IELTS Study Tips and Skills

 

Comments

Thank you Kirk .
I will surely look at that writing.
Best wishes,
Livon
 

Hi Teachers,
Please clarify.
may produce occasional errors in word choice, spelling and/or word formation.
Occasional ?how many ?
 
produces rare errors in spelling and/or word formation.
Rare?how many?
 
uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips'
Could you please tell me what is rare minor errors occur as slips?
Best wishes,
Livon

Hi Livon,

The IELTS band descriptors are general guidelines that are applied to specific pieces of candidates' writing by IELTS-certified examiners, therefore I'm afraid we really can't be any more specific than we already have. You might be able to get more information at TakeIELTS or the ESOL Nexus, but I can't speak for them.

There are many kinds of slips, but one example is writing "their" instead of "there" or vice versa. In any case, I would recommend that you focus on improving your writing as much as you can rather than getting too involved in interpreting the IELTS bands. Certainly you should know what kinds of things the examiners look for, but the most important thing is to produce the best writing that you can.

Best wishes,

Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk,
Thank you for your reply.
My main query is can you make any guess how many mistakes we can consider as occasional and rare.
In other words,occasional=4 or 5 , and rare =2 or 3 .
Please clarify this query if possible.
Best wishes,
Livon

Hi Livon,

I'm afraid I don't have this information - asking someone more closely affiliated with the IELTS is probably your best bet for finding that out.

Best wishes,

Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

To be honest, I  had already tried out that, but I did not get any reply. It was a ds appointing moment. 
The problem is when you ask the explanation of band descriptors which is confusing the candidates, you do not get a correct and to the point answer because I think the organization may not interested in disclosing the realty of the descriptors publicly. If explains the descriptors in a plain and descriptive way,the candidates will achieve higher marks.To hinder this accomplishment,the organization could keep the candidates wondering.
In realty,listening = band 7 means 30 correct answers.
General  Reading  = band 7 means 34 correct answers.
whereas in writing and speaking , confused band descriptors . 
what do you say about it?
I am talking facts here so please do not agitate.
Best wishes,
Livon
 
 
 

Hello Livon,

I think you're rather misunderstanding the nature of the descriptors for a productive skills test (i.e. speaking and writing), to be honest.  Speaking and writing cannot be reduced to the number of errors made, for a number of reasons.  If a person is trying to use complex language and express themselves in imaginative and interesting ways then they will make more mistakes; should they be given a worse mark than someone who makes fewer mistakes but uses simple and unambitious language?  Other aspects, such as fluency and style, can only be marked by impression.  In other words, these skills are inevitably subjectively marked, to a degree.  Assessors are standardised and trained, and descriptors are provided as a frame of reference, but the assessment is a judgement, not the mathematical scoring that you seem to be looking for.  That is simply the nature of these skills, I'm afraid.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter, 
Your point is understood that if candidates use complex language,they will achieve more marks than those using simple language.
However, on TAKE IELTS website ,it is clearly stated spelling,word formation and grammatical errors will reduced candidates' score.http://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/prepare-your-test/test-day-advice/wr...
So it was requested that how many mistakes they count as occasional and rare.
In other words,occasional errors =4 errors and rare errors =2 errors. I am correct or not.
IELTS DESCRIPTORS STATE Band 8 make occasional errors and Band 9 makes rare errors.
So the question is clear enough for the IELTS organisation. If it desires to keep candidates wondering,nothing is required to say about the association as actions speak louder than words.
 
I think the query based on IELTS Descriptors is clearly a factual one .
A clear answer to the query is desired.
Please clarify it if possible.
Best wishes,
Livon

Hello Livon,

I think the question has already been answered in a very clear way, even if the answer is not the one you would like.  The marking system does not work as you think it should and, while you are entitled to your opinion, there are very good reasons why it does not and should not work on a 'counting errors' basis.

Once again, just to be absolutely clear: the descriptors are there as a guide, not to indicate acceptable fixed numbers of errors irrespective of the nature of those errors, and the examiners assess the overall quality of the answer in accordance with those descriptors.  This is appropriate and sensible and in line with best practice as indicated by assessment research and theory across a wide range of disciplines; the kind of system you are is suggesting would be neither fair nor effective in measuring candidates' language ability.

We here at LearnEnglish are not in any way a part of IELTS, and we do not set the marking standards or implement them.  Therefore I do not see any purpose in continuing this discussion; please contact IELTS directly if you wish to pursue it further.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

The response of the IELTS organization is this " FOR SECURITY REASONS WE CANNOT COMMENT ON IELTS BAND DESCRIPTORS".
when the organization cannot explain candidates' queries regarding the IELTS band descriptors then why do we need these. 
Best wishes,
Livon
 

Pages