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How IELTS is marked

Go behind the scenes and find out how your IELTS test is marked and the process it goes through to ensure results are fair and accurate.

IELTS band scores are reported on a 9-band scale ranging from band 1 to band 9. Each part of the test is awarded a band score for performance. The Listening and Reading parts of the IELTS test are marked in a different way to the Speaking and Writing tests.

In the Listening and Reading test parts, each have 40 questions and each correct answer receives 1 mark. The total score out of 40 is converted to the IELTS 9-band scale.

IELTS Speaking test is evaluated by certified IELTS examiners in a face-to-face interview using a set of assessment criteria to award band scores for each of the four criteria, fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy and pronunciation.

IELTS Writing test is evaluated in the same way with the examiner awarding band scores for each of the four criteria that best match the performance at each band level for Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2.

Understanding the assessment criteria can help you prepare for your test and how to better approach each test section.

Skill level
Expert user

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

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