This was a part of the forum (and before a post here) that I am now reviving. It is clearly something that concerns many candidates – can they get their scored changed? The answer is yes. But that does not mean that it always makes sense. Below I outline some of the points to consider. In summary my general advice is:
forget it for reading and listening
if you need both speaking and writing changed, your chances are probably very slim
it works best if you need a change in just speaking or writing of half a band score
remarkably few candidates I know get exactly the same result twice – very often it is easier just to go again – it shouldn’t work this way but next you might just get a better score even if your English hasn’t changed
The IELTS EOR procedure
You need to fill out an Enquiry on Results Form. These may vary slightly from country to country so you should apply to your test centre for the correct form for you. You should note typically:
• this must be received by the centre within 6 weeks of your test date
• there is a fee of approx £60 (this may vary from country to country)
• the papers will then be marked by a senior examiner
• the results will then be sent to you in approximately 7 weeks
Reading and listening
You can apply to have these papers remarked. However, the chances of a change of score are very small. These papers are marked objectively: the answer is either right or wrong and so the chances of a different assessor giving you a different score are remote.
Speaking and writing
Your chances of success here are much higher. There is a subjective element to how these papers are marked and it is quite possible that a different examiner may give you a different score. It is quite possible that your band score may change by a whole band. Points to consider:Why you might consider it
• Your other scores are consistently higher (eg 7.5/7.0/7.0/6.0). The idea is that you should get approximately the same score in each skill. It can particularly help to look at any difference between the speaking and writing scores here.
• You know that you completed the papers and didn’t do anything that may have caused a deduction.
• An experienced teacher has assessed your writing/speaking as being worth a higher score. It can be easy for candidates to misjudge their own skills. This is particularly true in writing where coherence and cohesion is 25% of the score.
• You have taken the test before and got a higher band score for that skillWhy you might decide not to try
• It takes 6-8 weeks: it may be quicker to re-sit the test
• Did you not finish a writing question? In this case, don’t bother. You were probably penalised heavily on task response
• Did you completely understand the question in the writing? If not, don’t bother. You were probably penalised on task response
• If there is a big difference (2 band scores) between any of your papers, then two different examiners will have looked at your writing and speaking anyway. The senior examiner may still change the score, but your chances are perhaps smaller
• You have taken the test more than once and your band score for that skill is consistently lowDon’t forget the other option – do it again and get a better score
The other option is of course to sit the test again. It shouldn’t happen like this, but most candidates I know come back with a different set of results each time – even when the tests are only one or two weeks apart.
I’d add that one of my standard pieces of advice is to book two tests at once if you can afford it. You very very unlikely to complain if you get the score first time around.
Some case studies:
Here are some scenarios from candidates who asked for advice on this site or the forum. Reading through them and my comments may help. You should remember thought that each case is different. These are for guidance only.Case study 1 – Sano – needing 8.0 for emigration to Australia – 0.5 out in writing
I received my IELTS Scores today and was a little disappointed with my writing score.I have been consistently scoring 8-8.5 in the mock tests.
My scores are – L-8.5, R-8.5,S-8,W-7.5 O:8
It is imperative I score an 8 in all sections to make the cut off for the Australian PR. Do you think a re evaluation will help in my case.
Thanks so much for your help.
Yes, I believe this is exactly the sort of case where the IELTS EOR system can work – only half a point in one paper. But if this is the first result then you may just take it again and get a better score because you know the exam better.Case study 2 – Sandeep – General Training – low score in writing
Got my second GT IELTS score today.
The first one was L9, R8.5, W7.5, S6.5
This time it was L9, R9, W6.5, S7.5
Both time I was confident about Listening and Reading. First time I really goofed up the speaking part. Couldn’t think enough to complete task 2.
But, this time I thought i got it all right, but it seems I didn’t do well in writing. I just wish that they send best of two attempts marks. but alas thats not the case, so I will have to repeat it.
Thanks for being there for people like me, who needs advise and tips for the ever changing band score.
For this one my advice would be maybe not. Because there is such a big difference between the listening and writing scores (2.5) then almost certainly two examiners would have looked at the writing. It is possible but unlikely that a third examiner would change it. I’d add that even though these are sensational marks in reading and listening, both the writing and speaking marks are considerably lower.
Case study 3 – Deepskisam – many attempts
I have sat the exam 4 times now. I need to get 8 across the board for my visa. so far I have score
Listening 7.5, Reading 8.5, Writing 8.5 and Speaking 9.0 every time. It has become very frustrating as I needed to get 8 in listening as well.
I have received my exam results from the 8th of June of got the following:
Listening 8.5, reading 9.0, writing 7.5 speaking 9.0
I am not sure how I managed to drop to 7.5 in writing when I have scored consistently 1.0 higher in each of the 4 previous writing papers.
Do you think this may be worth a remark or would the difference of 7.5 to 9.0 have been marked by a second examiner?
In some ways, four attempts is nothing. I could show you comments where people have had 18 attempts! My personal advice is that if you haven’t got that score after several attempts and you are quite close (0.5 in one paper) then you have little to lose. Psychologically it may help to know that you have tried everything.Case study 4 – the writing score is much lower
My wife recently attempted the IELTS examination and obtained the following scores:
Reading 7 Speaking 7 Listening 7 Writing 5.5
She was pretty confident about the writing section, and had in fact scored 8 in her previous attempt (a month earlier).
Her previous scores were :
Reading 6.5 Speaking 7 Listening 8.5 Writing 8
Reading 6.5 Speaking 7 Listening 8 Writing 6.5
I await your advice if applying for remarking is prudent in this circumstance or if it would be futile.
This is one of those situations where I would be tempted into asking for IELTS EOR. But before you take that step, you need to ask yourself questions – did I answer the question fully? Did I write enough words?. If you think you may have done something that gets a penalty, then there is little point.