Knowing how IELTS is marked and scored will assist in your preparation, as it will give you an understanding of what level of English is required per band score.
How IELTS is scored
IELTS scores are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). You will be given a band score from 1 to 9 for each section of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You will also be given an overall band score - which is the average of your four individual test section band scores.
IELTS Assessment Criteria
The IELTS Listening test contains 40 questions. Each correctly answered question is awarded one mark; therefore the maximum raw score you can achieve is 40. A band score ranging from Band 1 to Band 9 is then awarded on the basis of your raw score.
The IELTS Reading test contains 40 questions. Each correctly answered question is awarded one mark; therefore the maximum raw score you can achieve is 40. A band score ranging from Band 1 to Band 9 is then awarded on the basis of your raw score.
Download the IELTS Writing assessment criteria.
Download the IELTS Speaking assessment criteria.
How is the overall band score calculated?
Your overall band score is the average score calculated from the result of all four IELTS test sections. In other words, if you:
1. add your Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening scores together, then
2. divide that number by four, then
3. round up to the nearest 0.5 or whole number, you should then have
4. your overall band score.
Here’s an example:
1. Reading 6.0 + Writing 6.5 + Speaking 6.5 + Listening 6.0 = 25
2. Divide 25 by 4 = 6.25
3. Round up to the nearest 0.5 or whole number
4. Overall band score = 6.5
The IELTS 9-band scale
The IELTS Academic and General Training tests are both graded to a 9 band scale.
For each section of the test (Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking) you will receive a band score from 1 – 9.
The average of this score will form your overall IELTS band score. This may be a whole score (e.g. 5, 6) or half (e.g. 7.5, 8.5).
The table below rates each band score against an English skill level. To find out how your test is marked, view IELTS scoring and marking.