The Academic and General Training papers are graded to the same scale. You will be given a score from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The average produces your overall band score. You can score whole (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.
Your overall band score
Your overall band score is calculated by taking the mean score of the four test components (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking). The score for each component is equally weighted. Your overall band score is rounded to the nearest whole or half band.
If you achieve 6.5 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading, 5.0 for Writing and 7.0 for Speaking, you will be awarded an Overall Band Score of 6.5. Total score of 25 ÷ 4 = 6.25 which is a band score of 6.5.
If you achieve 4.0 for Listening, 3.5 for Reading, 4.0 for Writing and 4.0 for Speaking, you would be awarded an Overall Band Score of 4.0. Total score of 15.5 ÷ 4 = 3.875 which is a band score of 4.0.
Listening and Reading scores
IELTS Listening and Reading components each contain 40 questions. Each correct item is awarded one mark, therefore the maximum raw score you can achieve for each component is 40. Band scores ranging from Band 1 to Band 9 are awarded to candidates on the basis of their raw scores.
The tables are indicative of the number of marks required to achieve a particular band score.
Note: In order to equate different test versions, the band score boundaries are set so that all candidates’ results relate to the same scale of achievement. This means, for example, that the Band 6 boundary may be set at a slightly different raw score across versions.
Writing and Speaking scores
When marking the Writing and Speaking components of the test, examiners use detailed assessment criteria which describe written and spoken performance at each of the 9 IELTS bands.
Writing: Examiners award a band score for each of four criterion areas: Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2), Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy. The four criteria are equally weighted.
Speaking: Examiners award a band score for each of four criterion areas: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation. The four criteria are equally weighted.
To get a better understanding of the level of performance required to attain a particular band score, you should familiarise yourself with the assessment criteria.
My IELTS result will only be valid for two years. Why?
The IELTS partners recommend that a Test Report Form which is more than two years old should only be accepted if it is accompanied by proof that you have actively maintained or tried to improve your English.