Prepared by Zilpah D’Souza; Edited by Michael Zimmer on June 2, 2023


Proving your English language proficiency is a key requirement if you are planning to migrate to Canada. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a globally accepted English language proficiency exam approved by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Many government departments use IELTS as part of the application process. The test consists of 4 modules – Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. Among these, the writing test is quite crucial. Continue reading to understand how the “Essay-writing” [Task 2 of the writing session] is assessed.





IELTS Writing – a general overview

The section consists of two tasks that includes a 20-minutes letter writing task with a 150-word word limit and a 40-minute essay writing task with a 250-word word limit. This suggests that Task 2 carries more weightage compared to Task 1. In order to succeed and receive a good grade, test-takers must plan and organize how to complete the tasks at hand in the time allotted.

The writing module demands creative writing and practice. Written language is considered more difficult than spoken language. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how the task is evaluated by the examiners. Read on to get a thorough understanding of the grading and assessment of Task 2 of IELTS’ Writing section.


IELTS Essay Writing – assessment or evaluation criteria

Examiners are qualified professionals who evaluate the answers/responses given for each task. The writing test band, like in the other sections, ranges from 0 (being the lowest score) to 9 (being the highest score). A band is awarded for your IELTS essay writing task, based on four equally weighted components. They are:





Task Response (25%): test taker must create and develop a viewpoint on a provided prompt in the form of a question or a statement using at least 250 words. Ideas ought to be backed up with facts, and candidates may use their personal experiences as examples.

Key assessment points are the manner in which the candidate responds to the task, how well the main ideas are developed and supported, how pertinent the candidate’s ideas are to the task, how adequately the candidate presents the topic, defends their position, and formulates conclusions, and how successfully the response format meets the task.


Coherence and Cohesion (25%): cohesion refers to the extensive and appropriate use of cohesive devices (such as logical connectors, conjunctions, and pronouns) to help clarify the relationships between and within sentences. Coherence refers to the linking of concepts through logical sequencing.

Key assessment points are the logical structuring of facts and ideas, logical sequencing of ideas and information inside and across paragraphs, and the interchangeable use of pronouns and definite articles as references and substitutes.


Use of Lexical Resource (25%): this criterion focuses on the candidate’s vocabulary usage, correctness, and suitability for the given work.

Key assessment points are the vocabulary used, the appropriateness and adequacy of the vocabulary, word choice and expression accuracy, and the use and command of idioms, collocations, and complex phrasing.


Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%): this criterion relates to how well and how broadly the candidate uses their grammatical resources in their writing at the sentence level.

Key assessment points are the range and adequacy of syntax, the consistency of simple, compound, and complicated phrases, the frequency and impact of grammatical errors, and the correct and effective use of punctuation.





As mentioned earlier, the total band score for the writing module is 9, and each of the criteria is weighted at 25% of the total task. Combined with the weightage secured by the candidate in each section of Task 1 [Letter-writing], the total band score for the Writing section is determined.

Contact us for personalized IELTS Training. Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc.

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