IELTS Writing Scoring: Are task 1 and task 2 equal value?

Learn about how your IELTS writing test is scored. Many students ask me if writing task 1 and task 2 are worth the same points and how the examiner gives a final total score. This page will explain how your score is calculated for IELTS writing.

Will I get the same score for task 1 and task 2? Are they marked together?

No. Writing task 1 and writing task 2 are marked individually. The marking criteria are not exactly the same. The examiner will give you a band score for writing task 1 and a band score for writing task 2. After that, your final IELTS writing band score is calculated.

Are IELTS writing task 1 and writing task 2 worth the same points?

No, they are not. Writing task 2 is worth more than writing task 1. You get twice the points for writing task 2 than you get for writing task 1. In other words, writing task 2 is about 60% of your marks and writing task 1 is about 30%.

Example of IELTS Writing Scoring:

For example:

Writing task 1 = band score 8

Writing Task 2 = band score 6

Total Writing Score = 6.5

You can calculate your own score:  8 + 6 + 6 = 20/3 = 6.66. Take one task 1 score and two task 2 scores and divide by 3.  IELTS usually round the number up or down to the nearest half score which means it would go from 6.66 to 6.5.

Please note that these scores are only estimated calculations. I do not have access to the precise scoring used by IELTS. Your estimated score will be accurate within 0.5 band score.

Will IELTS tell you your score for task 1 and task 2?

No. It’s a shame but IELTS don’t release that information. So you won’t know what score you got for which task. You will only be told the total final score for all your writing.

Are writing task 1 and writing task 2 marked using the same criteria?

No. Each writing task 1 is scored using 4 assessment criteria. Each of the criteria is worth 25% of your marks for that task. 3 of those marking criteria are the same for task 1 and task 2. But one of the marking criteria is different See below:

  • Task Achievement (Writing Task 1 Only): Information, Overview, Key Features
  • Task Response (Writing Task 2 Only): Ideas, Addressing the Task, Conclusion, Developing Ideas
  • Coherence & Cohesion: Paragraphing, Linking and Referencing
  • Grammatical Range & Accuracy: Sentence Structures, Tenses, Punctuation, Number of Errors
  • Lexical Resource: Vocabulary, Collocations, Spelling, Number of Errors

Differences between Band Scores 5 to 8 & How to Improve your Scores:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Scoring & Tips

IELTS Writing Task 1 Scoring & Tips

All IELTS Band Scores Explained

Main IELTS Pages

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Comments

  1. Hi!
    Today was mine ielts test I ran out of time in task 1. I wrote that table about half but unfortunately I ran out of time and didn’t write it’s conclusion I only wrote it’s information and paragraph 1 in task 1. However I had completed my task 2. Would it affect my band score?

  2. hi miss,
    I took ielts exam today and the topic was that you discovered a website , write a letter to your friend that how that website could be useful for your friend in his or her studies??
    by mistake , I wrote that I made a website in my study ND I told her about that , how it could be useful for her ?
    Do I have written off topic ?

    • You have done off topic as you have not written about a website you have discovered and instead you wrote about a website you made. However, you did complete the prompts as you explained how it could be useful. So, it means you will be penalised for Task Achievement but don’t worry too much as you did partially complete the task. I can’t tell you how you will be scored as your score depends on many other factors. Good luck!

  3. Abdullah Ali Ibrahim says:

    My dear
    Thank you very much, actually your manner teaching is strong.
    I wish you be success in the life.

  4. plz tell me how i can improve my reading .also i face problem in writing task 2 becz i get confused in sentence formation when i have to use has/have/had/been .i know about their active and passive rule even thn it becoming mine weakest point in writing .plz solve this problem.

  5. Dear Liz
    I really want to thank you for your help and I want to tell you that I got 6.5.

  6. hello teacher , thank you very much for the videos you really helped me espicially in writing .Yet , i would like to ask you one question in writing task 2 I gave my own opinion in conclusion responding to the question that I did in the introduction . is it correct or not ?

  7. Hi, I have one doubt about the marking….if task 2 is worth twice that of task one then task one should be worth 33.33% ?? And task 2 66.66%?? As x+y = 100% and if y=2x then x+y=3x=100. Therefore, x = 33.33 and y = 66.66!!! But in your description, task 2 and task 1 is worth only 60% and 30%, respectively. But this will total to 90% only

  8. Hi Liz!

    I’ve got a question that may sound silly…
    When writing my answers on the answer sheet, I capitalised the first letter of my answers.

    Eg: 1. Capital
    2. Letters

    Is that likely to be an issue?

    Thanks,
    Kunal

  9. Jaloliddin says:

    Hello lady Liz can I ask question?Today I had ielts exam everything was allright but Icould not write task1 at all but Iwrote task2 completely.Coud you tell me will I be able to get at least 5 from writing

  10. Hello my dear unique teacher ,
    Thank you is the least thing that I can say in your dignity , talent and your generousness.
    The god of the goodness bless you .
    Sincerely yours .The mathematic teacher Saleh .

  11. Roberta says:

    Hello Liz..could you correct one of my writing task 2?

  12. Hi Liz,

    I have just completed my IELTS. I didnt do very well on the writing section. Task 1 was was good. However, I ran out of time for task 2 and didn’t measure up to the word limit. I wrote only 22 lines averaging 9 words per line (total word count should amount to 198). How would this could affect my score?

    • Your score will be reduced for writing task 2 if you are under words. I can’t tell you how many points you will lose. Wait and see your results. At least you will know the reason for any low score.

  13. vishal sharma says:

    hello Mam,
    I have a question. can i write “I” or “we” in task 2.
    plz reply.

    thanks.

  14. Hello Mam I Want to Improve My Score in Writing Task. I Never Get More Than 6 Band What Should i Do?

  15. Hi Liz, i just took my ielts exam and i think i did quite badly in writing task 1. I was rushing time with only 10 mins to finish task 1, spent too much time in task 2. I think i didnt really fully explain the graph, paragraphs are well-structured but lack in tenses and a good conclusion. By how much band score will it affect?

  16. sajjad hossain says:

    hi, i am sajjad hossain. i have been planning to take ilts test shortly.however,your lesson help me a lot which you have been uploading in youtube in terms of every sectors. but,i m facing problems about reading module and i m trying my best according to ur suggestion.in addition,i m worried about my writing quality.i don’t have such opportunity to check it . Is there any way to check my script ??? just only knew my writing quality . could u hlp me??? OR if you give ur mail id

  17. KALEEMULLAH says:

    From where, i can check writing task 1 and task 2 free.
    And the another thing that i don’t know that where i should use commas.

    • Sorry, I don;’t know anywhere you can get your writing checked for free. To learn about punctuation, just google grammar and punctuation online.
      All the best
      Liz

  18. I found free essay correction service: http://ielts-up.com/ielts-writing-correction.html
    It’s just great!!

  19. Hi Liz. Can you help me to know my task 2 score if i post essay here ? or how can i send you essay in order to you read it and tell my score ?

  20. Behnam masoud zahedian says:

    Hi Liz;
    First of all thank you for your lessons for us;☺️☺️
    And appreciate you so much🌷
    I have a question:
    If my writing task 2 will be less than 250words what happen???
    I want to know is it a terrible problem?!?😔😔

    • You will be marked down if your writing for that task is 10 words below the limit. I can’t predict what your final score will be.
      All the best
      Liz

  21. hey Liz
    please can you help me
    my Reading skills are so poor
    I got only 20 answers from passage
    its not increase And I want 6.5 bands
    How it will be improved???

  22. Hi Liz, thank you for the useful information which you post here. I have question about listening section, on the andwer sheet in some words I wrote the letter “I” instead of small “i”. Will it affect my score? Maybe it is foolish question, but It really worries me.

  23. Hi Liz! I am taking my exam tomorrow. I am taking the time now to thank you whether I pass or fail. Your site has been a great great help to me. More power and God bless!

  24. Hey Liz,

    I have a few queries on the listening test. In one of the sample tests I gave, below are my answers and the answers as per the answer key:
    1. My answer: “4 PM”, Key: “4”
    2. My answer: “Every second day”, Key: “Once in 2 days”
    3. My answer: “22nd October, 1998”, Key: “22 October”
    4. Is there any difference between writing a number ‘5’ or in words ‘five’?

    Appreciate your help,
    Sharan

    • Question 1: If the question was “he arrived at …….pm” then you should only give a number because the letters “pm” are given in the question. For other issues, you must write only the words you hear – not the meaning, the exact words. For dates, you write what you hear and can write using either American or UK methods. If you write the year or not, depends on how many words and numbers you can have in your answer. All numbers should be written as numbers.
      All the best
      Liz

  25. Hi Liz,

    Have a question on listening text. A few sampkes I checked required to fill up time li,e 7:30 pm, when I checked response it was mentioned as 7.30 pm , now does this : and . Make a difference if you can advice please?

  26. Hey liz…how can improve listening and understanding skill??coz while reading i forget the things that are given firstly

  27. Madam!how could I improve my reading and listening skills

  28. hi liz! May I ask if it’s true that the one who checks the writing tests are the trained locals and not those that are in Cambridge? If it’s true, how reliable and accurate are they in checking the answers?

    • IELTS examiners are people who have been accepted and trained by IELTS. They may be local people who have been trained and have passed the training or not. The training is intensive and all examiners are able to score accurately. They are also checked regularly by IELTS. So don’t worry – all examiners are experts at marking.
      Liz

  29. Everything looks clearer with your explanation! Thank you very much.

  30. Thank you so much for shares, Liz!
    Regards.

  31. Madam, how could I improve my reading skills

  32. Heyy, do you think It is better to start from Task 2 and after that come back to Task 1?

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