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Hi friends, we are going to explain and simplify the band score descriptors for writing task 1. The band score descriptors are used as scoring criteria for Writing Task 1, so we strongly recommend that you understand how the examiner gives you a band score and exactly what they are looking for in this section of the IELTS test.

Band descriptors are guidelines used by examiners when scoring Writing Task 1 and Task 2. By understanding what the examiner is looking for when scoring your writing, you can ensure that you include everything you need to increase your score.


An overview

There are four criteria that examiners consider when marking writing task 1. These four criteria are as follows.

Performance on the task:

The examiner looks at how well you have answered the question. The following questions can help you get an idea.

  • Does it contain enough detail?
  • Is it accurate?
  • Have you made any comparisons?


Coherence and cohesion :

This is where the structure of your answer is examined. The following questions will help you understand this component.

  • Do you use paragraph structure effectively?
  • Is there a logical grouping of ideas?
  • How effectively have linking words been used?


Lexical Resource:

The examiner looks at the range of vocabulary and accuracy in the use of words. Consider the following questions.

  • Is there a wide range of vocabulary?
  • Is the vocabulary used correctly?
  • Are there any spelling errors?


Grammatical range and accuracy:

For this criterion, the examiner will look at the range of structures you use as well as its accuracy. Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Have you used a range of simple and complex structures?
  • Are there errors in sentence formation?
  • Are there errors in grammar (e.g. tenses, voices) and word-formation?


Note that these four criteria are equivalent, i.e. they each account for 25% of your score, and you will be given an appropriate score. It is therefore important that you do not neglect any of these criteria.

These four criteria are further divided into what are called band descriptors. As you may already know, band scores range from 0 to 9. We will look at band descriptors for bands 6 to 9, as most students who want to go to university, or people who are planning to immigrate, usually need to achieve a score within this range.

More details

Now let’s look at the band descriptors in more detail. Your performance level may not be in the 6 to 9 range, but this will show you what you need to do to get there in the future.

Task performance

You will get a higher score for task performance if you complete the question or task fully based on the visual input. To get a good score, you need to do the things mentioned below.

  • Give a fully developed answer.
  • Give an appropriate overview highlighting the key features.
  • Make comparisons where appropriate.
  • Do not express an opinion.
  • Write at least 150 words or more.


Coherence and cohesion:

You will receive a higher score for coherence and cohesion if you carry out the guidelines as follows.

  • Paraphrase effectively without losing meaning.
  • Organize and group your ideas in a logical manner.
  • Use paragraph form effectively.
  • Use linking words effectively and accurately.
  • Use reference language when appropriate (words such as “respectively,” “this,” “they”).


Lexical Resource:

You must use sufficient vocabulary to achieve a good score. Follow the guidelines.

  • Use vocabulary accurately.
  • Do not make spelling mistakes.
  • Use some less common vocabulary.
  • Use collocations (the natural combinations of words).
  • Do not use informal language or abbreviations.


Grammatical range and accuracy:

You will receive a higher score if you do the following.

  • Write grammatically correct sentences.
  • Use a wide range of sentence structures.
  • Demonstrate a variety of complex structures.
  • Use appropriate tense according to context.
  • Use correct punctuation.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you want to improve your English skills and need efficient, effective and result-oriented coaching, we will be happy to help you. Please contact us for more details.

Sources: Focus Educraft