IELTS Band Score - How it is calculated

IELTS Band Score - How it is calculated

IELTS scores range from 0 to 9. After taking IELTS exam you will get your Overall band score and band scores for each of the four parts separately: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You can get either round scores or .5 scores (e.g.6.0, 7.0, 6.5, 7.5)

IELTS scores range from 0 to 9. After taking IELTS exam you will get your Overall band score and band scores for each of the four parts separately: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You can get either round scores or .5 scores (e.g.6.0, 7.0, 6.5, 7.5)

The Overall Band Score is the average score of all four parts of the IELTS exam.

Educational institutions and employers set their own IELTS passing score.

As a rule, 6.0 (competent user) is enough for admission to universities for undergraduate programs; 7.0 (good user) - work in Australia, degrees in law or medicine.

In order to successfully pass IELTS Test (6.0+), your General English level shouild be Intermediate or higher.

Overall Band Score - How it is calculated

For example:

Listening: 6.5
Reading: 6.5
Writing: 5.0
Speaking: 7.0
Overall Band would be 6.5 ( 25 ÷ 4 = 6.25 = 6.5)

Listening: 6.5
Reading: 6.5
Writing: 5.5
Speaking: 6.0
Overall Band would be 6.0 (24.5 ÷ 4 = 6.125 = 6.0)

.25 will be rounded up to the next half band (.5)
.75 will be rounded up to the next whole band (.0)

Listening and Reading tests contains 40 questions. One mark is awarded for each correct answer; scores are calculated by the number of correct answers you have out of 40 questions.

Listening and Reading Band Scores

The tables below indicate the average number of marks required to achieve a particular band score in Listening and Reading.

Listening

Band score Correct answers out of 40
5 16
6 23
7 30
8 35

Reading Academic

Band score Correct answers out of 40
5 16
6 23
7 30
8 35
 
Reading General
 
Band score Correct answers out of 40
4 15
5 23
6 30
7 34
8 38
 
 

IELTS Band scores descriptions and skill levels

9.0 Expert user
The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.

8.0 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.

7.0 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.

6.0 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.

5.0 Modest user
The test taker has a 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.

4.0 Limited user
The test taker's basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.

3.0 Extremely limited user
The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.

2.0 Intermittent user
The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

1.0 Non-user
The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.

0 Did not attempt the test

(source: https://www.ielts.org)

IELTS Scores compared to other exam scores

The following table gives an approximate comparison of IELTS with the most popular exams

English language levels (CEFR)

A - English Basic User
A1 Beginner
A2 Elementary English

B - English Independent User
B1 Intermediate English
B2 Upper-Intermediate English

C - Proficient English User
C1 Advanced English
C2 Proficiency English

Source: https://www.coe.int

How IELTS band scores align with CEFR

Note that the IELTS scores referred to are the overall band score reported on the Test Report Form, and not the band scores for individual parts of the exam.