How do we calculate IELTS Speaking and Writing overall band scores?


In this article, we will learn how IELTS overall band scores are calculated. Here, we have broken the IELTS Writing and Speaking Public Band Descriptors for your ease. Moreover, realize that if you are able to work on each segment individually, you will be able to target 9 Band in your IELTS exam.

IELTS Speaking:

Please note, IELTS don’t want you to have an accent, like that of a British or an American. So, you have to speak effortlessly and make sure that you make no errors while speaking by following the bullets listed below:

Fluency & Coherence

  • Talking at length
  • Talking without self-correction
  • Able to be understood
  • Using linking devices
  • Talking without pauses or hesitation

Lexical Resources

  • Use a range of words and paraphrasing
  • Avoiding errors
  • Using collocation
  • Using a less common vocabulary

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

  • Using a range of sentence structures
  • Using a range of grammar tenses
  • Avoiding errors


  • Able to be understood throughout the test
  • Able to use intonation
  • Accent doesn’t affect understanding
  • Accurate word and sound pronunciation
IELTS Speaking Public Band Descriptor - ELAN International
Download a better version of this document by clicking here – IELTS Speaking Band Descriptor

IELTS Writing

How is IELTS Writing Task 1 scored?

In Task 1 Writing, IELTS examiners evaluate you as per the rubric gave below and you have to ensure that you are able to meet all the given parameters.

Any deviation from the topic reduces your scores in Task Achievement / Response, any spelling error or irrelevant word choice reduces your errors in Lexical Resource, any error in tenses, conjunction, punctuations, etc. reduces your numbers in grammatical Range and Accuracy. Further, if your paragraphs do not have a consistent flow of ideas and are difficult to interpret in one read then your scores in coherence and cohesion may suffer. This, in turn, lowers your IELTS overall band scores. 

Let’s look at the step by step requirement from a candidate:

IELTS Writing Task 1 Public Band Descriptor


Download a better version of this document by clicking here: IELTS Writing Task 1 Band Descriptor

As mentioned above, the examiner will score your task basis the rubric given above and will assess you on :

  1. Task Achievement
  2. Lexical Resouce (Vocabulary range)
  3. Coherence and Cohesion
  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Task Achievement

You get a band score of 6 if you:
  • Highlight key features adequately
  • Your information is well selected
  • some information may be inaccurate
You are given 7 bands if you:
  • present a clear overview of the task
  • highlight the key/important features of the task clearly
  • provide accurate information
  • develop some paragraphs but chances of improvement are there
You get 8 if you:
  • provide a clear overview of the task
  • illustrate and highlight the key features of the task
  • Sufficiently cover all requirements of the task

Coherence and Cohesion

You get a band score of 6 if you:
  • organise your paragraph information coherently
  • use paragraphs in your writing
  • use linking words effectively
  • make errors in linking the sentences and paragraphs
  • use pronouns or referencing keywords that are faulty or inappropriate
You are given 7 bands if you :
  • logically organize the information in your paragraphs
  • use a range of linking devices
  • over or underuse the linking words or phrases
  • use good referencing
You get 8 if you:
  • logically organise the information and ideas
  • use correct paragraphing features
  • manage and retain all linking and cohesion words
  • experience no problem in using referencing keywords or pronouns

Lexical Resource – Vocabulary

You get a band score of 6 if you:
  • use an adequate range of vocabulary for the task
  • use some less common words but with errors
  • make some errors in word formation or spelling
  • communicate clearly
You get 7 bands if you:
  • have a sufficient range of vocabulary
  • use less-common words
  • have awareness of language styles and collocations
  • make occasional errors in spellings or word choices
You get a score of 8 bands if you:
  • display a wide range of vocabulary features
  • use less-common words skillfully
  • make rare or no errors in spellings or word formation

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

You get a band 6 if you
  • use simple and complex sentence structure of sentences
  • make some errors in grammar
  • make some errors in punctuations
  • communicate clearly
You get a band 7 if you
  • use a variety of complex sentence structures
  • write many error-free sentences
  • show good control over grammatical features
  • make occasional errors in spelling or punctuation
You get a band 8
  • use a wide range of complex sentence structures
  • write sentences that are free of errors

How can I get good band scores in Lexical Resource of IELTS Writing Task 1?

Your scores can increase if you:

  • use a range of vocabulary features rather than using repetitive words or phrases
  • provide accurate data with the help of keywords
  • understand collocations
  • avoid spelling mistakes(try to make none)
  • do not use informal English or slangs

How can I improve my IELTS Grammar scores in IELTS Writing Task 1?

If you want to improve your scores, you should:

  • use a range of sentence structures (Relative clauses/ Conjunctions etc)
  • use the right tenses for the chart or graph given to you use the right word order
  • avoid all the small grammatical errors
  • use the right punctuations marks

How are the band scores calculated?

Your scores will be an average of the 4 parameters listed above, for example, if you get :

  • Task Achievement – 8
  • Lexical Resouce – 8
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy – 7
  • Coherence and Cohesion – 7

Then your overall score for Writing Task 1 will be = (8+8+7+7) /4 = 7.5

Though how much you learn about the scoring system of this examination, we recommend you to practise for IELTS writing and Speaking under an expert’s guidance if you are working for higher bands and if you feel that your proficiency is a bit week in English, practice well!

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