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The IELTS Band Scores

Multi-level
IELTS is a multi-level exam. You get a score between 1 and 9 for each section. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections. You can use the IELTS Band Score Calculator on this site to convert your reading and listening raw scores.

IELTS Listening marking schemes


For the listening test, which contains 40 questions, the approximate band scores can be calculated using this table. Band Score Score / 40 9 3940 8.5 3738 8 3536 7.5 3234 7 3031 6.5 2629 6 2325 5.5 1822 5 1617 4.5 1315 4 1012 3.5 810 3 67 2.5 45

IELTS General Reading marking schemes


For the general reading test, which contains 40 questions, the approximate band scores can be calculated using this table. Band Score Score / 40 9 8.5 8 3738 7.5 7 36 3435 6.5 3233 6 3031 5.5 2729 5 2326 4.5 1922 4 1518 3.5 1214 3 911 2.5 68

40 39

IELTS Academic Reading marking schemes


For the academic reading test, which also contains 40 questions, but is more difficult, the approximateband scores can be calculated using this table. Band Score Score / 40 9 3940 8.5 3738 8 3536 7.5 3334 7 3032 6.5 2729 6 2326 5.5 1922 5 1518 4.5 1314 4 1012 3.5 3 89 67 2.5 45

IELTS Writing marking schemes


The two writing questions are marked out of 9 according to the following criteria:

Task Achievement Coherence and Cohesion Lexical Resource Grammatical Range and Accuracy

IELTS 9-band 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. Download a printable PDF of the 9-band scale.
Band Score

Skill Level

Description

Band 9

Expert user

has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.

Band 8

Very good user

has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.

Band 7

Good user

has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.

Band 6

Competent user

has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

Band 5

Modest user

has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.

Band 4

Limited user

basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.

Band 3

Extremely limited user

conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.

Band 2

Intermittent user

no real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate

needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

Band 1

Non-user

essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.

Band 0

Did not attempt the test

No assessable information provided.