Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Why does IELTS not provide you with individual criteria scores?

Listen today for our theories.

We’ll also share a detailed breakdown of the IELTS Writing scoring system.

This way you’ll know exactly what the Examiner is looking for.

Send us your IELTS questions at

What is the process?

Examiners show up on test day.

They give you the Speaking interview.

Immediately after the Speaking test, they grade your performance.

They might then stay at the test center to grade essays.

Often they do this on a different day or from home.

Examiners never answer students’ questions.

Theory #1

IELTS center administrators answer any questions students have.

These administrators are not Examiners.

Therefore, they don’t have any information about scores and how they’re determined.

This is likely intentional, as it would take much more staff time and resources to answer questions about individual exams.

This could be why individual scores aren’t provided, as it would cause more red tape for IELTS.

Students who wanted a remark and had questions about individual scores wouldn’t be able to get an answer.

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Theory #2

This theory is more cynical.

We hope it’s not true!

However, IELTS is a business.

If they provide you with more details about your score, it would be easier for you to get 7 or higher.

When students get their individual scores, they know what to focus on.

They know exactly what they’re doing wrong.

You are more likely to have to take the exam again and again if you never receive individual scores.

You can’t improve your essays if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.

How can you get your individual scores?

When we give feedback to our students, we provide individual scores.


  • Task Response
  • Cohesion/Coherence
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar


  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Pronunciation
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar

We also give a detailed explanation about why you received those scores.

Additionally, we can share what you need to do to improve those scores.

These sessions are provided 1-on-1 over Skype, or we can provide email essay feedback.

If you are interested, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS today!

#1: Task Response score

Task 1 academic

  • Most important numbers included
  • Explanation of why they are important
  • A clear overall trend

Task 1 general

  • Appropriate, consistent tone (formal/informal/semi-formal)
  • All bullets addressed with details

Task 2 essay

  • Specific ideas that are linked to each other
  • Reasons that are expanded on
  • Each sentence must give new and necessary information and build on the sentence before it
  • Show your opinion throughout the essay

What makes the Task Response score difficult?

The Task Response score is the easiest thing to improve quickly if you have the information you need.

It is difficult because you need ideas and organization.

Once you’re clear on what is expected, it’s all about using strategies to get your ideas across.

We shared more details about the Task Response score and mistakes that keep it at a 5 in episode 888.

#2: Cohesion/Coherence score

Some information about the scoring system is not made public.

For example, you don’t need paragraphs until band 8.

However, it makes it difficult for an Examiner to read your essay.

Therefore, we recommend you always use paragraphs!

  • Linking words and phrases

You must use a variety of high level transitions.

They must be appropriate and make sense in context.

We often see students use these incorrectly.

This is where template sentences help!

  • Your ideas must make sense

Transitions and all other ideas must be cohesive.

#3: Vocabulary

Use interesting, idiomatic and academic language.

Don’t take risks.

If you make more than a few mistakes, you can’t get higher than a 6.

You need to use high level vocabulary, but you must have practiced using it in advance.

You must be certain you’re using it correctly.

#4: Grammar

There are thousands of grammar rules to learn.

Narrow your focus!

What you need:

It can take over a year to improve your grammar enough to raise your score a whole band.

If you have 1-2 months to study for IELTS, your focus should instead be on raising the other 3 scores.


Understanding the scoring system is necessary in order to get a 7 or higher on IELTS.

Unfortunately, IELTS doesn’t provide you with individual scores.

You can, however, get these scores in a 3 Keys IELTS personal coach Writing or Speaking class.

It’s vital that you know your individual scores so you know where you must focus to improve.

To take a personal coach class with one of us, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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