Following is the details of how IELTS Writing task is marked. Understanding the writing marking scheme is important to address the writing task and to hit a good score.

 

Band Score 9:

Task Achievement:

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

Coherence &Cohesion:

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

Lexical Resource:

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

Grammatical Range & Accuracy:

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

 

Band Score 8:

Task Achievement:

  • Covers all requirements of the task sufficiently.
  • Presents, highlights and illustrates key features / bullet points clearly and appropriately.

Coherence &Cohesion:

  • Sequences information and ideas logically.
  • Manages all aspects of cohesion well.
  • Uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately.

Lexical Resource:

  • 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.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy:

  • Uses a wide range of structures.
  • The majority of sentences are error-free.
  • Makes only very occasional errors or inappropriacies.

 

Band Score 7:

Task Achievement:

  • Covers the requirements of the task.
  • (Academic) presents a clear overview of main trends, differences or stages.
  • (General Training) presents a clear purpose, with the tone consistent and appropriate.
  • Clearly presents and highlights key features / bullet points but could be more fully extended

Coherence &Cohesion:

  • 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.

Lexical Resource:

  • 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.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy:

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

 

Band Score 6:

Task Achievement:

  • Addresses the requirements of the task.
  • (Academic) presents an overview with information appropriately selected.
  • (General Training) presents a purpose that is generally clear; there may be inconsistencies in tone.
  • Presents and adequately highlights key features / bullet points but details may be irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurate.

Coherence &Cohesion:

  • 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.

Lexical Resource:

  • 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.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy:

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

 

Band Score 5:

Task Achievement:

  • Generally addresses the task; the format may be inappropriate in places.
  • (Academic) recounts detail mechanically with no clear overview; there may be no data to support the description.
  • (General Training) may present a purpose for the letter that is unclear at times; the tone may be variable and sometimes inappropriate.
  • Presents, but inadequately covers, key features / bullet points; there may be a tendency to focus on details.

Coherence &Cohesion:

  • Presents information with some organisation but there may be a lack of overall progression.
  • Makes inadequate, inaccurate or over-use of cohesive devices.
  • May be repetitive because of lack of referencing and substitution.

Lexical Resource:

  • 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.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy:

  • 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.

 

Band Score 4:

Task Achievement:

  • Attempts to address the task but does not cover all key features / bullet points; the format may be inappropriate.
  • (General Training) fails to clearly explain the purpose of the letter; the tone may be inappropriate.
  • May confuse key features / bullet points with detail; parts may be unclear, irrelevant, repetitive or inaccurate.

Coherence &Cohesion:

  • Presents information and ideas but these are not arranged coherently and there is no clear progression in the response.
  • Uses some basic cohesive devices but these may be inaccurate or repetitive.

Lexical Resource:

  • Uses only basic vocabulary which may be used repetitively or which may be inappropriate for the task.
  • Has limited control of word formation and/ or spelling.
  • Errors may cause strain for the reader.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy:

  • Uses only a very limited range of structures with only rare use of subordinate clauses.
  • Some structures are accurate but errors predominate, and punctuation is often faulty.

 

Band Score 3:

Task Achievement:

  • Fails to address the task, which may have been completely misunderstood.
  • Presents limited ideas which may be largely irrelevant/repetitive.

Coherence &Cohesion:

  • Does not organise ideas logically.
  • May use a very limited range of cohesive devices, and those used may not indicate a logical relationship between ideas.

Lexical Resource:

  • Uses only a very limited range of words and expressions with very limited control of word formation and/or spelling.
  • Errors may severely distort the message.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy:

  • Attempts sentence forms but errors in grammar and punctuation predominate and distort the meaning.

 

Band Score 2:

Task Achievement:

  • Answer is barely related to the task.

Coherence &Cohesion:

  • Has very little control of organisational features.

Lexical Resource:

  • Uses an extremely limited range of vocabulary; essentially no control of word formation and/or spelling.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy:

  • Cannot use sentence forms except in memorised phrases.

 

Band Score 1:

Task Achievement:

  • Answer is completely unrelated to the task.

Coherence &Cohesion:

  • Fails to communicate any message.

Lexical Resource:

  • Can only use a few isolated words.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy:

  • Cannot use sentence forms at all.

 

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+1 # Denis 2016-12-15 17:30
Thank you all the IELTS website. I received this in my ifax and now I will share it with my friends too.
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+2 # Aashish Jain 2015-08-13 20:19
Hi, there! Could you please enlighten me for the marking system in writing, especially, when we need to score aggregate, which includes task-1 and 2 both. How does task-1 affect the total score?
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+2 # IELTS Mentor 2015-08-15 12:58
The writing task 2 (essay writing) carries double weight than the task 1 (graph or letter writing). So the band score 9 in writing section could be presented as the ratio of 3:6 = task 1: task 2. Hope this clarifies your doubt and answers your question.
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