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Marking Criteria for IELTS Writing Task 1

Learn how your IELTS writing task 1 is marked and the difference between band scores 5, 6, 7 and 8. The examiner will mark your writing on the 4 marking criteria below. Also, get useful tips to learn how to increase your band score by fulfilling the requirements of each marking criteria.

Learn how your IELTS writing task 1 is marked and the difference between band scores 5, 6, 7 and 8. The examiner will mark your writing on the 4 marking criteria below. Also, get useful tips to learn how to increase your band score by fulfilling the requirements of each marking criteria.

Writing Task 1 Marking Criteria

The examiner will assess your writing on the 4 marking criteria below. Each criterion is worth 25% of your total marks for writing task 1.

  • Task Achievement
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Below are tables to show you the requirement for IELTS band score 5 to 8 in writing task 1 for each assessment criterion. At the bottom of the page is more information about the marking criteria.

Task Achievement

The examiner will check your information, overview, detail and accuracy.

  • analyse the chart and identify all key features
  • highlight your key features in an overview (see table above)
  • supporting your body paragraph with data (numbers and dates if possible)
  • avoid putting in information which is wrong
  • avoid an opinion
  • write a factual report
  • write over 150 words (penalty for under word count)
  • watch my overview or conclusion lesson

Coherence and Cohesion

Your organisation of information, your paragraphing and your use of linking devices will be marked.

  • plan where to put your information
  • have four body paragraphs (structure and paragraphing)
  • use a range of linking devices
  • avoid mistakes with linking words
  • use referencing (this, it, etc)

Lexical Resource

Your use of vocabulary, your spelling and the number of mistakes will affect your score.

Your score will increase, if you:

  • use a range of vocabulary (useful task 1 vocabulary)
  • use vocabulary for presenting accurate data
  • understand collocations (matching verbs with nouns)
  • avoid spelling mistakes
  • don’t use the wrong words or informal language

 Grammatical Range and Accuracy

You will get a band score for your sentence structures, tenses, control of grammar and the number of mistakes.

You will increase your score, if you:

  • use a range of sentence structures
  • use the right tense for the chart given to you
  • use the right word order
    • adjective noun / verb adverb
  • avoid mistakes (see table above to learn how mistakes affect your score)
  • use the right punctuation

Example of Writing Task 1 Scoring Calculated

You will get a band score for each of the above criteria and then a total score for task 2. Here’s an example:

  • Task Achievement: Band 7
  • Coherence & Cohesion = Band 8
  • Grammar: Band 6
  • Vocabulary: 7

Total Score for IELTS Writing Task 1: 7 + 8 + 6 + 7  = 28/4 = 7. To calculate your score, add all scores together and divide by 4.

IELTS Writing

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