How IELTS Writing Task 1 is Scored: Band Scores 5 to 8 with Useful Tips

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.(click table to enlarge)

task response band scoresYou can increase your score, if you:

  • 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.(click table to enlarge)

coherence and cohesion band scoresYou will increase your score, if you:

  • 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.(click table to enlarge)

vocabulary band score

Your score will increase, if you:

  • use a range of vocabulary (useful task 1 vocabulary)
  • use vocabulary for presenting accurate data(click for list)
  • 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.(click table to enlarge)

grammar band score

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.

To learn about band scores 1-9, please see the public band score descriptors for writing task 1 published by IELTS. All information above is taken from the descriptors published by IELTS.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Band Scores 5 to 8: Differences & Tips

All IELTS Band Scores Explained


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