IELTS Task 1 Marking Criteria: Writing Band Score Calculation Guide

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The IELTS writing section consists of two tasks – writing task 1 and writing task 2. Each of these is assessed on a band score of 0 to 9 with regard to four distinct criteria. These criteria weigh equally, and no parameter is more important than the other. Around 2 and 4 examiners mark the writing test to ensure the highest level of accuracy. Moreover, the assessment criteria are almost the same for both IELTS academic and general training. To find out more about IELTS Task 1 Marking Criteria, follow the sections below. 

Marking criteria for IELTS writing task 1 

For the writing task 1 assessment, the examiner evaluates a candidate’s writing on the following criteria. Each criterion weighs 25% of the total marks.

  • Task achievement
  • Lexical resource (vocabulary)
  • Coherence and cohesion
  • Grammatical accuracy and range

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IELTS Task 1 Marking Criteria: Writing Band Score Calculation Guide

For the clear understanding of students, given below is a table depicting the requirements for IELTS writing band for each assessment criterion.

Task achievement

This is the first criteria and the examiner generally checks the candidate’s accuracy, information, detail, and overview. The assessment for band 5 to band 8 is given below:

Band 5Band 6Band 7Band 8
  • Lack of clear overview
  • Inadequate coverage of key features
  • Too much detail
  • Lacking data to support statements
  • Incorrect information
  • There is some overview
  • Adequate highlighting of key features
  • Well selected information
  • A few information are incorrect
  • Clear overview
  • Clear highlights of key features
  • Accurate information
  • May need development in some areas
  • Clear overview
  • Well-illustrated and clearly highlighted key features
  • Sufficient coverage of all requirements

Candidates can score more on this criterion by following these tips:

  • Identify all critical features by analysing the chart
  • Highlight the key components in the review of the report
  • Support the body of the text with relevant data
  • Avoid entering wrong data
  • Refrain from providing an opinion
  • Write a factual report while maintaining the vocabulary
  • Write over 150 words as there is a penalty for under word count

Coherence and cohesion

Here, the examiner checks the candidate’s paragraphing, organization of information, and use of linking words or connectors. In the table below, you will see the assessment of writing score IELTS for coherence and cohesion:

Band 5Band 6Band 7 Band 8
  • Some organization of details
  • Limited paragraphing issues with linkers
  • Continual lack of referencing
  • Coherent organization of data
  • Reasonable paragraphing
  • Effective use of linkers
  • Errors in linking within and between sentences
  • Faulty referencing
  • Logical organization of information
  • Fine  paragraphing
  • Utilizes a range of linkers
  • May under or overuse linking devices
  • Fine referencing 
  • Logical interpretation of ideas and information
  • Sufficient paragraphing
  • Effective management of cohesion and linking
  • No issues with referencing

Candidates can boost their coherence and cohesion score by:

  • Structuring and paragraphing the report clearly
  • Use a range of linking devices or connectors
  • Plan the exact place to put information/data
  • Avoid any mistake or misunderstanding with linking words
  • Use references like ‘this’, ‘it’, etc.

Lexical resource

Candidates’ diverse use of vocabulary, number of mistakes, and their spellings affect this parameter. The assessment for different band scores is given below for your understanding.  

Band 5Band 6Band 7Band 8
  • Minimal range of vocabulary
  • Frequent errors with word formation and spellings
  • Issues caused difficulties for the reader
  • Ample vocabulary range for the task
  • Utilizes less common words but with certain errors
  • Few errors in word formation and spellings
  • Clear communication
  • Sufficient vocabulary range
  • Use of less common words
  • Somewhat awareness of collocation and style
  • Occasional errors in word choice and spellings
  • Wide vocabulary range
  • Skillful use of less common words
  • Rare or no errors in spelling and word choice

Your writing band score will increase by using a vast lexical resource. This can be done by following these tips:

  • Use of a wide range of vocabulary
  • Accurate vocabulary usage to present data
  • Understand matching verbs and nouns (collocations)
  • Avoid any spelling mistakes
  • Avoiding informal language

Grammatical range and accuracy

Candidates get their band score depending upon their sentence structure, grammar, number of mistakes, and control of tenses. The following table provides in-depth detail about different band scores as per this IELTS Task 1 Marking Criteria:

Band 5 Band 6Band 7Band 8
  • Limited sentence structure range
  • Attempts of using complex sentences with restricted success 
  • Frequent grammar errors
  • Punctuation errors
  • Issues cause difficulty for the reader
  • Use of simple and complex sentences
  • Few grammar errors
  • Few punctuation errors
  • Clear communication
  • Variety of sentence structures
  • Error-free sentences
  • Good control over grammar
  • Few errors in punctuation and grammar
  • Wide range of complex structures
  • Free of error sentences

Candidates can positively achieve this IELTS Task 1 Marking Criteria through:

  • Use of varied sentence structures
  • Use the correct tense
  • Putting in the proper verb/adjective order
  • Avoid mistakes as much as possible
  • Use the correct punctuation

Example of writing task 1 score calculation

Candidates get a band score for each of the above-mentioned IELTS Task 1 Marking Criteria.

The entire writing section also involves the total score of writing task 2. Here’s an example that will help students understand this score calculation:

  • Coherence and cohesion – band 8
  • Task achievement – band 7
  • Vocabulary – band 7
  • Grammar – band 6

The total score for all four sections will compute to – 8+7+7+6 = 28. The writing task score is then calculated by dividing the total score by 4. Therefore, in this example, the complete band score for the writing task will be 28/4 = 7.While understanding the IELTS writing task 1 marking criteria, candidates must also know that task 2 weighs twice as task 1. Altogether, aspirants must aim to get a score of 6 or above to enrol in a top-ranked university.Further, studying in an international destination requires heavy expenses, which may not be convenient for certain students. Leap Finance has funded over 3000 such students to fulfil their study abroad dreams by providing affordable funding options. We craft modern financial products and services that help the young generation pursue an international career.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I extend the validity of my IELTS score?

Ans: IELTS scores have a validity of 2 years. However, there is no update on the validity extension for this score yet.

2. Can I retake only the writing part of IELTS?

Ans: No, IELTS does not allow candidates to retake only one section of the test. You will have to retake the entire test.

3. Can I re-evaluate my IELTS score?

Ans: If you are not satisfied with your score, you can apply for the Enquiry on Results (EOR). You will have to visit the test centre for this and choose the sections that you want to get re-evaluated.

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Manisha Angre

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.

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