Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

How can you go from a 6 to an 8 in IELTS Grammar scores?

Recently, an audience member in our Facebook Live broadcast (12pm PST, every Thursday), asked this question:

I am stuck at a 6.5 in Writing and Speaking, even though my Reading score is a 9. My mistakes are simple grammar mistakes, such as missing an ‘a’ or an ‘s’ for plurals.

What should I do?

This is obviously a high-level student, and we don’t think she’s stuck at a 6.5 due to only grammar.

It could also be an issue of Fluency/Coherence, Vocabulary or Pronunciation, as far as Speaking goes.

It is a detriment to your studies to focus too much on grammar, as that is not the most efficient way to raise your scores.

Sure, working on grammar exercises is easy, and a certain amount of grammar is useful, but working on the other scoring categories is smarter.


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What are the IELTS Grammar scores based on?

  • Band score 6variety of structures (compound, complex and simple), but there are still a lot of mistakes, especially in more complicated structures
  • Band score 7variety of structures, and a lot of the sentences are perfect (there are still a few different mistakes, like articles, plurals and verb tense, for instance)
  • Band score 8wider variety of structures, mostly perfect sentences, but there are still some mistakes (these mistakes are all of the same type, like all plural mistakes, for instance)

Moving up by a whole band point in Grammar usually takes about a year, so focus on the other categories if you only have a month or two before your IELTS Exam.

Knowing the test itself is vital. Like in Speaking, the three parts are very different, and require you to do certain things in each section.

What band score do you need in IELTS Speaking and Writing?

Share your goals in the comments section below!


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