In the IELTS writing exam, one of the keys to success is understanding how the task is checked by IELTS examiner and using this information to improve your band score. You can then give the examiner exactly what they want, and concentrate on doing the high scores stuff.
To know how your IELTS writing task 2 will be judged, check the IELTS writing task 2 Band Descriptor which is available officially. You can download it in pdf from below Link.
Lets talk about the criteria given in BAND DESCRIPTOR in detail:
The four criteria your IELTS essay will be marked on are:
- Task Achievement
- Coherence and Cohesion
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Now Lets talk about each criteria separately
The examiner will be looking for your ability to answer the question properly. For this, you should read the essay statement (question) very carefully and make sure you cover everything it asks.
Task Achievement Key Points
- Answer all parts of the question
- Present relevant ideas
- Fully explain these ideas
- Support ideas with relevant, specific examples
Coherence refers to your ability to be clear and easily understood.
For answers in bands 6, 7 and 8 in this category, all parts are easy to read and understand. Parts of band 5 answers are not easy to understand.
This may be because you have lots of grammar mistakes, you have lost grammatical control of your sentences, the words and sentences are in a very illogical order or you have used words and phrases that are not appropriate or accurate.
The examiner will be able to understand all parts of band 6, 7 and 8 answers but the ease of understanding will increase as we go up the bands.
Band 5 answers tend to have lots of different ideas in each paragraph. Band 7 and 8 answers have only one idea in each paragraph and they then use the rest of that paragraph to explain and support that point.
You can increase your band score by making it very clear to the examiner what each paragraph is about and then logically organise each sentence within that paragraph.
At a sentence level, main body paragraphs should follow this structure:
- Topic Sentence
At a paragraph level, task 2 essay should have:
- 2-3 Main Body Paragraphs
You can further increase your score for coherence by writing an effective introduction and then linking your points to this introduction.
Cohesion refers to your ability to link ideas, sentences and paragraphs together and one of the ways we do this is through the use of cohesive devices.
Cohesive devices are also sometimes called ‘linking devices’ or ‘linking words’.
Coherence and Cohesion Key Points
- Structure your answers in logical paragraphs
- One main idea per paragraph
- Include an introduction and conclusion
- Support main points with an explanation and then an example
- Use cohesive devices accurately and appropriately
- Vary your linking phrases using synonyms
Lexical resource is just a complicated name for the words and phrases you use, or in a word, vocabulary.
Lexical Resource Key Points
- Try to vary your vocabulary using accurate synonyms
- Use less common question specific words that accurately convey meaning
- Check your work for spelling and word formation mistakes
- Use Less common words only if you know how to use them with accuracy ad in context. If you don’t know their use properly, it’s better to avoid them. Otherwise it will reduce your scores.
In order to understand this section you should first know what a complex sentence is. A complex sentence does not need to be very long, complicated or even difficult to write. You can read a full chapter on Complex Sentences to improve your understanding.
Grammatical Range Key Points
- Use a variety of complex and simple sentences
- Use a variety of appropriate structures
- Check your writing for errors