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  • Scoring Patterns for IELTS Examination

    Scoring Patterns for IELTS Examination
    Tuesday, November 24, 2015

    Before appearing for IELTS examination, the candidate should know the scoring patterns of the test. Knowing the scoring patterns for the test will enable the candidates to prepare themselves better for optimum performance in the test. A rigorous and quality assured method is adopted for marking this test. Trained examiners holding relevant qualifications carry out the markings. Each candidate receives a score from 1 to 9 on the Band Scale. The test consists of four skills i.e. Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, the individual score of each sub test consisting of the four skills is divided by 4 to give the Overall Band Score. This score is reported in the nearest half or whole band; for example, if a candidate receives a score of 6.25 it will be rounded off to 6.50 and similarly if the candidate receives a score of 5.75 it will be rounded to 6.

    The Reading and Listening test consists of 40 items, correct answers for each item is awarded with one mark, the total number of marks scored in each test is known as raw score, a maximum of 40 marks can be scored by a candidate. Band Scores ranging from 1 to 9 are awarded to candidates based on their raw score. For Writing and Speaking, the sub tests marks are awarded by examiners using performance descriptors which describe the spoken and written performance at each band that ranges from 1 to 9. Band Scores for Writing and Speaking are awarded based on four criteria like achievement of task for task 1, response to the task for task 2, cohesion and coherence, accuracy, grammatical range and lexical resource. Equal importance is given to these four criteria. For the Speaking test marks are awarded for Coherence and Fluency, Pronunciation, Lexical Resource and Grammatical Accuracy and Range. Similar to the Writing and Speaking tests, equal importance is given to these four criteria.

    While appearing for IELTS examination, the candidate should follow some basic and simple steps to perform well and get a good score. In the Listening test, the candidates should familiarize themselves with the speakers, the situation and the sound. Candidates should keep listening to the recording until it stops and only pay attention to the questions that are relevant to the parts that are being played. Listening questions must be answered in the same sequence as they appear in the question paper. Candidates can check their spelling and grammar as they will have a little time while transferring their answers onto the answer sheet when the recording comes to an end. For those attempting Academic Reading, the candidate should quickly go through every passage and then try to find out feature like topic, its source, its style and the writers intent. The candidate need not spend time trying to understand the meaning of every phrase or word as they don’t have the time and moreover all parts of the text may not be tested. Sometimes, the reading tasks may offer an answer as an example; in such cases the candidate should try to conclude as to why the answer is correct. Some tasks may require the usage of words from the text in the answer or in other cases the candidates should use their own words, in some cases there may be word limits, it is important to read the instructions carefully. The suggested timing should be adhered to as sometimes it may be possible to score more marks in Task 2 than in Task 1. Sentences and ideas should be linked and organized appropriately; a wide range of language must be used displaying one’s ability (in Task 2) in expressing opinions and discussing ideas. Rather than giving simple answers like Yes or No the candidate should try to give a more detailed answer. The IELTS examination is not for testing the candidate’s general knowledge but to test the communication skills of the candidate.  

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