Low IELTS Writing Band Score?

by Ammar
(Malaysia)

Why did I get an IELTS band 6 for my writing?



I received my IELTS results today, I got a 7.5 overall band score as follows:

Reading 7.5
Listening 7.5
Speaking 8.5
Writing 6

I'm so puzzled because I did so well in writing, in fact I totally expected it to be the highest mark.

I write a lot and I work in an IT company as a support manager, hence, my line of work always requires me to communicate with strangers on daily basis using formal and clean English!

Is there a specific reason for this? Or do you think I should submit a remark request? Something surely seems off here!

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Feb 12, 2016
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Band 6
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Ammar,

You say you did well in your writing but how do you know? Only an IELTS Examiner or Instructor could really judge that.

I do agree from reading your writing in your post that your English seems quite good.

But is it possible you misinterpreted the question? If you don't fully answer the question it can bring your score down. This would be nothing to do with your writing style or grammar.

Anyway, it is all speculation as we just don't know.

Only you can really decide if you should go for a remark. It's just a gamble really.

Feb 12, 2016
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Thank you
by: Ammar

Thank you very much for your prompt reply and for your much appreciated insight. I was also thinking about the possibility that I was penalized for task response. Maybe I have written less than 250 words or that I have not sufficiently addressed the task topic. I cannot be so sure about that because this is my first IELTS exam ever and I only had 2 weeks to prepare for it.

I think the best that could happen if I go for a remark is a raise of 0.5 for my writing score, which will make my overall score exactly 7.5 therefore I think it's pointless :/

Thank you once again!

Jul 30, 2016
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How to improve ielts
by: Anonymous

I gave ielts twice, I did my best but in my latest result I got higher marks in which I had previously low and vise versa. What should I do next?

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Why did I get band 7 in writing but 9 in the other modules?

by Bobby Chapman

Hi guys, I am a native English speaker, born and raised in the UK. English is my only language. I studied medicine abroad so I was required to take the IELTS with a minimum of 7.5 in each category. I took the test at the beginning of the month and I got:

9-Speaking
9-Reading
9-Listening
7-Writing

I am extremely confused and was wondering if anybody could help me in where I went wrong. I have an A* in both GCSE and A Level English Language so I thought this test would be a breeze but clearly I was wrong. I found the test less about English proficiency but more about IELTS proficiency.

The exam is relatively expensive and so I can't afford to do it a third time. My grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and lexical resource is as good if not better than the average native English speaker yet my band 7 descriptor says 'Good user' and 'inaccuracies and misunderstandings' which has puzzled me.

Any ideas of where a native user may be going so far wrong as to be judged as being non native?

Thanks in advance.

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Apr 20, 2016
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Score discrepancies
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Bobby,

Before taking the exam, did you check exactly what is required for the writing and what you should and should not do?

Some test takers who are a high skill level just go into the test because they think they will be ok and then are surprised when they don't get the score they expected.

Of course if you are very good at English you will likely get a high score, but there are certain things you could do / not do if you did not know about them that would bring your score down.

That is why it is a good idea, whatever level you are, to look through a website such as IELTS buddy and others to check for tips and strategies.

For example, it is important to have an overview in the Task 1 Academic Writing. Did you do that? If not that could have brought your score down.

There are other things like that and you should have a look through the writing lessons and other pages on this site to check before taking the test again.

Also, it is possible that you misunderstood the question for the writing. Again, if you only half answered it for example, that could have brought your score down. That is a common mistake.

If you think none of those things above apply to you and you should have got a higher score you can apply for an Enquiry on Results (remark).

If you do that they will look at your scores again. The problem is that you have to pay a fee that is around the same price as the test and it only gets refunded if your score increases.

Apr 21, 2016
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7 in writing
by: Anonymous

Oh God, how you could get 7 in IELTS writing , I wish I could too :(

May 13, 2016
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IELTS frustrations
by: Anonymous

I just received my test result for my 7th attempt in ielts. L R 8 and S W 6.5. I always got 6.5 in writing whereas in Speaking it is sometimes 7.

I don't know what to do now since it takes me 2 years now and cost me a lot of hard earned money. I tried all online materials but nothing seems to work to improve my writing. Please help...

May 13, 2016
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IELTS frustrations
by: IELTS buddy

Sorry to hear about your problems.

As I've said before, it's quite common to get stuck at 6.5 because to get a band 7 for 'grammatical range and accuracy' you need the majority of sentences to be completely error free.

It's really difficult for most people to be this accurate.

I don't know if you have had a teacher or not but it may be an idea so that you can get your writing checked and establish exactly where you are going wrong.

The only way to iron out grammatical errors is to be told where they are and to keep practicing.

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Why am I getting lower scores in my IELTS writing?

by divya

I got my IELTS results recently.

Reading - 9
Speaking - 7
Listening - 7.5

but Writing - 6.

I am so frustrated. Can you give me some advice, please!

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Apr 10, 2016
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Low IELTS Writing Score
by: IELTS buddy

Hi divya,

Is that the first time you have taken the test?

Have you followed the advice on this website?

Your other scores suggest that you should get higher in writing (unless you have a particular weakness with your writing) so you need to work out why that is.

Have you looked at exactly what is required in a Task 1 and how best to answer essays questions?

For example, not analysing the essay question properly and therefore not answering the question properly could bring your score down quite a bit. Did you practice this before the test?

You need to make sure you know exactly what kinds of things the examiners are looking for in order to award you a good score.

So I suggest you go through this site carefully (for example looking at the writing lessons and model answers for Task 1 and Task 2).

If you have taken the test a few times though and you know what to do but are still getting a 6 then it suggests you maybe have weaknesses with your grammar.

Thanks

Jul 30, 2016
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Ielts is all fraud
by: Anonymous

I am a medical specialist I did ielts twice , my score fell down rather to improve. My score decreased, I have reached a conclusion that this is a drama to collect money from poor countries like us.

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Why did my IELTS writing score go down the second time?

by sora

why did I score writing less than before?

Hi, I got my ielts result recently on Jan 2016 and I got only 5.5 in writing. It was lower than the last time I took the ielts in december 2015 and I got 6 in writing? Why did I score writing less than before? Should I ask for a remark?

Anyway, I got 6 in overall. Is it an acceptable score for applying to Australian and USA universities? (for Bachelor degree). Well, actually I'm a bit disappointed because I did not score high in ielts. There people told me that if I need to apply to study abroad at least I should score 6.5 to be qualified. So, isn't 6 not good enough?

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Feb 15, 2016
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Score going down
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Sora,

It's quite possible to get a lower score in any part of the IELTS. You will have got a lower score because your essay the second time was not as good as your essay the first time. There could be many reasons for this but nobody can know why without seeing your essays.

Nobody can really say whether a remark will get you a higher score. It is possible, but as I said it may be that your essay was not as good the second time.

Regarding the score needed to go to Australia, you should check the requirements of the universities you wish to apply to. I'm not aware if there is a minimum of 6.5 for all Australian universities.

Feb 22, 2016
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i had exactly the same
by: adam

it is depends on how did you write the second time, sometimes the subject to write or the graph was more complicated or in other words more difficult, so it's like any other exam, so don't expect to get higher score every time you have the test, it is not like when you go to the gym you lose weight or you gain muscle every time.

Oct 21, 2016
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Writing 6 bands
by: Anonymous

I followed this site during both the IELTS attempts. Firstly I got 6.5 and in the hope of getting 7 I took test again and got 6 this time. Although the tasks were easy and i rechecked my work. I am so sad. What to do???

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