creates basic sentences with limited accuracy level. Uses a less range of complex sentence structures but has errors and may lead to some errors in comprehension.

Shows all the positive features of Band 4 and some positives of Band 6.

Writing Assessment Criteria Task 1

To become a qualified IELTS examiner, candidates must have a relevant teaching qualifications and extensive teaching experience. These qualified examiners grade your Writing test based on clearly defined assessment criteria, and their performance is regularly reviewed in depth. Two to four examiners grade your Writing test to ensure the highest accuracy and fairness in the marks assigned. Examiners use the same assessment criteria for both General Training and Academic tests.
In Writing Task 1, your responses are graded based on the following criteria: task achievement, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammatical range and accuracy. Except for the task response criterion, Writing Task 2 is evaluated similarly. Each band score corresponds to how well the descriptors performed across these four criteria. You can search online for the IELTS Writing public band descriptors to learn more about IELTS examiners' assessment criteria.

Band Level

Task Achievement

Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range

9

Fully satisfies all the requirements of the task. Clearly presents a fully-developed response.

Uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention. Skilfully manages paragraphing.

Uses a wide range of vocabulary in a very natural and sophisticated way. Control of lexical features; rare & minor errors occur only as slips.

Uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; rare & minor errors occur only as slips.

8

Clear overview, well-illustrated and clearly-highlighted key features.

Sufficient coverage of all requirements

Sequences information and ideas logically & manages all aspects of cohesion well. Uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately.

Uses a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly to convey precise meanings. Skilfully uses uncommon lexical items, but there may be occasional inaccuracies in word choice and collocation.

Produces rare errors in spelling and/or word formation.

Uses a wide range of structures. Many sentences are error-free.

Makes only very occasional errors or inappropriacy.

7

Clear overview & clear highlights of key features, accurate information & we may need development in some areas.

Logically organises information and ideas; there is clear progression throughout.

Uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately, although there may be some under-/over-use.

Uses a sufficient range of vocabulary to allow some flexibility and precision. Uses less common lexical items with some awareness of

style and collocation. May produce occasional errors in word choice, spelling and/or word formation.

Uses a variety of complex structures. Produces frequent error-free sentences. Has good control of grammar and punctuation but may make a few errors.

6

There is some overview.

 Adequate highlighting of key features. Well-selected information.

A few information is incorrect.

Arranges information and ideas coherently, and there is a clear overall progression.

Uses cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and/or between sentences may be faulty or mechanical.

May not always use referencing clearly or appropriately.

Uses an adequate range of vocabulary for the task. Attempts to use less common vocabulary but with some inaccuracy. Makes some errors in spelling and/or word formation, but

they do not impede communication.

Uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms. Makes some errors in grammar and punctuation, but they rarely reduce communication.

5

Lack of clear overview.

Inadequate coverage of key features. Too much detail. Lacking data to support statements.

Incorrect information.

Some organisation of details. Limited paragraphing issues with linkers. Continual lack of referencing.

Uses a limited range of vocabulary, but this is minimal. Adequate to the task, may make noticeable errors in spelling and/or words.

Formation that may cause some difficulty for the reader.

Uses a limited range of vocabulary adequate for the task and may make noticeable errors in spelling and/or words.

Formation that may cause some difficulty for the reader.

Writing Assessment Criteria Task 2

Band

Task Response

Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

9

Fully addresses all parts of the task and presents a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant, fully
extended and well-supported ideas.

Uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention. Skilfully manages paragraphing.

Uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’.

Uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’.

8

Sufficiently addresses all parts of the task and presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas.

Sequences information and ideas logically,
manages all aspects of cohesion and uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately.

Uses a wide range of vocabulary
fluently and flexibly to convey precise meanings. Skilfully uses uncommon lexical items, but there may be occasional inaccuracies in word choice and collocation. Produces rare errors in spelling and/or word formation

Uses a wide range of structures. A majority of sentences are error-free &
make only very occasional errors or inappropriateness.

7

Addresses all parts of the task, presents a clear position throughout the response,
and presents, extends and supports main ideas, but there may be a tendency to overgeneralise and/or
supporting ideas that may lack focus.

Logically organises information and ideas; there is clear progression throughout. Uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately, although there may be some under-/over-use. Presents a clear central topic within each paragraph.

Uses a sufficient range of vocabulary to allow some flexibility and precision. Uses less common lexical items with some awareness of style and collocation. May produce occasional errors
in word choice, spelling and/or word formation.

Uses a variety of complex structures, produces frequent error-free sentences, and has good control of grammar and punctuation but may make a few errors.

6

Addresses all parts of the task, although some parts may be more fully covered than others. Presents a relevant position, although the conclusions may become unclear or repetitive. Presents relevant main ideas, but some may be inadequately developed/unclear

Arranges information and ideas coherently, and there is a clear overall progression. Uses cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and/or between sentences may be faulty or mechanical. May not always use referencing clearly or appropriately. Uses paragraphing, but not always logically.

Uses an adequate range of vocabulary for the task. Attempts to use less common vocabulary but with some inaccuracy. Makes some spelling and/or word formation errors, but they do not impede communication.

Uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms
and makes some errors in grammar and punctuation, but they rarely reduce communication.

5

Addresses the task only partially; the format may be inappropriate in places. Expresses a position, but the development is unclear, and no conclusions may be drawn. Presents some main ideas, but these are limited and not sufficiently developed. There may be irrelevant detail.

Presents information with some organisation, but there may be a lack of overall progression. Makes inadequate, inaccurate or overuse of cohesive devices
that may be repetitive because of lack of referencing and substitution. May not write in paragraphs, or paragraphing may be inadequate.

Uses a limited range of vocabulary, but this is minimally adequate for the task. May make noticeable errors in spelling and/or word formation that may cause some difficulty for the reader.

Uses only a limited range of structures. Attempts complex sentences, but these tend to be less accurate than simple sentences. May make frequent grammatical errors, and punctuation may be faulty; errors can cause some difficulty for the reader.

IELTS Writing Marking Criteria for Task 1 & Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 1
Example
  • Task Achievement: 7
  • Coherence & Cohesion: 7.5
  • Lexical Resource: 6.5
  • Grammatical Range & Accuracy: 7
Total Score for Task 1: 7 + 7.5 + 6.5 + 7 = 28 / 4 = 7
IELTS Writing Task 2
Example
  • Task Response: 6
  • Coherence & Cohesion: 7
  • Lexical Resource: 7
  • Grammatical Range & Accuracy: 6

Total Score for Task 2: 6 + 7 + 7 + 6 = 26 / 4 = 6.5

Total Writing Band Score: 7 + 6.5 = 13.5 / 2 = 6.75 = 7 (rounded up)

The greatest method to increase your IELTS assessment is to practise your grammar, vocabulary, and writing abilities. Developing your writing style and examining your surroundings to convey various scenarios clearly will help you earn a 7+ IELTS band easily! 

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FAQs

Yes. It is easy to study for IELTS, if you are ready to put in efforts on a daily basis. On the other hand, joining an IELTS coaching institution will also reward heavily.

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