IELTS Writing Band Scores

IELTS Writing Band Scores
The best part about attending the IELTS exam is that it paves path to success for both education and career. By presenting both aspects of the exam - which are IELTS Academic and IELTS General, students can easily get familiarised with the exam format and get the hang of the skills to ace it. Among the other English Language proficiency exams, IELTS is the only one which concentrates on both important aspects of students’ life - Education and Career. Today, let us explore completely about the Writing section of the IELTS exam and how both the tasks in this section are assessed and scored.

IELTS Band Scores

Generally, the IELTS exam is scored on a band range of 0-9, with each band reflecting a certain skill and achievement. All the four sections of the exam are scored with a specific band and through them, the overall band score is calculated. 

For example, let us consider the following scores are scored by the student A

Listening

Speaking

Reading

Writing

8

8

7

9

Overall Band Score = 8+8+7+9 = 32/4 = 8

So, the overall band score is 8.

IELTS Writing Band Score

The Writing section has two tasks - task 1 and task 2 where each task is scored with respect to four different criteria.

Task 1
- Writing task 1 is an essay comprehension of 150 words about the visual information given. The visual information can be in the form of a graph or a chart. The task is assessed on the four criteria - Task Achievement, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource and Grammar Range and Accuracy.

Task 2 - Writing Task 2 is as same as Task 1. But the given information will be in the style of an argument or problem. Test takers should be able to comprehend the given information and write it as an essay of 250 words. The task 2 is assessed on the four criteria - Task Response, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource and Grammar Range and Accuracy.
Both the IELTS Writing tasks are scored in the same way the original band score is calculated. 
For example, let us consider the following scores scored by a student B in both task 1 and task 2.

Task 1

Task Achievement

Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

8

7.5

7

8.5

Overall Band score in Task 1 = 8+7.5+7+8.5 = 31/4 = 7.7 = 8.

Since the overall score is 7.7, it is rounded off to the nearest whole number, 8. 

Task 2

Task Response
Coherence and Cohesion
Lexical Resource
Grammar Range and Accuracy
7
6.5
6
7.5
 
The overall band score for the task 2 is = 7+6.5+6+7.5 = 27/4 = 6.75 = 7

The Score for the Writing task for the student B = 8+7= 15/2 = 7.5 = 8.

IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 Scoring

Unlike the overall band, which is a whole number, sections of the IELTS exam can be scored with a .5 band depending on your performance. Let us give some examples of how the scoring is done, particularly in the writing task.

  • If your overall score for the writing task is 7.1, the score will be rounded off to 7. 7.1 is closer to 7 than 7.5. It is just the simple maths we have learned in our school.
  • If your overall score is 8.85, then the score will be rounded off to 9 rather than 8 because 8.8 is closer to 9 than 8.
  • Let us assume that you have scored 7.25 on the writing task. Then your score will be increased to 7.5 rather than 7. Because 7.25 is precisely between 7 and 7.5, the decimal number is rounded to the next highest number.
  • Finally, let us assume that you scored 5.75 as an overall score in the writing task. The examiner will now round off your score to the nearest number, 6.

Assessment Criteria Used by Examiner


For the Task 1
, following assessment criteria are considered.
  1. Task Achievement
  2. Coherence and Cohesion
  3. Lexical Resource
  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy
For the Task 2, following criteria are considered.
  1. Task Response
  2. Coherence and Cohesion
  3. Lexical Resource
  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Task Achievement/ Task Response - Task Achievement/ Task Response is included to understand your ability of comprehending the given task and provide an answer as per the requirement.
  • Coherence and Cohesion - This criteria is included to understand your ability to frame a structured sentence and provide a regularity between two sentences and the sentences that come after it.
  • Lexical Resource - Through this criteria, the IELTS examiner can understand your vocabulary strength and your ability to create appropriate words to write an enticing essay summarising the given information.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy - GRA is to analyse your grammar knowledge and your ability to form proper grammatical sentences that provide meaningful information.

IELTS Task 1 Writing Band Descriptors

The Band and its meaning for each criteria is clearly given below for students’ reference.

Band

Task Achievement

Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

9

Satisfies all the requirements of the task and presents a fully developed response

Skillful in paraphrasing and using cohesion

Ability to use wide range of vocabulary in a natural and sophisticated way.

Perfect grammatical usage with full flexibility and accuracy.

8

Sufficient in fulfilling the requirements of the task and properly highlights and illustrates the key features.

Presents information in a coherent and logical way.

Can use a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly.

Accuracy in the usage of grammar.

7

Presents a precise overview of the main theme but could be more descriptive.

Clear presentation of information and ideas cohesively still over/under usage 

Ability to use a sufficient range of vocabulary with occasional errors in spelling and word formation.

Has a good control of grammar and punctuation.

6

Can present the information in a clear way, but inconsistencies and irrelevancy in tone exist.

There is an overall progression with presentation of information and ideas coherently.

Adequate vocabulary usage with occasional errors in word choice, spelling and word formation.

Can use simple and complex sentences with some errors in grammar and punctuation.

5

Can address the task purpose but no clear description of the given information with inadequacy to focus on details.

Can present information with some organisation but lacks progression and accuracy. 

Uses vocabulary which is adequate for the task but makes errors in spelling and word formation.

Only adequate usage of grammar with frequent errors 

4

Tried to attempt the task but didn’t touch key features. Also, there is inaccuracy and irrelevancy in presentation.

Presented information is not cohesive and also lacks progression in the answer.

Usage of only basic vocabulary and limited control of word formation.

Only limited usage of proper grammar, and also frequent grammatical errors.

3

Unable to address the purpose of the task and presents information with inaccuracy.

No proper organisation of ideas and very limited coherency.

Only limited usage of vocabulary with too many errors altering the message.

Attempted sentence formation but frequent errors in grammar and punctuation changing the meaning of the information.

2

Answer is barely related to the task given.

Little to no control of presenting the information coherently.

Extremely limited usage of vocabulary with too many errors spoiling the message.

Tried to attempt sentence formation, but frequent errors in grammar distort the message.

1

Answer doesn’t completely matches the task given.

Answer doesn’t deliver any message.

Usage of only few isolated words.

Cannot use grammar.

0

Did not attend the exam/ did not attend the task/ written a memorised response.

     

IELTS Task 2 Band Descriptors

Band

Task Response

Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

9

Answer is completely relevant.

Skillful Paraphrasing.

Excellent usage of vocabulary.

Perfect Grammar and Accuracy.

8

A well-developed response with full relevancy.

Efficient Paraphrasing.

Fluency in Vocabulary usage.

Excellent Grammar Knowledge.

7

Clear presentation of answer with the tendency of over generalising.

Clear paraphrasing with overuse of cohesion.

Good usage of vocabulary with occasional errors in word choice.

Good control of Grammar with few errors.

6

Answered with relevancy, but there is an irregularity in task response.

Overall paraphrasing is good but lacks in forming ideas clearly.

Adequate usage of Vocabulary.

Can use grammar with occasional errors.

5

Partially addressed the task with no proper conclusion.

Inadequacy and Inaccuracy in cohesion with little effort in paraphrasing the information.

Adequate usage of vocabulary with noticeable errors in word formation.

Improper grammar usage with frequent errors.

4

Given answer is unclear and irrelevant.

Lacks in Cohesion and presented the ideas with inaccuracy.

Basic vocabulary usage.

Limited grammar usage.

3

Not adequate addressing of the task.

No proper organisation of the ideas.

Limited vocabulary usage. 

Faulty grammatical usage.

2

A vague attempt of the task.

Little control of regularity in sentences.

Extremely limited vocabulary usage.

Attempted to use grammar but did not achieve it.

1

Answer is completely irrelevant.

Complete distortion of information given.

Usage of only few isolated words.

Completely lacks in grammar usage.

0

Did not attempt the test or writes a completely memorised answer.

     

 

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FAQs - IELTS Writing Band Scores

The score is calculated by adding the band score of the two tasks - task 1 and task 2 and divide by 2.
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