Video: The marking criteria
Video: The marking criteria

Ready to unlock EVERYTHING on our online IELTS preparation site, as well as getting LIVE SPEAKING ASSESSMENTS and getting your WRITING TESTS GRADED by IELTS examiners?

No advertising, your own support tutor and so much more!


When the examiner marks your Task 2 essay, they are looking at 4 different criteria, each of which is worth 25% of your total score.

The 4 criteria are task response, lexical resource , cohesion and coherence and grammatical range and accuracy.

Task response essentially looks at whether the task has been completed. Lexical resource looks at whether you have used good vocabulary. Cohesion and coherence looks at whether the ideas flow well together. Grammatical range and accuracy looks at whether there is a wide range of grammar which has been used correctly.

Let’s take a look at each criteria in a little more detail. First is Task response, which looks at whether you have completed the requirements of the task. That is, have you written at least 250 words? Also in this section, the examiner will be looking to see if you’ve presented a clear point of view, and that you have supported your opinions.

For lexical resource, you are being assessed on whether the vocabulary you use is accurate and formal. You should avoid repeating vocabulary – especially using words taken from the question title – so you will need to show good use of synonyms.

The third area the examiner will be looking at is cohesion and coherence. Are your ideas presented in a logical order? Does your essay flow from introduction to conclusion? Have you accurately used a range of linking words?

The final area you are being marked on is grammatical range and accuracy. For this, you need to show a range of advanced structures, and you need to be able to use them accurately.

Course Home Expand All