Did you know that the average IELTS band score in the IELTS Writing in 2017 was approximately IELTS band 6. How to Get Band 7 in the IELTS Writing Exam helps you a lot to get 7. This is about a half band lower than the average IELTS speaking band score. Why is that so? The main reason for this is because a lot of people, even IELTS candidates with excellent English, are not aware of the IELTS writing requirements. They need to understand the format required of IELTS essays (Task 2) and reports (Task 1). They should also be knowledgeable about the official IELTS band descriptors (public version) for band 7.
How to Get Band 7 in the IELTS Writing Exam
The IELTS writing is graded using four different requirements:
1: Task Achievement/Task response (TA/TR)
2: Coherence and Cohesion (CC)
3: Lexical Resource (LR)
4: Grammar (GR)
Each of the four requirements are weighted equally, so you need to consider each category with equal importance. To get a IELTS band score 7, it is a good idea to try to get 7 in each category because if you were to receive a 6 in one category, you would need to get at least 8 another category and two 7s to achieve a IELTS band 7 overall. Unfortunately, a IELTS Writing score of 7 (TA), 7 (CC), 7 (LR), 6 (GR) in both tasks will only give you a IELTS writing band 6.5.
Let’s find out what is needed in each category to get a IELTS Writing band 7 score for both IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2
IELTS Writing Band 7 – Task Achievement/Task Response
This category requires you to answer the question completely and well. This is the only category that involves IELTS Writing Task 1 (Task Achievement) and IELTS Writing Task 2 (Task Response) to be marked differently.
Task 1 Task Achievement IELTS Writing Band Desciptors Band 7
– covers the requirements of the task (answers the question correctly)
– presents a clear overview of the main trends/differences or stages (need to include all of the main features and cannot leave out any key details)
– clearly presents and highlights key features but could be more fully extended (such as by showing data, making comparisons, etc)
Task 2 Task Achievement IELTS Writing Band Desciptors Band 7
– addresses all parts of the task (there is usually between 2 -4 parts that need to be addressed)
– presents a clear position throughout the response (your introduction should provide a hint of your position and you should stick with it throughout your answer)
– presents, extends and supports main ideas, but there may be a tendency to over-generalise and/or supporting details may lack focus. (for every main point you present, you should support it with details, explanations, examples, or other evidence)
In short, for both Task 1 and Task 2 you need to (i) do what the question asks you to do; (ii) write all of the key points (Task 1); and (iii) write and support a few main ideas (Task 2).
IELTS tip: in Task 1 only present the information you see in the diagram and do not provide your own opinion or outside knowledge. Use your opinions for Task 2 only of the IELTS writing component.
IELTS Writing Band 7 – Coherence and Cohesion
Coherence and Cohesion mean that your writing is clearly structured and that your writing flows smoothly.
Coherence and Cohesion IELTS Writing Band Desciptors Band 7
– logically organizes information and ideas: there is clear progression throughout (paragraph organization is logical, and ideas connect with each other in an easy to understand way)
– uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately although there may be some under/over-use (includes using linking words such as but, because and which and markers such as on the other hand, firstly, and however)
– presents a clear central topic for each paragraph (each paragraph has unity and focuses on one major idea with supporting evidence/details related to that major idea)
In short you need to organize information logically, and make it flow together clearly by using linking or marker words.
IELTS tip: use pronouns (it, this, they) to avoid repetition or to act as reference words. This will also help you achieve a good Coherence and Cohesion IELTS band score.
IELTS Writing Band 7 – Lexical Resource
Lexical Resource simply means the vocabulary or expressions that you use. You need to use a variety of formal/semi-formal vocabulary that contain only a few errors.
Lexical Resource IELTS Writing Band Desciptors Band 7
– uses a sufficient range of vocabulary to allow some flexibility and precision (using specific words to show more exact meaning)
– uses less common lexical items with some awareness of style and collocation (using idioms and sounding suitably academic/not too informal)
– may produce occasional errors in word choice, spelling and/or word formation (a few wrong word choices, spelling mistakes or wrong parts of speech are okay as long as it is not too many)
In other words, you need to show a good range of vocabulary with less common words to show the examiner, and you cannot make too many spelling mistakes, word formation errors, or wrong word choices.
IELTS Tip: Learn a few formal idioms that can be used in any writing, and practice using them often so they stay in your long-term memory.
IELTS Writing Band 7 – Grammatical Range and Accuracy
You need to show your grammar. If you only use simple sentences, you will not receive a high IELTS writing band score.
Grammar IELTS Writing Band Desciptors Band 7
– uses a variety of complex structures (sentences with ‘which’ or ‘that’; conditionals with ‘could’ or ‘if’; noun phrases, adverbial phrases, gerunds, etc.)
– produces frequent error-free sentences (simple sentences should be error free, but you can make a few mistakes on more complex sentences)
– has good control of grammar and punctuation but may make a few errors (review use of commas ‘,’ and other punctuation rules, and make sure to use a variety of grammar structures to show that you are a fluent English user worthy of IELTS band 7)
Therefore, you need to use a range of complex sentences and not make too many grammar mistakes, especially many simple grammar mistakes.
IELTS Tip: Think of grammar as a mathematical formula. When practice writing, try using the same complex structures you learned and make sure you have used a variety (several different kinds). You might be able to keep to the same formula or sentence structures for almost every task.