The assessment criteria documents will help you and your learners understand the IELTS band scores, and give clear indications on English proficiency.

  • Use the assessment criteria guidelines to:
  • help you mark a learner’s written answers to questions
  • help your learners improve their spoken English
  • understand the key differences between band scores
  • review and understand the criteria for specific band scores
  • challenge more proficient learners to improve their writing and speaking to achieve higher band scores
  • help learners of varying levels of proficiency improve and prepare within the same class. 

How is the test marked?

Examiners use detailed performance descriptors when marking IELTS and review a test taker’s ability in:

  • task achievement
  • coherence and cohesion
  • lexical resource
  • grammatical range and accuracy. 

Each question in the Listening and Reading sections is worth one mark. The Speaking test has three sections and the Writing task has two sections. Each section is marked according to the above criteria.

Learn how to explain IELTS band scores.

See also