What is a good score on the IELTS Writing exam?

What is a good score on the IELTS Writing exam?

Published: Aug 15, 2023 | By: Lucas Weaver

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The IELTS Writing exam uses a band scoring system ranging from 0 to 9, and a "good" score may differ according to your personal objectives and the standards set by the institution or company to which you're applying.

Band 6: This score is seen as proficient, demonstrating your ability to use English effectively in everyday scenarios.

Band 6.5: This score is often accepted by various universities and employers and signifies a competent user with occasional inaccuracies or misunderstandings.

Band 7 and above: These scores are deemed very good to exceptional, reflecting a strong proficiency in the English language.

You need to know that many academic institutions and professional organizations require a minimum of 6 or 6.5 for entry or employment. 

More competitive programs may require an even higher score. It's vital to research the exact requirements of the place you're applying to, to understand the score you need to target.

How can you get a 6.5 or higher on your IELTS writing section?

A score of 6.5 on your IELTS writing test is a practical target for many and often meets the basic requirement for higher education admissions or specific job roles. Here's how you can work to achieve this score:

Understand the Criteria: Knowing the assessment criteria is the foundation of success.

Plan Your Response: Outline your main thoughts and details to assure a coherent answer.

Vary Your Vocabulary: Use a mix of synonyms and expressions to enhance your writing.

Utilize Complex Sentences: Balance simple and complex sentences to demonstrate grammatical variety.

Edit and Revise: Allocate time to review your work for better organization and clarity.

Practice Regularly: Consistent practice under timed conditions is crucial.

Seek Expert Feedback: Engage with a professional who can provide tailored feedback on your writing.

Achieving a 6.5 score requires dedication and a strategic approach, but it is within your reach.

How to get a 7 on the IELTS Writing exam

Getting a high band score of 7 on the IELTS writing test signifies a high proficiency in English and requires careful planning and dedication to the strategies used for a 6.5. Focus on:

Mastering Task Achievement: Ensure comprehensive and relevant answers.

Improving Coherence and Cohesion: Organize your ideas logically.

Enhancing Vocabulary: Use a wide array of vocabulary, including idiomatic expressions.

Perfecting Grammar: Focus on complex grammatical structures without mistakes.

Writing Clearly: Stick to clear expressions, avoiding unnecessary complexity.

Practicing with Real Exam Questions: Build confidence by working with actual IELTS questions.

Leveraging Feedback: Utilize professional feedback to uncover areas for growth.

Staying Current: Read varied English sources to expose yourself to different styles.

The skills you need to get a good IELTS Writing band score

A high IELTS writing band score reflects your capacity to communicate effectively in English. The skills assessed in the writing tasks include:

Understanding Task Requirements: Grasping the questions completely.

Coherent Idea Organization: Structuring your ideas logically.

Utilizing a Broad Vocabulary: Emphasize vocabulary diversity and proper context use.

Controlling Grammar: Balance complexity and clarity.

Developing Thoughts: Enhance your writing with detailed support for your ideas.

Managing Time: Plan and write within the time constraints.

Adapting Style and Tone: Tailor your writing style to the task.

Editing Skills: Proofread for mistakes and revise as needed.

Do you need to be a good academic writer to score well on the IELTS writing exam?

While being an experienced academic writer isn't required for IELTS success, an understanding of academic writing principles is beneficial. Here's why:

Formality and Structure: Mimic academic writing's formality to help in formal response tasks.

Critical Analysis: Critical thinking skills can enhance your argumentative writing.

Vocabulary and Grammatical Usage: A command of formal language can improve your writing.

Task Comprehension: Familiarity with academic writing helps in handling specific IELTS tasks effectively.

Understanding academic writing, though not mandatory, can certainly boost your IELTS performance. It's about aligning your writing with the demands of the task, balancing formality with accessibility.

Want to get the highest score possible on your IELTS Writing section?

If you want to score the most points possible on your IELTS exam make sure you check out my online IELTS writing exam prep course. It’s a 23-lesson video course that covers everything you need to know to get a 7 or above on the Writing Section of your IELTS exam.

Do you need some help getting feedback on your essays? You can check out my new AI IELTS essay grader tool that I built myself. You can use it to get a band score and personalized, AI-generated feedback from your writing.

Best of luck with your IELTS preparation!


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Lucas Weaver from the Weaver School

Lucas Weaver founded The Weaver School in 2016. He's passionate about using the latest learnings in neuroscience and education to create the best language learning experience possible for our students, so they can quickly build effective language learning habits that will last for years. Lucas is a graduate of Texas A&M University and after 7 years of living in the Netherlands, he is currently traveling through Southeast Asia while learning their languages along the way.

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