IELTS Band Descriptors explained

Task Achievement

Did you answer the question correctly and fully? Did you write 250 words? Did you discuss the topic in the question title? Did you answer the task in the question title? If the question asks for advantages, did you give some? If a question asks for reasons and risks, did you write about both or just one?

Cohesion and Coherence

Cohesion means ‘working together’ or ‘united’. So in writing it means how you connect your ideas together and how you organise your ideas so that the examiner understands them and how they relate to each other.

In is important to use ‘cohesive devices’ – these include things like ‘linking words’ to connect ideas and ‘pronouns’ to refer to ideas in other parts of your essay.

Coherence means ‘understandable’. You need to make sure the examiner can understand your argument and your writing in general.

Lexical Resource

Lexical resource means your vocabulary. The examiner will be looking for two things: lexical range and lexical complexity.

‘Range’ means using similar words and synonyms to refer to one thing. The words ‘discuss’, ‘argue’, ‘debate’ can all be synonyms of ‘talk about’. This shows the examiner you have a wide vocabulary range.

‘Complexity’ means how advanced is the vocabulary – ‘tasty’ is a very common word to describe food, ‘exquisite’ is a far more advanced word to describe food.

The examiner will also mark you on how suitable your vocabulary is.

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