NOTE: This topic is for IELTS Academic Training test ONLY. If you are taking the IELTS General training test then skip this lesson.

Several IELTS candidates fail to do well in the writing section of IELTS despite having good English vocabulary and grammar. They take the IELTS exam again and again and again and spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on books, CD’s and IELTS coaching classes only to be frustrated by low band scores and still aren't able to figure out why they can't progress beyond Band 6. So as promised, today I will share a secret with you that will help you sky rocket your IELTS Writing Band score by the end of this lesson. and will give you an unfair advantage over other candidates..

Are you ready for it?

The secret lies in the Band Score Descriptors…


If you have never heard of them before then download and go through the band score descriptors for IELTS Writing Task 1 below:

IELTS Writing Band Descriptors Task 1 by IELTS Online Practice


This is the document that IELTS examiners use to mark your writing task and assign a band score to it. In order to score a high band score you will need to demonstrate the skills that your examiners are looking for in this document.


NOTE: If you don't understand all the information in this chapter, don't worry too much. We will revisit every single one of them in a lot more details in the remaining topics for IELTS Academic Task 1.


Let me spare you the boredom of going through that document and highlight the 3 main things to watch out for to get a band 7 or more:

Identify Key Features

This refers to the core idea being described in the figure.

  1. If you confuse key features with details in the figure then you cannot score above Band 4.
  2. If the key features highlighted by you are inadequate or you have focused more on the detail then you cannot score above Band 5.
  3. If you highlight all key features accurately but the details are irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurate then you cannot score above Band 6.



This is the summary at the end of your report.

  1. If you do not write an overview, you cannot score above Band 5.
  2. If your overview does not have appropriately selected information, you cannot score above Band 6.


Appropriate format

If you use inappropriate format in the letter such as using bullet points or short notes then you will not score above Band 5.


In other words, if you want to score Band 7+, you need to consistently, accurately and appropriately demonstrate the use of all 3 points highlighted above.

With regular practice you will be able to do this well. Combine this with logically presenting your ideas in paragraphs and demonstrating a range of grammatical structures and vocabulary and you will soon be close to getting a Band 9 in Writing.

Share These Writing Tips With Your Friends


You survived another day!! .. Go ahead and mark this lesson as complete chief..

Relax, recharge and come back refreshed for the net topic :)

Have questions or comments about this lesson or any other lesson add a comment below.

  1. Jagdeep 7 years ago

    Hello Atul,
    How do I download the Band Descriptors?
    The provided link keep taking me to scribd.
    Is there any other method to get these docs.

  2. Linsa Lee 6 years ago

    wao!! I love this page!! So useful then

    • Author
      IELTS Online Practice 6 years ago

      Hi Linsa,

      Glad you liked it. Let us know what you are struggling with in your IELTS preparation.

  3. Babak Khodadust 6 years ago

    It was realy beneficial

  4. Nangski 6 years ago

    I love this page, its so helpful

  5. Tochukwu 6 years ago


    • Author
      IELTS Online Practice 6 years ago

      Dear Tochikwu,

      Glad you found it useful. Let me know if you need any more help with your IELTS prep.


  6. beatrice 4 years ago


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