Process of assessment by IELTS examiners
Based on my understanding, research, training and interaction with various IELTS authorities during seminars and workshops. IELTS examiners follow a 9 step process when they mark the IELTS scripts of candidates.
They work through all the four criteria of assessment in hteir order given in the IELTS writing Band Descriptions. As per the description, they start their assessment with Task Achievement Task 1 or Task response Task 2. They also keep the length of the script in mind i.e. whether the script is short or it is too long.
For each criterion, they start with the start with the over-arching statement that is given in the IELTS writing band score description that most closely matches the writing features of the script. In other words, they read the response and they try to match the response to the statement that is given in the IELTS writing band description.
For example, an examiner reads the script and then feels that the script matches with the statement that is given at band score 7 in the task achievement. Accordingly the examiner repeats the process for the other three assessment criteria.
Examiners read through more detailed features of performance at that band score and match those detailed descriptors to the candidate. This process is done for all four criteria of assessment.
Examiners confirm that all positive features of language that are described in that specific band descriptors are present in the response of the candidate or not.
After that, the examiners also check the band descriptors below the band score that they have erlier assessed and check that the response of the candidate falls in that range or not.
Examiners also check the band descriptors above the band score that they have earlier assessed and confirm that the response of the candidate happens to be in that range or not.
If required, that they count the number of words and if the word count is less they also note the required penalty for under length writing.
Write the band for all four criteria in the appropriate boxes in the answer sheet. They also ensure that other boxes are also completed.
Other boxes in the writing answer sheet are, under length. If yes how many words and the decided penalty for that count.
For example, If 5.0 bands are deducted for the word range of 140 to 131, 0.5 will be written in the penalty box. If 1 band is deducted for the range of 130 to 121, 1.0 will be written in the penalty box.
“Off-topic” tick the box appropriately, which demonstrates whether the candidate’s response is off topic or not.
Give a band score to both the tasks and give an overall band score to the candidate.
For giving an overall band score, the following table the following table is one the sources that I have found on internet that may be followed by the examiners.
For example, if a candidate gets a band 6.5 in Task 2 and 5.5 in Task 1, he will get an overall band score of 6.5 in writing. Likewise if a student scores 7 bands in task 1 and 6 bands in task 2, he will get an overall band score of 6.0 in writing.