The differences in error rate and type between IELTS writing bands and their impact on academic workload

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    Abstract

    This paper attempts to demonstrate the differences in writing between International English Language Testing System (IELTS) bands 6.0, 6.5 and 7.0. An analysis of exemplars provided from the IELTS test makers reveals that IELTS 6.0, 6.5 and 7.0 writers can make a minimum of 206 errors, 96 errors and 35 errors per 1000 words. The following section explores the differences in error patterns between IELTS 6.0, 6.5 and 7.0 writers and a proposition is made that the IELTS 7.0 writer shows some convergence of error types found among native English writers. In regard to workload issues, the paper discusses the impact of errors as a distraction which affects reading time and gives an indication of the amount of extra workload that may be required to assess IELTS 6.0, 6.5 and 7.0 writing. The paper concludes with remarks about entrance requirements for tertiary study and suggests that it may be simpler to raise entry standards than attempt to remediate the writing of students with low IELTS scores.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1207-1219
    Number of pages13
    JournalHigher Education Research and Development (HERDSA)
    Volume34
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2015

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