General Writing Task 1 Marking Criteria

NOTE: This topic is for IELTS General Training test ONLY. If you are taking the IELTS Academic training test then skip this lesson.

Several IELTS candidates fail to do well in the writing section of IELTS despite having good English vocabulary and grammar. They take the IELTS exam again and again and again and spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on books, CD’s and IELTS coaching classes only to be frustrated by low band scores and still aren't able to figure out why they can't progress beyond Band 6. So as promised, today I will share a secret with you that will help you sky rocket your IELTS Writing Band score by the end of this lesson. and will give you an unfair advantage over other candidates..

Are you ready for it?

The secret lies in the Band Score Descriptors…

 

If you have never heard of them before then download and go through the band score descriptors for IELTS Writing Task 1 below:

IELTS Writing Band Descriptors Task 1 by IELTS Online Practice

 

This is the document that IELTS examiners will use to mark your writing task and assign a band score to it. In order to score a high band score you will need to demonstrate the skills that your examiners are looking for in this document.

 

NOTE: If you don't understand all the information in this chapter, don't worry too much. We will revisit every single one of them in a lot more details in the remaining topics for IELTS General Task 1.

 

Let me spare you the boredom of going through that document and highlight the 3 main things to watch out for to get a band 7 or more:

 

This refers to the core idea being described in the letter.

  1. If you incorrectly identify the purpose of the letter then you cannot score above Band 4.
  2. If the purpose of your letter is unclear then you cannot score above Band 5.

Think of it like how your letter sounds when you read it in your head. Does it sound like you are talking to your friend (informal) or does it sound like you are talking to an official person (formal). Tone is defined by how you begin and end your letter and the structure of your sentences in the content.

  1. If you write in an inappropriate tone then you cannot score above Band 4.
  2. If your tone is inconsistent throughout the letter then you cannot score above Band 6 .

Does your answer cover all key bullet points in the question:

  1. If you do not address each bullet point in the question you cannot score above Band 5
  2. If you address each bullet point but details are irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurate then you cannot score above Band 6.

 

If you use inappropriate format in the letter such as using bullet points or short notes then you will not score above Band 5.

 

In other words, if you want to score Band 7+, you need to consistently, accurately and appropriately demonstrate the use of all 4 points highlighted above. With regular practice you will be able to do this well. Combine this with logically presenting your ideas in paragraphs and demonstrating a range of grammatical structures and vocabulary and you will soon be close to getting a Band 9 in Writing.

 

You survived another day!! .. Go ahead and mark this lesson as complete chief..

Relax, recharge and come back refreshed for the next lesson. :)

Have questions or comments about this lesson or any other lesson add a comment below.


2 Comments
  1. Profile photo of Harshkumar Bhalodia
    Harshkumar Bhalodia 3 months ago

    Coverage and Formate tabs are showing the same content as ‘Tone of the letter’ is having. Can you please guide me, from where I could get details on those two topics.

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