Writing – Marking Criteria

What do the examiners look for in your writing?

Click for TASK ONE criteria
Click for TASK TWO criteria
These two documents are from the British Council website.

What does the information in the official criteria mean?
Below I’ve highlighted what you need to do to get a Band 6, 7 or higher. 


TASK ONE CRITERIA EXPLAINED

Task Achievement

To get a Band 6 or higher:

Academic -You MUST have an overview. An overview picks out the main trends, differences or stages (doesn’t require detailed numbers).

General – The reason you are writing must be clear. The tone of your letter must be appropriate to the task (person you are writing to/for) and it must be consistent.

To get a Band 7 or higher, your overview must clearly identify the main trends, differences or stages. Your writing must present highlights and must illustrate key features clearly.

Coherence & Cohesion

Your essay must be logically organised. That means that you must have an introduction and one or two body paragprahs. You can have a conclusion, but it isn’t necessary. There must be a sense of moving your ideas forward.

At the sentence level your ideas are easy to follow within sentences and across sentences. You need to use some linking devices (use pronouns effectively to join ideas between sentences. Use words like ‘while’ ‘on the other hand’ ‘additionally’ ‘in contrast’ to show relationships between ideas.

To get a Band 7 or higher, you need to do all of these things well. The better you do them, the higher the mark.

Lexical Resource

You need to use vocabulary that is appropriate for the task and you need to be using some vocabulary that is less common. Your spelling needs to be reasonably accurate.

To get a Band 7 or above, you need to be using a lot of the less common vocabulary correctly. To get an Band 8 or 9 you need to have very good control of the vocabulary and be largely accurate.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy

To get a Band 6 you need to use both simple and complex sentences and while you may make errors, it is still quite easy to understand your meaning.

To get a Band 7 or better, you need to get the grammar right most of the time even in complex sentences.


TASK TWO CRITERIA EXPLAINED

TASK ACHIEVEMENT

To get a Band 7 or higher, your must fully address all parts of the task and must extend and support your ideas.

To get a Band 8 or 9 your response has to be well focused throughout.

COHERENCE & COHESION

Your essay must be logically organised. That means that you must have and introduction and conclusion and two or three body paragraphs between. There must be a sense of moving your argument forward.

Each paragraph should have one main idea. At the sentence level your ideas are easy to follow within sentences and across sentences. You need to use some linking devices (use pronouns effectively to join ideas between sentences. Use words like ‘while’ ‘on the other hand’ ‘additionally’ ‘in contrast’ to show relationships between ideas.

To get a Band 7 or higher, you need to do all of these things well. The better you do them, the higher the mark.

LEXICAL RESOURCE

(Essentially the same as Task One) You need to use vocabulary that is appropriate for the task and you need to be using some vocabulary that is less common. Your spelling needs to be reasonably accurate.

To get a Band 7 or above, you need to be using a lot of the less common vocabulary correctly. To get an Band 8 or 9 you need to have very good control of the vocabulary and be largely accurate.

GRAMMATICAL RANGE & ACCURACY

(Essentially the same as Task One)To get a Band 6 you need to use both simple and complex sentences and while you may make errors, it is still quite easy to understand your meaning.

To get a Band 7 or better, you need to get the grammar right most of the time even in complex sentences.

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