Understanding the Writing Criteria for IELTS Task 2

What are the Different Evaluation Criteria for IELTS Writing Task 2?

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writing criteria ielts task 2


Most students find the writing section of the IELTS exam the hardest part of the test. The writing section contains two tasks: the Task 1 involves summarising, describing, or explaining visual information (charts, graphs, diagrams), and Task 2 is an essay that requires critical analysis and argumentation on a specific topic. It is important to know the criteria for IELTS writing task 2 as getting a good score in this part is quite challenging. 

However, knowing the criteria on which the examiner provides the scores will definitely help you identify and address all the loopholes and achieve high bands. Therefore, in this blog, we’ll discuss the IELTS writing task 2 score criteria. 

IELTS Writing Task 2 Marking Criteria

A candidate is graded in IELTS Writing Task 2 based on several parameters. Here are the criteria for IELTS writing task 2:

  • Task achievement

  • Coherence and cohesion

  • Lexical resource

  • Grammatical range and accuracy

Now, let’s know about each IELTS writing task 2 score criteria in detail. 


Task Response

Task Response evaluates a candidate's comprehension and response abilities to a given task. To successfully complete this assessment criterion, you must cover all components of the supplied question and not leave anything out. Its requirements include covering some generalised information that is contained in the Introduction Paragraph, as well as providing your point of view.

Furthermore, you must present sufficient knowledge of the issue to support your point. The second and third paragraphs should include this information. Also, try including examples or pictures to back up your claim, and if requested, provide some information regarding 'if you do not agree with the question'.

Most importantly, do not forget to include all the sub-points in the question; otherwise, your score will be deducted. Further, the output tone in IELTS Writing Task 2 can be informal and professional at the same time, as long as proper English grammar and vocabulary are used. 


Coherence & Cohesion

Practice generating a logical flow between two paragraphs and sketching out the flow of your ideas to improve your coherence and cohesion score. The data must be exceedingly precise and readable. The progression of your idea should be clear throughout the work.

Moreover, every paragraph should always convey a clear principal theme or idea. The paragraphs should be clearly defined so that the assessor may understand them. However, you must avoid redundancy or repeat the same ideas throughout your responses.


Lexical Resource

Your vocabulary is your lexical resource. This portion assesses your vocabulary, language, command of lexical characteristics, word choice, and clarity. In IELTS Writing Task 2, make sure to use a variety of sentence types. The invigilator must see that you are also comfortable with difficult language. To ace in this section, the test-taker should have a strong vocabulary. 

Test takers must exhibit excellent command of lexical features. Apart from this, one must use describing words to emphasise important facts. Also, avoid spelling and sentence-formation mistakes in order to achieve a high band.


Grammatical Range & Accuracy

This IELTS Writing Task 2 evaluation criteria evaluates your ability to apply and comprehend English grammar. To do well, you must have complete correctness with punctuation and flexibility in phrase structure. 

Make sure it's something that appears frequently! However, do not attempt to stuff it. When crafting your sentences, be as natural as possible. If you do not have enough practice with these skills, seek assistance from our qualified tutors, who will always deliver quality corrections!

Band Description and Criteria for IELTS Writing Task 2

Below is the table describing the criteria for ielts writing task 2

Band Skill Level Task response Coherence and cohesion Lexical resource Grammatical range and accuracy



Address all parts of the task with relevant, fully extended, and well-supported ideas.

Can use cohesion – properly manages paragraphing

Range of vocabulary with minor errors

Different types of structures with flexibility and accuracy - no errors.


Very Good

Speaks fluently - occasional repetition – coherent topics with proper development

Wide vocabulary - a few errors – occasional inaccuracies - effective paraphrasing

Variety of structures - error-free

Flexibility - occasional lapses – easy



Limited loss of coherence - some repetition - self-correction - use of good connectives

Flexible vocabulary - awareness of style and collocation.

Complex structures with better flexibility - error-free sentences - few grammatical mistakes

All positive features of Band 6 and a few positive features of Band 8



Improper addressing – a few errors

>Wide vocabulary - paraphrases without error

Good use of simple and complex structures- some mistakes

Mostly correct grammar



Maintains a flow – repetition - certain connectives

Good use of vocabulary in familiar and unfamiliar topics - mixed success

Basic sentence forms - accuracy - limited range of complex structures

Limited range of accuracy



Improperly addressing

Poor and basic word choice

Mostly simple sentences

Multiple errors


Extremely Limited

Improperly addressing with error

Insufficient vocabulary

Basic sentences

Multiple inaccuracies



Lacks proper writing skills

Basically memorised

Can produce basic sentence forms

Speech is mostly unclear








Did Not Attempt the Best

Does not attend





In conclusion, understanding the various evaluation criteria for IELTS Writing Task 2 is crucial for anyone aiming to achieve a high band score. The consideration of task response, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammatical range and accuracy provides a comprehensive framework for evaluating your writing. By familiarising yourself with these criteria and practising regularly, you can enhance your chances of success in the IELTS Writing Task 2 and ultimately achieve your desired band score.

So, if you are thinking of appearing for the IELTS exam and want to plan your test strategically, then we recommend you sign up for our IELTS Courses designed by our experts. If you need further guidance, please contact Prepare IELTS (PI) expert counsellors. Our team of education experts is dedicated to assisting you in the best possible way for the IELTS exam. You can also get a one-on-one counselling session online via our platform. Contact us at info@prepareieltsexam.com or call us at +91 9773398388.


There are four criteria to give a score in IELTS writing task 2, which includes: Task achievement, Coherence and cohesion, Lexical resource, Grammatical range and accuracy

In all tasks, test takers are evaluated on their ability to create a suitable response in terms of substance, organisation of ideas, and correctness and breadth of vocabulary and grammar. Each task is evaluated independently.

The minimum score in IELTS writing task 2 is 0. Whereas, the maximum IELTS writing task 2 score can be 9 bands.


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