Home » The Band descriptors (Band 5.0 to Band 9.0)

The Band descriptors (Band 5.0 to Band 9.0)

This is the marking guide that the examiner will use when assessing your written work in Task 2. Remember that in this course there are model and sample answers that use this grid, so it’s a useful reference guide for your preparation.

and coherence
range and accuracy
9 fully answer all parts of the task

presents a fully developed position with relevant, fully extended and well supported ideas

uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention

skilfully manages paragraphing

uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control; only rare minor errors occur uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; only rare minor errors occur
8 sufficiently answers all parts of the task presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported
sequences information and ideas logically manages all aspects of cohesion well uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately


uses a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly to convey precise meanings

skilfully uses uncommon lexical items but there may be occasional inaccuracies in word choice

produces rare errors in spelling and/or word formation

uses a wide range of structures

the majority of sentences are error-free

makes only very occasional errors

7 answers all parts of the task

presents a clear position throughout the response

presents, extends and supports main ideas, but there may be a tendency to overgeneralise and/or supporting ideas may lack focus

logically organises information and ideas;

there is clear progression throughout

uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately although there may be some under-/over-use presents a clear central topic within each paragraph

uses a sufficient range of vocabulary
to allow some flexibility and precisionuses less common lexical items with
some awareness of style and collocationmay produce occasional errors in  word choice, spelling and/or word
uses a variety of complex structures

produces frequent error-free sentences

has good control of grammar and

but may make a few errors


6 addresses all parts of the task although some parts may
be more fully covered than otherspresents a relevant position although the conclusions
may become unclear or repetitivepresents relevant main ideas but some may be
inadequately developed/unclear
arranges information and ideas coherently and there is a
clear overall progressionuses cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and/or between sentences may be faulty or mechanicalmay not always use referencing clearly or appropriatelyuses paragraphing, but not always logically
uses an adequate range of vocabulary
for the task attempts to use less common vocabulary but with some inaccuracymakes some errors in spelling and/or word formation, but they do not impede communication
uses a mix of simple and complex sentence
formsmakes some errors in grammar and punctuation but they rarely reduce communication
5 addresses the task only partially; the format may be inappropriate in places

expresses a position but the development is not always clear and there may be no conclusions drawn

presents some main ideas but
these are limited and not sufficiently developed; there may be irrelevant detail


presents information with some organisation but there may be a lack of overall progression use of cohesive devices may be repetitive because of lack of referencing and substitution

may not write in paragraphs, or paragraphing may be inadequate

makes inadequate or inaccurate points

over-uses a limited range of vocabulary, but this is minimally adequate for the task

may make noticeable errors in spelling and/or word formation that
may cause some difficulty for the reader


uses only a limited range of structures

attempts complex sentences but these

tend to be less accurate than simple sentences

may make frequent grammatical errors and punctuation may be faulty; errors can
cause some difficulty for the reader