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The IELTS Writing – how your band score is calculated

This is the key question of many students: please explain how the band score is calculated. Finally, I decided to try and summarize what I know about the scoring process so this is it – the scoring process in my understanding.

When your Writing Task 1 gets graded (I am talking about the IELTS Academic module here), you can get (or lose) points for:

Filling the requirement of the task
This means writing a report that shows – this student understands what he needs to do and does as we ask.

Selecting what information to present
A bit tricky, you need to be careful not to throw away useful information yet avoid including every little detail.

Presenting an overview
Describing what the graph shows without repeating the task statement (task prompt), in your own words. If you don’t have an overview or copy the task statement it will cost you marks.

Presenting key features
Almost any graph has the most noticeable features, write about them.

Organization of information
This is mostly about paragraphs that should come in a logical order.

Progression
As the examiner reads your report he/she needs to see how you move smoothly on the graph from one thing to another.

Cohesion, reference and substitution
That is to do with the way you present statistics. If you repeat the same structure to mention all the numbers, or choose awkward expressions to do it – it will cost you marks.

Range of vocabulary
Your choice of words can point at limited, normal or wide vocabulary. It also matters if your vocabulary is adequate for the task or not (if it is not wide but enough to write a clear report, that’s fine)

Control over grammar, spelling and appropriate choice of words
No need to explain :)

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