IELTS Writing Band Score Calculator

IELTS Writing Band Score

How is your overall IELTS writing band score calculated?

This is actually a difficult question to answer, because the actual calculation method is a secret not even known to IELTS Examiners!

But here is what we DO know!

Each of your two writing tasks will be assessed by a different IELTS examiner. They will each give you a band score for each of the four assessment areas: task achievement / task response, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammatical range and accuracy. So your score sheet will look something like this:

TA / TR CC LR GRA
Task 1 7 6 8 7
Task 2 6 7 8 6

(Note that half bands are NOT awarded in any of the 4 criteria)

We also know that the scores for Task 2 are double weighted. This suggests that the Task 2 scores are counted twice when calculating your overall writing score, so it’s likely that your overall IELTS writing score is calculated from these scores:

TA / TR CC LR GRA
Task 1 7 6 8 7
Task 2 6 7 8 6
Task 2 6 7 8 6

If you add all these number up, you get 82 points.

It’s likely that to get your average, this number is divided by 12 (the number of scores in the table, once we account for the fact that Task 2 is double weighted).

82 ÷ 12 = 6.83

What we DON’T know is whether this average score is rounded up or down to get your final overall band score, but I think it’s safe to assume that it is rounded DOWN. (This is, after all, what happens in the IELTS Speaking Test)

So in our example, 6.83 would be rounded DOWN to 6.5 – but this is purely guesswork.

The important thing for you to know is that since Task 2 is double weighted, writing a strong IELTS Task 2 essay will give you a good chance of getting the IELTS writing band score you need; but a weak Task 2 essay will undermine your chances.

The other important thing for you to understand is that, even though Task 2 is double weighted, Task 1 is still very important. This is because if the average scores are rounded DOWN, any Band 6 scores in Task 1 will drag your overall score down. So you still need to write a good IELTS Task 1 Report or Letter.

I hope this helps!

Posted in IELTS Writing Task 1, IELTS Writing Task 2.

20 Comments

  1. Hi I’m Deirdre, I just did IELTS this morning. I am rather worried because I didn’t complete the last instruction on the letter and I think I didn’t have enough words for both essay. Would you have any idea what will the band score be like? I also think I don’t have many complex sentence, mostly simple English. I’m worried because I have a minimum requirement. Thank you.

    • Hi Deirdre

      If you wrote less than the minimum word count, you will lose a band but only for Task Response/Task Achievement. This one of 4 areas you are assessed in.

      If you are lucky, this might not affect your overall score at all: for example, if your essay was scored TR: 6 CC: 6 LR: 6 GR: 6 (Overall 6.0), then, after the deduction for low word count, you would get TR: 5 CC: 6 LR: 6 GR: 6 (Overall 5.75 – BUT this is rounded UP to 6.0 so the deduction has no effect).

      However, you might lose 0.5 band overall: if your essay was scored TR: 6 CC: 7 LR: 6 GR: 6, you would get 6.25 overall, but this is rounded UP to 6.5, so after a deduction you would get TR: 5 CC: 7 LR: 6 GR: 6, an overal score of 6.0, so you lose half a band.

      So, if you are lucky, your band score might not be affected at all, and at most by 0.5 in each essay under the minimum word count.

      Regarding your other question: In Task 1, if you don’t cover all the bullet points you would probably get a Band 4 for Task Achievement, but Task Achievement is just one of the four areas so overall it might only affect your score by half a band.

      I hope you get the score you need. Best of luck, Charlie.

  2. what if I right all details on task 2 but I accidentally write a salutation and opening and closing remarks as like as task 1 but all answers and details was included?

  3. Hi,
    I recently appeared for my IELTS. I messed up a bit for the task 2. I started the writing test by completing the letter first then I went for the essay. I have a gut feeling that my letter is addressing all the requirements in the question. And it also adheres to the word count requirement. But the blunder I made is with task 2. I missed out on writing the conclusion (i.e. my opinion) since I got timed out. So the word count was not 250. It was close to ~220. But on the brighter side I answered both the views (it was a discussion question where I was asked to discuss both views and give my opinion). I elaborated each view in separate paragraphs. I did use a few complex sentences. I am worried about the band score as my requirement is at least 7 in writing. Do you think I might get that given the fact that task 1 is done correctly and task 2 missed out on the word count the conclusion paragraph, which was a requirement.

  4. I have finished my ielts exam today. I need 7band. But for the task two question I have written only one side of the argument. Question was do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I just wrote my point of view in 2 paragraphs how it affects my band score?

  5. HI I AM HARPREET.I AM STRUGGLING WITH MY SPEAKING AS WELL AS WRITING .EVERYTIME I SCORED 6.5,BUT MY REQUIREMENT IS 7.WHAT SHOULD I DO

  6. Hello Charlie,

    If one has 7 7 7 7 in Task 1 and 7 7 7 6 in Task 2. What should be my total writing score? Thanks

  7. Hi yesterday i got my results from idp.
    S-6.5
    W-5.5
    R-7
    L-8.5
    I only require a 0.5 increas in writing
    Shall i go for revaluation

  8. Hey i gave my ielts exam through idp and my overall band score was-7
    L-8.5
    W-5.5
    S-6.5
    R-7
    I want to revaluate for writing module because i need 6 but there is a litte confusion in my mind that i wrote 230 words in task 2 rather then 250.is it going to cost me again in revaluation

    • Hi Yatin. Sorry I’ve not replied sooner.
      If you only wrote 250 words, you will lose a whole band score in Task Response, so it would work out at about a quarter of a band score overall (because there are 4 assessment areas)

  9. Hello sir
    While I was writing the task 1, I forgot the write the data and when I came to know about it, I just wrote the data by inserting a sign of an arrow between two for showing the data. Is that ok?

  10. hello, i am confused about one calculation… How can you get overall 7 if you score 6 in Task 1 and 7 in task 2?? = 6+7+7 = 20/3 = 6.67 .. it should be round down to 6.5.. i guess not 7 …

    • Thanks for your comment Said. However, the sum you give (6*1+7*2)/3=6.66 isn’t how the overall band score is calculated. (At least, your’s is not the information I’ve been told). I can’t see information about this on the link you provided.

  11. Hi. I have given ielts recently.

    And my task 1 was OK

    BT I did not understand writing task 2

    So can you tell can I get 5.5 bands?

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