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Coherence and Cohesion in IELTS for Writing Task 2.

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15 Feb 2018

IELTS has given 25% of its weight-age to Coherence and Cohesion. They are given highest weight age out of all the resources. Often this is the only reason why people seem to score low marks in the writing and speaking test. Coherence and Cohesion aren’t taken seriously by the candidates. It is one of the main reasons why candidates score a low band in writing and speaking task.  the IELTS test takers of focusing only on the lexical resources alone.

The IELTS test takers focus on correcting the lexical resources alone. What they miss out most is the coherence in their writing and speaking module. Before we understand anything else, let’s understand what exactly we mean by coherence and cohesion.

What is Coherence?

Definition of coherence: the quality of being logical and consistent. 

Coherence is when your sentences are logical throughout the essay and speech. There should also be a consistent flow of your writing and speech.

What is Cohesion?

Definition: the action or fact of forming a united whole.

Cohesion is how you present your topic as a whole, with all the grammar correct. Let your writing and speech be focused and not vague.

Why do you need to be coherent for IELTS?

IELTS exams writing and speaking test you on coherence along with other criteria. Therefore, when you write your task test in IELTS you should familiarize yourself. All the ideas you pen down in your essay should be linked with each other. That’s when you will have consistency in your speech.

How is your Band score affected by Coherence and Cohesion?

This happens  because often candidates take Coherence and Cohesion lightly and then score low band. Let’s first, check how is your band graded based on Coherence and Cohesion. Here are IELTS Task 2 Writing band descriptors:

BandsGradingBandsGrading
91.uses cohesion in such a way that
it attracts no attention
2. skilfully manages to paragraph
41.presents information with some organization but
there may be a lack of overall progression
2. makes inadequate, inaccurate or overuse of
cohesive devices
3. may be repetitive because of lack of referencing
and substitution
4. may not write in paragraphs, or paragraphing
may be inadequate
81. sequences information and ideas
2. logically
3. manages all aspects of cohesion well
4. uses paragraphing sufficiently and
appropriately
31.do not organize ideas logically
2.may use a very limited range of cohesive devices,
and those used may not indicate a logical relationship
between ideas
71. logically organizes information and ideas;
there is clear progression throughout
2. uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately
although there may be some under-/over-use
3. presents a clear central topic within each paragraph
21.has very little control of organizational
features
61. arranges information and ideas
coherently and
there is a clear overall
progression
2. uses cohesive devices effectively, but
cohesion
within and/or between
sentences by faulty
3. may not always use referencing clearly
or appropriately
uses paragraphing, but not always
logically.
1fails to communicate any message

Why do test takers lose the most score band?

There has been a consistent record of Indians scoring low in writing and speaking task test. The main reason behind this is they aren’t well versed with the English language. There is every possibility that you score less because coherence is an acquired skill that needs to be taught and not everyone is familiar with it. In the writing test, you lose at least 2 bands due to negative. Candidates from India usually have less coherence and cohesion in their sentences and there is no central idea to the speech.

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