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IELTS Scores

Find everything you need to know about IELTS band scores, how to request a remark, and the IELTS results’ validity period.

Your results are presented as band scores, with each band reflecting a different level of English language proficiency and ranging from 1 to 9. You will receive a band score for each section of the test—Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking—as well as an overall band score.

Meaning of your IELTS score

IELTS scores are made to be simple and easy to understand. IELTS results are on a 9-band scale; they are known as band scores on a scale from 1 to 9, 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. All formats of IELTS use the same scoring system.

The test taker is proficient in the language in all operational senses. Their usage of the English language is proper, correct, and fluent, demonstrating full comprehension.

How to calculate IELTS score?

Each test - Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking– is given a score. To create an overall band score, the individual scores are then summed and rounded to the nearest half band.

Section band scores

 

How to calculate IELTS listening score?

There are 40 questions in the IELTS Listening test. One mark is assigned to every correct answer. The IELTS nine-band scale is used to convert scores out of 40. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

  

IELTS Reading scores

There are 40 questions on the IELTS Reading test. One mark is assigned to each correct response. The IELTS nine-band scale is used to convert scores out of 40. Scores are reported in whole and half bands. The grades for the Academic and General Training Reading tests are the same. The difference between the two tests basically comes down to text genre. However, materials used in Academic Reading assessments may have more challenging vocabulary or a more complicated writing style. On a General Training Reading test, it is common that more questions must be answered correctly in order to receive a certain band score. Here are the average number of marks required to achieve a particular band score in Listening, Academic Reading, and General Training Reading.

Listening
Band score
Raw score out of 40
5
16
6
23
7
30
8
35
Academic Reading
Band score
Raw score out of 40
5
15
6
23
7
30
8
35
General Training Reading
Band score
Raw score out of 40
4
15
5
23
6
30
7
34
8
38
IELTS Writing scores

Examiners assign a band score for each of the four categories using assessment criteria:

  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2)

  • Lexical Resource

  • Coherence and Cohesion

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

The average score for the task is calculated by measuring the criteria equally and the Writing band score is the average.

IELTS Speaking scores

Examiners use the assessment criteria below to determine a band score for each of the four categories:

  • Fluency and Coherence

  • Lexical Resource

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

  • Pronunciation

The average score for the task is calculated by measuring the criteria equally and the Speaking band score is the average.

What is the validity of the IELTS score?

The IELTS partners recommend a 2-year validity period for the IELTS test results based on the well-established concept of second language loss or "attrition," although it is up to each organisation to determine a validity period that suits their needs. You can get your IELTS test results within a few days, depending on which type of test you take. 

  • Can I do all parts of the test on the same day?
    The Listening, Reading, and Writing parts of the test are completed immediately after each other on the same day. In some test centres, you will sit the Speaking test on the same day, or up to 7 days before or after your test date. If you take IELTS on computer, the Speaking test will be taken on the same day, either before, or after the other three parts of the test.
  • What to do if I am late to my test due to situations beyond my control?
    If you experience difficulty on a test day, please inform the test centre immediately. The test centre may offer you a test on the next available test date.
  • What should I bring on my test day?
    You must bring the same passport or national identity card that you used to book your IELTS test. If you do an IELTS on paper test, you can take pens, pencils and erasers into the examination room. If you do an IELTS on computer test, the centre will provide you with pencils and paper. You must leave all of your personal belongings outside the examination room in a secure area or locker. Mobile phones, pagers and smart watches must be switched off and left with your personal belongings. If you keep mobile phones or electronic devices with you, you will be disqualified.
  • What order will I complete the IELTS test in?
    If you take IELTS on computer, you will do the tests in the following order on the same day: Listening, Reading and Writing, with the Speaking test before or after this test session. If you take IELTS on paper, you will do the tests in the following order: Writing, Reading and Listening. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test can be done on the same day, or up to 7 days either before or after the test date.
  • What do I need to bring to my Speaking test?
    You must bring the same passport or national identity card that you used to book your IELTS test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room and again during the interview.
  • What accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?
    As IELTS is an international test, a variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used in both the General Training and Academic tests.
  • Do I have to write in pencil for the IELTS on paper test?
    Pencil is recommended for the IELTS Listening, Reading, and Writing tests. This is because tests are scanned and work best with pencil. It also means that you can easily erase and rewrite words. If you forget to bring a pencil, the test centre will provide one for you.
  • If I take IELTS on paper, can I write notes in the question booklets?
    Yes, you are encouraged to write notes on the question booklets. IELTS examiners do not have access to your question booklets.
  • Can I make notes during the IELTS on computer test?
    Yes. IELTS on computer provides a note-taking and highlight function. You can also write notes on the login details sheet you receive at the beginning of the test.
  • Can I write my answers in capital letters?
    Yes, you can use all capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening sections. If you use capital letters in the Writing section, make sure that your punctuation is correct and the examiner can see where you start and finish sentences.
  • How can I improve my Writing band score?
    Read the assessment criteria used for both Academic and General Training Writing tests carefully before your test day. The examiner will assess your writing based on four criteria for Task 1 and Task 2. Remember that Writing Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as Task 1. You can improve your Writing band score by practising.
  • What happens in the IELTS Speaking test?
    The Speaking test is a discussion with a highly qualified IELTS examiner who assesses your ability to talk about a range of topics. The Speaking test has three parts and is recorded. A description of the three parts of the interview is found in the Information for Candidates booklet.
  • Should I apply for an EOR, or just wait to re-sit my test?
    EOR requests and all IELTS test day matters are handled by your test centre. IDP responds to the EOR requests by using a team of senior examiners.
  • Is a health condition considered to be a special requirement?
    Yes, it is. We can provide a variety of arrangements to support you during the test if you have special requirements due to hearing loss, low vision, learning difficulties, medical conditions or infant feeding. We can provide modified and enlarged print papers, braille papers, braille and enlarged print versions of the Speaking test, lip reading version of the Listening test, extra time for the Reading and Writing test or use of a computer (e.g. for candidates with dyslexia), a scribe to write answers on your behalf or a special Listening Test (e.g. using amplification equipment and/or lip-reading version of the Listening test for those with hearing difficulties). Test centres deal with all applications for special arrangements individually. You will be asked for full details of your particular circumstances.
  • Do I need to give my test centre notice if I have special requirements?
    Yes, it is best to contact your local test centre as early as possible informing them about your special needs. Giving adequate notice is necessary for the modified test versions to be prepared or special administrative arrangements to be made.
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