Writing: What are The Examiners Looking For Anyway?

To begin, check out the public rubrics made available by the British Council here and here.

There are separate rubrics for Tasks 1 and 2 in the writing module because they are scored individually. You will receive a band score for Task 1 and for Task 2, from which your total score will be calculated.

It is important to note that Tasks 1 and 2 are NOT worth an equal number of points: Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1. Take this into consideration as you prepare for the IELTS writing module, as well as plan out and write your responses on test day.

Let’s take a quick look at the criteria used in assessing the writing tasks:

Task Achievement

This criteria refers to your ability to completely fulfill the requirements of the task. This goes beyond simply answering the question using the requisite number of words (failure to do so will result in a penalty), but it also includes providing a clear, consistent position that is sufficiently supported.

Coherence and Cohesion

This criteria refers to your ability to properly organize your writing so that your ideas flow logically for the reader. In order to do this, you must properly use your paragraphing, signposting, and punctuation skills.

Lexical Resource

This criteria refers to your ability to accurately use a range of vocabulary. You need to show the examiner that your vocabulary is large enough to present a position without being repetitive. It is important to focus on using words and collocations that are precise rather than “impressive”.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

This criteria refers to your ability to write a range of grammatically correct sentences. This criteria goes beyond following English grammar rules and include a variety of sentence structures.

Feature image courtesy of theilr on Flickr


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