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How the IELTS Band Scores are Calculated

When you do an IELTS Test at home, you will get right and wrong answer. But how can you calculate the Band Score from your own test? The below table will explain how the IELTS Band Scores are calculated and how you can score yourself.

How the IELTS Band Scores are Calculated

All IELTS scores are marked between 0 to 9. In fact, you can also get 0.5 scores. For example, you can get score 5.0 or 5.5 or 6.5. IELTS has band score for each skill of test you take, including listening, reading, writing and speaking and also an overall band score which is the average score of all the testing skills.

Listening Reading Writing Speaking Overall
5 6 7 8 6.5

All IELTS scores are between 0 and 9. You can also get .5 scores as well (for example, 6.5 or 7.5). You will get a band score for each skill (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and also an overall band score. The overall band score is the average score of all the skills. See the table below as an example.

  • If your overall score is an average of 6.25, your score will be increased to 6.5.
  • If your overall score is an average of 6.75, your score will be increased to 7.

Band Score Descriptions

The table below describe how competent of English level you have for each band scores from 5 to 9.

IELTS band scores description
You can see all scores from 0-9, click here.

Listening and Reading Band Scores

Your listening and reading scores are calculated by the number of correct answers you have out of the 40 questions in the test. You do not lose points for incorrect answers.

IELTS Listening Scores

Correct Answers Band Scores
40 9
38-39 8.5
35-37 8
33-34 7.5
30-32 7
27-29 6.5
23-26 6
20-22 5.5
16-19 5
14-15 4.5
12-13 4

 

IELTS Reading Scores (Academic)

Correct Answers Band Scores
39-40 9
37-38 8.5
35-36 8
33-34 7.5
30-32 7
27-29 6.5
23-26 6
19-22 5.5
15-18 5
13-14 4.5
10-12 4
9-8 3.5
6-7 3
4-5 2.5

 

IELTS Reading Scores (General Training)

Correct Answers Band Scores
40 9
39 8.5
37-38 8
36 7.5
34-35 7
32-33 6.5
30-31 6
27-29 5.5
23-26 5
19-22 4.5
15-18 4
12-14 3.5
9-11 3
6-8 2.5

 

 

IELTS Writing Assessment Criteria

The two writing questions task 1 and task 2 are marked out of 9 according to the following criteria:

  • Task Achievement – How well you answer the question
  • Coherence and Cohesion – How well your writing links together
  • Lexical Resource – How good your vocabulary is
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy – How good your grammar is

Please see the table for details of each marking criteria.

  • Click here for Writing Task 1 descriptor
  • Click here for Writing Task 1 descriptor

The band score descriptors are the official band scores published by IELTS.

IELTS Speaking Assessment Criteria

Below are the marking criteria for IELTS speaking. Click table to enlarge.

Fluency Talking at length
Talking without pauses or hesitations
Talking without self-correction
Able to be understood
Using linking devices
Lexical Resource Using a range of words and paraphrasing
Using collocations
Using less common vocabulary
Avoiding errors
Grammar Range & Accuracy Using a range of sentence structures
Using a range of grammar tenses
Avoiding errors
Pronunciation Able to be understood thoughout the test
Able to use intonation
Accent does not affect understanding
Accurate word and sound pronunciation

You should also spend time studying the band scores for each criteria in the speaking descriptors published by IELTS.

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