How to Crack IELTS Exam?

The IELTS examination is an English expertise test which is held to make sure your capability to settle in an English speaking nation. If you would like to work or study abroad, this test is important. The most important reason behind this assessment is to ensure that you are capable enough to perceive the lectures conducted in English. Some amount of dedication and patience is essential for the preparation of this exam. Nevertheless, if you are under stress for time, you clearly need to work out and prepare in an elegant manner. This is the exam that can actually be cracked if prepared smartly.

Your IELTS preparation must be in-depth for achieving a decent score. The following steps are going to answer “How to Crack IELTS”

Understand the Structure

Examination Structure must be understood thoroughly by you in order to know how to crack IELTS exam. It has 4 modules that include listening, reading, writing and speaking. Once you are familiar with the techniques, you will solve the questions more confidently when you appear IELTS exam.

Marking parameters in Writing

Calculation of IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 scores is done by using 4 criteria:

1) Task Achievement (TA)
2) Coherence and Cohesion (CC)
3) Lexical Resource (LR)
4) Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA)

Each assessment criteria is explained, in detail, at every band level

Task Achievement (TA) – How precisely you answer the question.

How to get high score in TA:

  • Provide your ideas accurately
  • All parts of the task should be answered
  • Present a clear summary (overview)
  • Highlight your essay with statistical data, facts and pieces of evidence (Academic Task 1)
  • Focus on creating a definite and clear opinion (Task 2 and General Task 1)

Coherence and Cohesion (CC) – How effectively are your sentences structured.

How to get high score in CC:

  • Direct paragraphing
  • Each paragraph must consist of a central idea
  • Use linking words and cohesive devices ( firstly, in my opinion, to begin with, to sum up, thus, etc)

Lexical Resource (LR) – How impressive is your vocabulary.

How to get high score in LR:

  • Vast range of vocabulary should be used
  • Use less familiar lexical items
  • Avoid errors in spelling and word generation

Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA) – How accurate is your grammar.

How to get high score in GRA:

  • Use an array of grammatical structure and tenses
  • Lead punctuation
  • Error-free sentences

IELTS Writing score calculation

Each of these four criteria receives a score from 0 to 9 points. Then a mathematic mean is evaluated to determine the total score of task. IELTS writing section is diverted into two different assessments; IELTS Academic writing and IELTS General writing.

For example, if task 1 score following marks:

  • Task Achievement : 6.5,
  • Coherence and Cohesion : 7.0,
  • Lexical Resource : 7.5,
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: 7.0.

Total score for IELTS Task 1 is (6.5 + 7.0 + 7.5 + 7.0) /4 = 7.0.

IELTS Writing total score

Writing Task 2 weights two times more than writing Task 1.

That mean if marks achieved 6.5 for Task 1 and 8.0 for Task 2, total score for IELTS Writing Section will be 8.0*(2/3) + 6.5*(1/3) = 7.5.

IELTS TASK 1 writing band descriptors


Task Task Achievement

Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range and Accuracy


Addressed all sections of the questions. A structured approach to answer, relevance to the Application of cohesion in an unnoticeable manner. Appropriate paragraphing. Use of a wide range of vocabulary. Ensuring minor errors and control of lexical features. Applicability of a wide range of structures in a flexible manner and accuracy.


Adequately handles all aspects of the assignment and provides a well-developed solution to the topic with relevant, expanded, and supported thoughts facts and ideas in a logical order correctly controls all areas of cohesiveness and makes enough and suitable use of paragraphing Employs a diverse vocabulary to express exact concepts smoothly and flexibly Uses unusual lexical words deftly; however there may be some faults in word choice and collocation causes infrequent spelling and/or word construction issues. Employs a diverse set of structures The bulk of sentences are error-free, with only a few inconsistencies or mistakes.


All aspects of the work are addressed and a clear perspective is presented throughout the answer introduces, expands, and supports major concepts; yet, there may be a propensity to generalise, and/or supporting ideas may be lacking in concentration. Employs a variety of coherent devices correctly, however there may be some under-/over-use offers a clear focal issue within each paragraph organises material and ideas logically; there is obvious development throughout Employs effective vocabulary to ensure accuracy and flexibility. Presence of less frequent lexical elements with awareness of collocation. Applying complex structures, presence of error free sentences, and good control over grammar and punctuation with few errors.


Properly addressed all sections of the task with some being minorly addressed. Presence of a repetitive conclusion. Portrayal of ideas in an unclear or inadequate manner. Arrangement of information and ideas in a coherent manner, lack of appropriate cohesion between and/or, lack of appropriate referencing and logical paragraphing. Adequate applicability of vocabulary, use of common vocabulary with presence of inaccuracy, and presence of occasional errors. Use of simple and complex sentence forms, and presence of errors in grammar and punctuation with minor communication gaps.

Marking parameters in Speaking

Firstly, it is very important to know how you are going to be assessed in your IELTS Speaking Test Another key thing to remember is the test format.

An in-depth understanding of these will be your win of half of the battle, as it will provide you with a precise idea of what to prepare for, how to prepare, and understand the areas you are supposed to give more time to while practicing for the test.

Calculation of IELTS speaking scores is done by using 4 criteria:

1) Fluency & coherence (FC)

2) Lexical resource LR)

3) Grammatical range and accuracy (GRA)

4) Pronunciation (P)

Each assessment criteria is explained, in detail, at every band level

Fluency & coherence (FC) – How consistent and logical you are

How to get high score in (FC):

  • Potential to continuously talking about the topic  having self-correction, repetition or too much hesitation
  • To grasp the topic and create logical ideas related to it, progressing your points
  • Usage of a range of linking words and other strategies used for promoting your ideas
  • We should do self-correction but limited in frequency
  • Hesitation can be accepted related (searching for ideas) but language-related hesitation must be diminished
  • Evading the repetition of definite phrases or words, Often used as ‘fillers’ for fluency e.g. like, you know, etc.

Lexical Resource (LR) – How diverse vocabulary & phrases do you have

How to get high score in (LR):

  • Natural and significant use of uncommon vocabulary in context
  • Aptness to rescript using a range of words and expressions to avoid repetition
  • Precise use of phrasal verbs, representative language and idiomatic expressions
  • Accurate use of collocation
  • Right word choice for the right connotation

Grammatical range and accuracy (GRA) – How accurately the variety of grammatical structures you can provide

How to get high score in (GRA):

  • Use of a balanced combination of simple, compound and complex sentences
  • Use of modals for different structure
  • Use of relative and subordinating clause
  • Use of superlative and comparative adjectives
  • Use of a range of tenses including future, perfect and narratives
  • Use of connectors to link two or more ideas
  • Use of active and passive voice appropriately

Pronunciation (P) – How natural you sound using stresses

How to get high score in (P):

  • Stress – at word and sentence level
  • Strong and weak sound in sentences
  • Chunking – a combination of stress and pause for emphasis
  • Correct individual sounds (phonemes)
  • Contractions and connecting sounds for fluency
  • Intonation – to deliver the right emotion

Each has a contribution of 25% to your total IELTS speaking score.

Your bands will be calculated 0-9 in full and halves. E.g. 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8…. This is calculated as an average of your score in all four assessment criteria, to the nearest score.





Total Speaking Score






*Your speaking score will be 7 as 6.85 is full or half, and it is more than 6.5.

Marking parameters in Reading

Firstly, Reading patterns need to be understood for both General Training and Academic as both are quite different from each other.

Though, Both type of tests contain same type of questions that is Fill in the Blanks, T/F/NG, MCQs, Questions/Answers, Match the columns, List of headings, Sentence completion etc. One score is marked against one correct answer.

Usually 3 passages are given in reading-ACADEMIC from professional and academic journals, magazines, documentaries, newspapers, textbooks etc.

Whereas those of reading-GENERAL TRAINING contains 3 section, first two are segregated into two parts and the topics are generally based on notices, magazines, advertisements, employee manuals or guidebooks etc.

You are recommended to transfer reading answers synchronously because extra time won’t be allotted for transferring the answers unlikely the listening test.

Later, after checking the reading answers for the reading modules raw scores are generated, and then, these are matched with the IELTS bands ranging from 0 to 9. Determined slabs are marked for the raw scores corresponding to the IELTS Bands provided both IELTS-Academic reading and General Training Varies from one another.

Reading Bands Calculators are attached along with

Marking parameters in Listening

Student’s ability is evaluated to comprehend basic instructions or the academic materials. Main focus is for using assessment of listening skills for enhancing learners’ proficiency to listen for basic relational, informative and academic purposes. We need to develop a number of sub-skills in everyday classroom transaction.

Some of the sub-skills of listening to are given below that need to be assessed for the Internal Assessment component of Listening:

1) Listening for Specific Information

2) Listening for General Understanding

3) Predictive Listening

4) Inferential Listening

5) Listening for Pleasure

6) Intensive Listening

7) Evaluative Listening

Hence, the assessment items that are being prepared by subject teachers must assess the above. The basic purpose was to assess the listening and interpretation skills of the grade 10 students. The learners are expected to decipher and interpret the meaning conveyed in the audio. The examiner judges the listening abilities of the student on the basis of his comprehension and views that he presents before the examiner.

Listening Bands Calculator is attached along with.

Band descriptor for the listening test (Academic & General)

Band descriptor for the listening test (Academic & General)


An IELTS mock test is exactly similar to an actual IELTS test. It has the same difficulty, timing, marking, and structure as the IELTS test. Full-length IELTS mock tests are taken by the most IELTS candidates before sitting the real exam as a useful tool in their preparation. An essential step in your journey is to take IELTS mock tests. Reproducing test-like conditions helps improve your stamina, pacing, and understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. IELTS mock tests are marked by certified IELTS examiners and scores are generally returned much faster than the IELTS test. So, many mock tests can be taken in a short period and monitor your progress before your IELTS tests.

Time management and accuracy

The most critical issue is Time management on the IELTS test. Your time management skills can be practised and improved on IELTS mock tests. This means you are putting the time that is given for a section or task into good use. You can also learn how to be fast enough to answer all the questions on time without making mistakes.

While, keep one thing in mind if right answers are not provided, speed will not get you a good score. Therefore you are bound to practice your accuracy on test and taking mock tests is one of the most effective ways to improve this skill.

The more practice you do the more help you get to monitor your own time without looking at the clock too frequently.

you’ll get a strong sense of the IELTS time limits with enough practice, so probably your time and accuracy can be managed effectively.

– Written by Shipra Singh (DEC)

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