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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > IELTS Marking scheme    

IELTS Marking scheme


IELTS Marking scheme
OK, lets get to a linguistic, teaching type question.
I help adults prepare for IELTS and whilst I have the general marking scheme for the examination there is one point which if anyone can help me, I would be extremely grateful.
Grammatical and spelling mistakes obviously bring marks down for an essay, but are the marks deducted for the number of mistakes or the different mistakes.  Let me demonstrate what I mean.
Last week a student was writing about the disposal of vegetables (donīt ask me why - it was part of the essay!!)  Anyway instead of writing vegetables he wrote vegetarian and the essay contained lots of references to peeling vegetarians, how vegetarians are good for you, and how they should be thrown out when they are rotten.
Now I donīt know how you feel about vegetarians, but it was quite a funny essay in view of this mistake.
My question is, however, how would this be viewed by an IELTS examiner?  Would he lose say 1 mark for wrong use of the word the first time - which is well deserved.  Or would he lose a mark every time he made the same mistake?  In which case he would be minus about 12 points.
The same could be asked of a grammar mistake which is repeated, or spelling error etc.  If anyone can throw some light on this I would really appreciate it.

26 Jan 2009      


I think for international exams, the examiner usually ask for:
Range of vocabulary.
The eximener can pass a number of mistakes the person can make provided that his/her errors donīt interfer with communication but in this case I think it might.
So I think by making that mistake with the words, the examiner would give him/her bad scores on his/her accuracy since he/she didnīt use the vocabulary in the precise way and making sense to the whole esay.
As far as I know. Hug

26 Jan 2009     


Dear Logos

I found a couple of links which you might be interested in.



Cheers from cold Denmark


26 Jan 2009     


For open questions, I have changed my attitude towards marking texts pupils write.
It works like this:    if the whole exercise is worth 20 points.
20%=(10% content and 10% correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and sentence   
Content meaning that he related correctly to the question and gave some examples etc.
Iīm curious to what you think,  because this is the sysem the B. of Ed. uses for National exams in grade 8.

26 Jan 2009     

United States

 I love the "peeling vegetarians..."  It gave me agreat laugh, Thanks.
Unfortumately I have never worked with the IELTS so I canīt help.  I do know that when I taught English composition to natives there was a maximum percentage  of points given (or taken) for punctuation and spelling.  I always evaluated how the errors effected the overall meaning and function of the paper.  Getting the word wrong for the main topic has a pretty big effect on the meaning,
Sorry, I know Iīm not answering your question, Iīll hush now.

26 Jan 2009     


Thanks everyone, but I am afraid the answer is still not clear.  I already have the public marking scheme offered by Trisha and this does not really help.
I agree that if the overall sense of the essay is lost because of the wrong use of vocabulary marks should be deducted, but does this only apply when all the mistakes are different.  This mistake was a big one, and made the whole text a nonsense, but it was only ONE mistake, which repeated itself throughout the essay.  So can anyone else try with a difinitive answer?????

27 Jan 2009     

alien boy

Iīm curious about this one too. It appears to be a single vocab. error thatīs repeated. My natural inclination is to mark it as a single error. I seem to remember something really vague about this & exam marking from an IELTS examiner I knew in Australia. Because itīs a consistent use of the wrong word it justifies making it a single error. if your student had used the correct word sometimes & the incorrect word at other times it would mean that more marks would be lost ( maybe 2...). If I can find any concrete definitions or hear back from my friend in Aus, Iīll let you know. If you hear anything in the meantime, please let me know too!


27 Jan 2009