IELTS Speaking band descriptors (public version)

Band Fluency and Coherence Lexical Resource Grammatical Range and Accuracy Pronounciation
9 - speaks fluently with only rare repetition or self correction; any hesitation is content- related rather than to find words or grammar
speaks coherently with fully appropriate cohesive features
- develops topics fully and appropriately
- uses vocabulary with full flexibility and precision in all topics
-uses idiomatic language naturally and accurately
- uses a full range of structures naturally and appropriately
- produces consistently accurate structures apart from ‘slips’ characteristic of native speaker speech
- uses a full range of pronunciation features with precision and subtlety
- sustains flexible use of features throughout
- is effortless to understand
8 - speaks fluently with only occasional repetition or selfcorrection; hesitation is usually content-related and only rarely to search for language
-develops topics coherently and appropriately
- uses a wide vocabulary resource readily and flexibly to convey precise meaning
- uses less common and idiomatic vocabulary skilfully, with occasional inaccuracies
- uses paraphrase effectively as required
- uses a wide range of structures flexibly
- produces a majority of error-free sentences with only very occasional inappropriacies or basic/non-systematic errors
- uses a wide range of pronunciation features
- sustains flexible use of features, with only occasional lapses
- is easy to understand throughout; L1 accent has minimal effect on intelligibility
7 - speaks at length without noticeable effort or loss of coherence
- may demonstrate languagerelated hesitation at times, or some repetition and/or selfcorrection
- uses a range of connectives and discourse markers with some flexibility
speaks coherently with fully appropriate cohesive features
- develops topics fully and appropriately
- uses vocabulary resource flexibly to discuss a variety of topics
- uses some less common and idiomatic vocabulary and shows some awareness of style and collocation, with some inappropriate choices
- uses paraphrase effectively
- uses a range of complex structures with some flexibility
- frequently produces error-free sentences, though some grammatical mistakes persist
- shows all the positive features of Band 6 and some, but not all, of the positive features of Band 8
6 - is willing to speak at length, though may lose coherence at times due to occasional repetition, self-correction or hesitation
- uses a range of connectives and discourse markers but not always appropriately
- has a wide enough vocabulary to discuss topics at length and make meaning clear in spite of inappropriacies
- generally paraphrases successfully
- uses a mix of simple and complex structures, but with limited flexibility
- may make frequent mistakes with complex structures, though these rarely cause comprehension problems
- uses a range of pronunciation features with mixed control
- shows some effective use of features but this is not sustained
- can generally be understood throughout, though mispronunciation of individual words or sounds reduces clarity at times
5 - usually maintains flow of speech but uses repetition, self-correction and/or slow speech to keep going
- may over-use certain connectives and discourse markers
- produces simple speech fluently, but more complex communication causes fluency problems
- manages to talk about familiar and unfamiliar topics but uses vocabulary with limited flexibility
- attempts to use paraphrase but with mixed success
- produces basic sentence forms with reasonable accuracy
- uses a limited range of more complex structures, but these usually contain errors and may cause some comprehension problems
- shows all the positive features of Band 4 and some, but not all, of the positive features of Band 6
4 - cannot respond without noticeable pauses and may speak slowly, with frequent repetition and self-correction
- links basic sentences but with repetitious use of simple connectives and some breakdowns in coherence
- is able to talk about familiar topics but can only convey basic meaning on unfamiliar topics and makes frequent errors in word choice
- rarely attempts paraphrase
- produces basic sentence forms and some correct simple sentences but subordinate structures are rare
- errors are frequent and may lead to misunderstanding
- uses a limited range of pronunciation features
- attempts to control features but lapses are frequent
- mispronunciations are frequent and cause some difficulty for the listener
3 - speaks with long pauses
- has limited ability to link simple sentences
- gives only simple responses and is frequently unable to convey basic message
- uses simple vocabulary to convey personal information
- has insufficient vocabulary for less familiar topics
- attempts basic sentence forms but with limited success, or relies on apparently memorised utterances
- makes numerous errors except in memorised expressions
- shows some of the features of Band 2 and some, but not all, of the positive features of Band 4
2 - pauses lengthily before most words
- little communication possible
- only produces isolated words or memorised utterances - cannot produce basic sentence forms - speech is often unintelligible
1 -no communication possible
- no rateable language
0 - does not attend