Ielts Essay Marking

Dear Liz,

I am writing this to you, to express my sincere gratitude for all the wonderful lessons, tips, useful information and great videos that you post, in helping IELTS students.

I am going to give my IELTS – GT exam on 03rd March, 2018 and I am seriously preparing for it by following and depending only on your blog, videos and tips.

I have attempted to write my first letter (informal) and I feel you are the only right person to evaluate and provide your feedback and guide me in achieving high band score of 8 or 9, which is not easy though.

I am not sure if it is right for me to write like this in requesting you to evaluate my writing skills, as you would be receiving such innumerous requests from all over the world, however I want to give it a try and see my luck.

It would be really grateful, if you could evaluate my below letter and tell me where I would stand in band scores. I am sure, my current request is also a good candidate for “Forma letter”, evaluation.

I, once again take this opportunity to thank you for all the invaluable inputs that you are posting here, which is helping millions of IELTS students, all over the world.

Yours Sincerely,
Sathya Narayan
Letter of Instruction: You have spent a week with your friend on a holiday. When you got home, you realized that you had left your wallet there

Write a letter to your friend. In your letter
> thank your friend for the holiday
> explain that you left your wallet in their house
> give them instructions of how to send it back to you

My letter below (I took about 15 minutes in writing this on a paper, which I am typing here)

Dear James,

I’m writing this letter to express my sincere, heartfelt thanks for the wonderful holiday, that we spent at your place last week.

It was such a pleasurable and much needed break for me from my hectic work schedule and I can not thank you and your family enough, in ensuring that my stay was a pleasant one and most importantly a memorable one, which I will never forget in my life.

After the fun filled trip, when I reached my place, I realized that I left my wallet, containing credit cards, insurance cards and my driving license, back at your home, which I must have forgotten while rushing to catch the early morning flight, on that day of my travel. I am sure that, by now you are aware of it and keeping it safely with you.

Luckily, my neighbor, Mr. Brent, is attending a conference in your city tomorrow and he told me that he will have some free time to visit you to collect my wallet from you. He has your number and will call you to collect it from you. Please hand over the wallet in a sealed pack to him.

Once again, I’d like to thank all of you for your hospitality and expect you to visit my house for a relaxing vacation as well. Talk to you soon.

Take care,

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 chekc your information, overview, detail and accuracy.(click table to enlarge)

You 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)

You 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)

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)

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


Main IELTS Pages

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