Candidates writing the IELTS test receive band score from 1 to 9 on each of the 4 sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The information on this page will show you how to calculate your IELTS band score and predict your score.
The overall band score is the result of the average of scores gotten from the 4 modules rounded to the nearest whole or half band. You can score whole number(e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test.
- 1 How the IELTS Band Scores are Calculated
- 2 IELTS Band Score Descriptions
- 3 How is the IELTS Speaking test marked?
- 4 How is the IELTS Reading test marked?
- 5 How is the IELTS Listening test marked?
- 6 How is the IELTS Writing test marked?
How the IELTS Band Scores are Calculated
The IELTS band scores are calculated by finding the average of the scores gotten from the four tests.
- If your overall score is an average of 6.25, your score will be approximated to 6.5.
- If your overall score is an average of 6.75, your score will be approximated to 7.
- Also, if your overall score is 6.1, your score will go down to 6.
Your score is rounded up or down to the nearest 0.5 or whole score.
|Average of four components||6.25|
|Average of four components||3.875|
|Average of four components||6.125|
IELTS Band Score Descriptions
|Band Score||English Level||Description|
|0||Did not attempt the test||The test taker did not attempt the test|
|1||Non User||The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.|
|2||Intermittent User||The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.|
|3||Extremely Limited User||The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.|
|4||Limited User||The test taker’s basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequent show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.|
|5||Modest User||The test taker has partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.|
|6||Competent User||The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|7||Good User||The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.|
|8||Very Good User||The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.|
|9||Expert User||The test taker has fully operational command of language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent and shows complete understanding.|
How is the IELTS Speaking test marked?
The IELTS speaking test skill is marked against a number of criteria, including ‘fluency and coherence’, ‘lexical resource’, ‘pronunciation’, ‘grammatical range’ and ‘accuracy’. To understand what each of these means you can view the Speaking band descriptor, which has detailed information about each phrase and how they relate to the different band scores that are possible.
How is the IELTS Reading test marked?
The reading test comprises of 40 questions. A variety of question types are used, e.g. multiple choice, True/False/Not Given, matching, and sentence completion. Your answers are either correct or incorrect, so the marking is a little different to the Speaking and Writing tests. You will receive one mark for each correct answer, with the total number of marks determining your band score.
The tables below indicate the average number of marks required to achieve a particular band score in Academic Reading and General Training Reading.
Raw score out of 40
General Training Reading
Raw score out of 40
How is the IELTS Listening test marked?
In the Listening test, you will answer 40 questions that relate to audio clips that will be played to you. Your answers are either correct or incorrect, so the marking is a little different to the Speaking and Writing tests. You will receive one mark for each correct answer, with the total number marks determining your band score.
The table below indicates the average number of marks required to achieve a particular band score in the Listening test:
Raw score out of 40
How is the IELTS Writing test marked?
The IELTS Writing test is marked by qualified IELTS examiners who are intensively trained and monitored to ensure consistency and quality of marking, no matter where in the world the test is taken. A minimum of two examiners will mark your Writing test, and sometimes even up to three or four – we do this to ensure the highest level of accuracy and fairness possible.
Your Writing test response is scored in the areas of ‘task response’, ‘coherence and cohesion’, ‘lexical resource’, and ‘grammatical range and accuracy’. To understand what each of these means you can view the Writing band descriptors, which have detailed information about each phrase and how they relate to the different band scores that are possible.
- IELTS Writing Task 1 Band Score Descriptors by IELTS
- IELTS Writing Task 2 Band Score Descriptors by IELTS