Essays Writing For Ielts 6-7/5

If English isn’t your first language, then you’ll need to submit an IELTS score in order to be accepted onto a university programme taught in English. Most universities worldwide require an IELTS Band 6 score, with 6.5 being the most common requirement. So what is required to get IELTS Band 6?

A score of IELTS 6.0 or 6.5 shows that a person is ‘competent’, meaning they can cope in a classroom situation even though there may be some mistakes or misunderstandings with language. For students who need it, many universities provide short English courses of one to three months before the degree programme begins.

This article tells you exactly what you need to do to get a score of 6.0 or 6.5 in each of the four modules of IELTS. In the case of Listening or Reading, you need to get a certain number of answers correct. In Writing and Speaking, you can earn that extra 0.5 by slightly exceeding the minimum requirements here.

Your overall IELTS score is calculated as an average of the four module scores, or ‘sub-scores’.


IELTS Listening Band 6

  • Get 23 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 6.0*
  • Get 26 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 6.5*
  • Spell answers correctly
  • Not write more than the maximum number of words for each question

Read more about the IELTS Listening module, including scoring and exam techniques.


IELTS Reading Band 6 (Academic Module)

  • Get 23 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 6.0*
  • Get 27 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 6.5*
  • Spell answers correctly
  • Not write more than the maximum number of words for each question

Read more about the IELTS Reading academic module, including scoring and exam techniques.


IELTS Writing Band 6 (Academic Module)

  • Answer both questions adequately
  • Show good ability to organise an answer (e.g. paragraphs, linking words)
  • Attempt to use some higher-level vocabulary (even if not always accurate)
  • Provide an overview with supporting details in Task 1
  • Indicate a position and provide supporting arguments in Task 2
  • Make yourself understood (even if grammatical mistakes are made)

Read more about the IELTS Writing academic module, including scoring and exam techniques.


IELTS Speaking Band 6

  • Speak at length on certain topics
  • Use a range of linking words to connect ideas
  • Show good ability to paraphrase
  • Use both simple and complex structures
  • Speak with generally good pronunciation

Read more about the IELTS Speaking module, including scoring and exam techniques.


*The number of correct answers required to get IELTS 6.0 or 6.5 may vary slightly from test to test.


IELTS Listening, IELTS Reading, IELTS Speaking, IELTS Writing, ScoringIELTS. permalink.

Learn how your IELTS writing task 2 is marked and the difference between band scores 5, 6, 7 and 8 with tips to improve your score. You need to understand the 4 marking criteria used by the examiner to fulfill the requirements of the score you want. There is a penalty for being under the word count: see link at bottom of page. Tips

Don’t just read the band score you want. Read all the band score descriptions to learn how you lose marks and how you gain marks.

4 Marking Criteria for IELTS Writing Task 2

The examiner will assess your IELTS essay using the 4 criteria below. Each criterion is worth 25% of your total marks for task 2. You will be given a band score for each criteria and then a total score for task 2. See bottom of page for example of scoring.

  • Task Response
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
  • Grammatical Range & Accuracy

Task Response

This task 2 marking criterion is about your answer to the IELTS essay question, your main ideas and how you develop them.

Your score will increase if you:

  • pay attention to ALL issues in the essay question
  • write about the issues rather than just the general topic
  • answer the essay question with relevant main points
  • plan your supporting points so they don’t go off the topic
  • write over 250 words

 Coherence and Cohesion

The IELTS examiner will check the organisation of your essay, the paragraphs and your use of linking devices.

Your score will increase if you:

  • have either four or five paragraphs but not more and not less
    • this means you should have two or three body paragraphs only
  • have just one central topic in each body paragraph
  • organise your ideas logically
  • use a range of linking words
  • avoid errors in linking words

Lexical Resource

Your use of vocabulary, your paraphrasing, your spelling and the number of mistakes you make will be assessed in this criterion.

Your score will increase if you:

  • pay attention to collocations (which verb matches which noun)
  • paraphrase carefully to avoid errors
  • use a range of words appropriate for the topic
  • spell words correctly
  • avoid making errors (errors will lower your score – see table above)
  • avoid using informal language

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

The IELTS examiner will give you a band score for your sentence structures, the tenses you use, your control of grammar and also the number of mistakes you make.

Your score will increase if you:

  • use different grammar tenses (conditionals, perfect tenses, passive voice, past, future etc)
  • pay attention to word order in your sentences
  • use a range of sentence structures
  • use the correct punctuation (full stops and commas)
  • avoid errors in grammar (errors will lower your score – see the table above)
    • common grammar errors: articles, plural nouns, uncountable nouns, word order)

Example of Writing Task 2 Scoring Calculated

You will get a band score for each of the above criteria and then a total score for task 2. Here’s an example:

  • Task Response: Band 6
  • Coherence & Cohesion = Band 7
  • Grammar: Band 6
  • Vocabulary: 6

Total Score for IELTS Writing Task 2: 6 + 7 + 6 + 6 = 25/4 = 6.25. This score will be increased to 6.5. To calculate your score, add all scores together and divide by 4.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Band Scores 5, 6, 7 & 8: Differences and Tips

All IELTS Band Scores Explained

Penalty for Under Word Count

Note: The information above is taken from the band score descriptors published by IELTS. To learn about band scores 1-9, please see the public band score descriptors for writing task 2 published by IELTS.

Recommended Pages for IELTS Writing Task 2

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more.

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