IELTS Preparation Series 3, Episode 1: IELTS Assessment Criteria
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Hello, and welcome to Series 3 of Study English, IELTS preparation. I'm Margot Politis.
In this series we'll look at some of the criteria for the assessment of the IELTS test, and
some of the skills you'll need to practice for the test.
The IELTS test has four modules: Writing, Speaking, Reading Listening
There are two different tests - the academic test for tertiary students and professionals
and the general training test, which is for immigrants and people going on to vocational
Both tests have the same speaking and listening modules, but different reading and writing
Knowing what the examiner is looking for can help improve your results because you will
know what to focus on when practising.
Here are the features the examiner looks at in your writing and speaking. These are the
things that are marked:
Task Response Coherence and Cohesion
Grammatical Accuracy and Range Vocabulary
What do these criteria mean?
Task response means how well you've understood and responded to the question or task.
For example, in the essay you must make sure you have answered all parts of the question
and followed the instructions.
The next thing the examiner looks for is coherence and cohesion.
This is how you organise your answer.
For example, in the essay, coherence means that the essay works in its overall structure,
making sense in the way it is organised.
Cohesion means that the essay flows well from one part to the next.
Another feature being assessed is grammatical range and accuracy.
When assessing grammatical range, the examiner is looking at the variety of sentence types
you are able to use. You can't rely on just using simple sentences and structures.
Grammatical accuracy simply refers to the number of errors in your language. That includes
things such as punctuation.
The final feature assessed for writing is vocabulary.
The examiner looks at the accuracy of your spelling and the range of words you use to
cover a topic.
You need to use the correct word forms and demonstrate that you can use them appropriately.
You should also be aware of when to use formal or informal language. The essay needs to be
formal, but you can use less formal language in the speaking test.
The speaking test is designed for you to show how well you can express yourself on a general
It tests your vocabulary, the accuracy of your language and your ability to use a range
of sentence forms. It also tests your coherence, by looking at how you organise and link your
ideas while speaking.
Vocabulary, coherence and grammatical range and accuracy are criteria that also apply
to the speaking test.
The remaining two criteria are only for the Speaking test: fluency and pronunciation.
Your ability to speak without hesitating or pausing too often shows how fluent you are.
Fluency is the ability to speak smoothly and easily.
Now we'll look at the last criterion for speaking - pronunciation.