Marking for the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

8/24/2015 9:15:35 AM
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The IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing will be marked in four areas. You will get a mark from 1 to 9 on Task Achievement, Coherence & Cohesion, Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy. Your final band for task 1 will be effectively an average of the four marks awarded in these areas. Task 1 writing is less important than task 2 and to calculate the final writing mark, more weight is assigned to the task 2 mark than to task 1's mark. To get a good overall mark for The IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing though, both tasks have to be well answered so don't hold back on task 1 or give yourself too little time to answer it properly.
 
  • Task Achievement - This where you can really make a difference through careful preparation. This mark grades you on basically "have you answered the question". It marks whether you have covered all requirements of the task suffiently and whether you presented, highlighted and illustrate the key points appropriately.
  • Coherence and Cohesion - These two are interrelated which is why they are done together. Cohesion is how your writing fits together. Does your writing with its ideas and content flow logically? Coherence is how you are making yourself understood and whether the reader of your writing understands what you are saying. An example of bad coherence and cohesion would be as follows:
 
  1. We went to the beach because it was raining.
Probably the writer of this sentence does not mean "because" as people don't usually go to the beach when it is raining. The writer should have written:
 
  1. We went to the beach although it was raining.
Sentence 1 has made a cohesion and coherence error (as well as a vocabulary one). "Because" does not join the ideas of the sentence together correctly and, as a result, the reader does not understand what the writer wants to say. This is an exaggerated example but it shows what I mean. Good cohesion and coherence is not noticeable as it allows the writing to be read easily. Good cohesion and coherence also includes good and appropriate paragraph usage.
 
  • Lexical Resource - This area looks at the your choice of words. The marker will look at whether the right words are used and whether they are used at the right time in the right place and in the right way. To get a good mark here, the word choice should not only be accurate but wide ranging, natural and sophisticated.
 
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy - Here the examiner will mark your appropriate, flexible and accurate use of grammatical structures. Many people are worried about their grammar but, as you can see, grammar is only one section of four used to grade your writing. IELTS is much more interested in communication rather than grammatical accuracy. It is, of course, still part of the marking scheme and important as such.
 

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