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Calculate IELTS Writing band scores

Learn how IELTS Writing is marked, and see how this relates to the official IELTS Writing band scores. An IELTS Examiner marks your Writing test on 4 different criteria. Each criterion is worth 25% of your total mark for that task.

The examiner will give you a band score for Writing Task 1 and a band score for Writing Task 2. Then, your final IELTS Writing band score is calculated based on these scores. Remember that Writing Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as Task 1.

Your IELTS Writing band score will contribute to your overall IELTS band score.

Who marks IELTS Writing tests?

Your Writing test is marked by between two and four examiners. That's to ensure the highest level of accuracy and fairness in the marks awarded.

Overview of IELTS Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2

Writing Task 1

  • You need to write at least 150 words in around 20 minutes.

  • For the Academic test, you will be given a page with a chart, graph or diagram, and will then have to analyse the data and interpret it in your own words.

  • For the General Training test, you will need to write a letter based on a given situation. The letter could be formal or informal and would be about a request, explanation or a viewpoint supporting the situation.

Writing Task 2

  • You need to write at least 250 words in around 40 minutes.

  • IELTS Writing Task 2 is the same for both Academic and General Training. This involves a formal essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem which you need to discuss.

  • Writing Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as Task 1.

For both parts, you must write your answers using full sentences, not bullet points or numbered notes.

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Assessment Criteria for IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2

Your answers in Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2 are assessed against the following criteria:

  • Task achievement (for Writing Task 1) or Task response (for Writing Task 2)

  • Coherence and cohesion

  • Lexical resource

  • Grammatical range and accuracy

Each band score matches the performance in the descriptors across these four criteria.

What assessment criteria are used by IELTS Examiners

Your examiner will use the four assessment criteria to assess your Writing test.

The assessment criteria used by IELTS examiners are the same for both the General Training and Academic tests.

Task achievement and Task response

This is meant to assess how accurately, appropriately and relevantly your response covers the task requirements, using the minimum of words needed.

Task response includes how well you develop your argument in response to the task, giving evidence and examples which may be from your own experience.

Coherence and cohesion 

This is meant to assess how clear and fluent your writing is, and how you organise ideas and information. It includes giving your ideas in a logical order, and using a range of cohesive devices (for example, linking words, pronouns and conjunctions) appropriately.

Lexical resource 

This is meant to assess the range of vocabulary you use, and how accurately and appropriately you use it.

Grammatical range and accuracy 

This is meant to assess the range of grammar you use and how accurately and appropriately you use it.

To find out more about the assessment criteria used by IELTS examiners, check the table below.

You can also download the IELTS Writing Task 1 and IELTS Writing Task 2 assessment criteria as a PDF, to read about the assessment criteria in more detail.

Band scores

Can you explain the four different criteria in IELTS Writing?

Watch the videos below to learn more about the 4 different criteria of the IELTS Writing test:

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Learn what the Task response criteria is in the IELTS Writing test to help understand how your test is assessed.

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Our IELTS Expert explains the Grammatical range and accuracy assessment criteria of the IELTS Writing test.

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Our IELTS Expert simplifies the Coherence and cohesion criteria to help you prepare for the IELTS Writing test.

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Learn what Lexical resource criteria is in the IELTS Writing test to help understand how your test is assessed.