ielts band score chart

IELTS Score Chart - Band Score Table For Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening

Updated on 23 September, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

IELTS is one of the most used English Language Proficiency Tests. The exam is scored in bands. Your IELTS band score determines the performance level of your test. It is ideal to have a proper understanding of the IELTS Band Score Chart and the scoring system while preparing for the tests. The overall band score is determined by the scores of the following four sections:

  1. Listening
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Speaking

How Are IELTS Band Scores Calculated?

The IELTS band score is calculated from 0 to 9 with .5 increments. for instance, 5.5 or 6.5. You will be assessed on the basis of an IELTS band score chart for each of the sections - Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The average of the scores awarded for each section is called as the ‘Band Score’.

Listening: 

The listening test consists of 40 questions. You will be awarded one mark if you answer the question correctly. The maximum mark for the IELTS listening section is 40 and the minimum is 0. The marks obtained by the candidates are converted into the IELTS band scale of 1 to 9 which is basically the raw score (number of correct answers). 

Reading: 

The IELTS reading test consists of 40 questions. You will be awarded one mark if you answer a question correctly. The maximum mark a candidate can score is 40 and the minimum is 0. The marks obtained by the candidates are converted into the IELTS band scale. 

The reading test is categorized into two parts – Academic Reading Test and General Training Reading Test. 

The IELTS academic reading test consists of a complex style and a more difficult level of vocabulary than the General Training Reading Test. More questions must be correctly answered in the General Training Reading Test to score a high band score compared to the Academic Reading Test.

Writing: 

The IELTS Writing test consists of two tasks in both the Academic and General Training Writing sections. Each task is marked independently on a band of 0 to 9 and task 2 carries more weightage in marking than task 1. In the IELTS Academic writing test, you will be required to summarize the information provided to you in the form of a graph, diagram, chart or table for task 1. For task 2, you have to write an essay in response to an argument or point of view.

For task 1 of the IELTS General Training Writing Test, you will be required to analyze a situation presented to you and you would have to write a letter to explain the situation. For task 2 of the IELTS General Training Writing Test, you have to write an essay in response to a problem, point of view, or problem. Some assessment criteria need to be fulfilled to score a high band on the writing test. The average of these scores is rewarded as a band score. The criteria are as follows:

  1. Task Achievement (Task1)/Task Response (Task 2)
  2. Cohesive and Cohesion
  3. Lexical Resource
  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Speaking: 

The IELTS Speaking Test consists of three parts. The first part lasts for four and five minutes where the examiner will ask you some general questions about your studies, family, work, etc. For part 2, you will be given a card to speak on a particular topic. You will be given one minute to think before speaking for up to two minutes. Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking test is an extension of the topic in part 2 where you will be required to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. 

The speaking category has specific assessment criteria too that are used by IELTS examiners which describe the parameters of your performance. They are as follows:

  1. Fluency and Coherence
  2. Lexical Resource
  3. Pronunciation
  4. Grammatical Accuracy and Range

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Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

IELTS Band Score Chart for Different Sections

Table 1: Listening Score

Listening band scoreCorrect Answers
9

39 – 40

8.5

37 – 38

8

35 – 36

7.5

32 – 34

7

30 – 31

6.5

26 – 29

6

23 – 25

5.5

18 – 22

5

16 – 17

4.5

13 – 15

4

11 – 12

The above IELTS listening band score chart shows the bands rewarded to the candidates based on the number of questions correctly answered by them in listening skills.

Tables 2.1 and 2.2: Reading Band Score Chart

Table 2.1: Academic Reading TestTable 2.2: General Training Reading Test
Band ScoreCorrect AnswersBand ScoreCorrect Answers
940-39940
8.538-378.539
836 – 35837 – 38
7.534 – 337.536
732 – 30734 – 35
6.529 – 276.532 – 33
626 – 23630 – 31
5.522 – 195.527 – 29
518 – 15523 – 26
4.514 – 134.519 – 22
412 – 10415 – 18
3.59 – 83.512 – 14
37 – 639 – 11
2.55 – 42.56 – 8

 

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Table 3: Band Score Based On Writing Skills

Task Achievement (Task 1)Presenting precise information providing a proper overview highlighting key features/stage details supported with proper data
Task Response (Task 2)Attending the task (answering the questions)Giving relevant points supporting the given answer stating opinion if askedProviding a clear conclusion
Cohesion and CoherenceOrganizing ideas and information into paragraphs having a particular central idea in each paragraph using a range of connectors.
Lexical ResourceSpellingUsing CollocationAvoiding errors using paraphrases and a range of words at places needed
Grammar Range and AccuracyUsing a range of grammar tensesUsing a range of sentence structuredPunctuationAvoiding Error

 

Table 4:  Band Score Based On Speaking Skills

FluencyTalking at lengthSpeaking without pause or hesitation using connectors easy to understand for listeners
Lexical ResourceParaphrasing and using ranges of words using CollocationUsing rare vocabulary
Grammar Range and AccuracyAvoiding grammatical error using a range of tenses using correct sentence structures
PronunciationAble to be understood throughout the speech using intonationAccent shouldn’t affect understanding accurate Pronunciation

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IELTS Band Score Descriptor And the Level of English Required

The band score that you will receive in your IELTS examination is designed to provide you an accurate assessment of your level of proficiency in all four sections of English – Writing, Speaking, Reading, and Listening. The IELTS band score chart helps various institutions to assess your capability to be able to study, work or live successfully in the country to which you are applying.

Descriptors of IELTS scores and the level of English required.

Band ScoreEnglish level Description
9Expert userHas a complete understanding of the English language, has full command of the language and uses it fluently, appropriately and accurately. 
8Very good userHas fully operational command over the language but might make some rare errors in unfamiliar situations. Though complex detailed argumentation are handled well, occasional unsystematic inaccuracies might occur.
7Good userHas operational command over English but can make inappropriate and inaccurate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. 
6Competent userHas generally effective command over English, though might make some errors at times. Can make the proper use and understanding of fairly complex language in familiar situations. 
5Modest userPossesses a partial command of English but can cope with the overall meaning and make frequent mistakes. Does not have the capability to deal with complex situations well. 
4Limited userTheir language proficiency can handle only familiar situations and faces frequent problems in expressing and understanding. 
3Extremely limited userCan only understand and convey the general meaning in familiar situations and communication breakdowns occur frequently.  

 

Conclusion

The average score of the four tasks is considered the band score. Band scores are awarded in multiples of 0.5. If it’s 1.1, the band score is 1. If the band score is 1.3, the band score will be 1.5. If the band score is 1.25, the score will be upgraded to 1.5. If the band score is 1.6, it will be considered as 1.5, and if the band score is 1.85, the band score is 2. Feel free to connect with the experts at upGrad Abroad for more details on the IELTS band score chart.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a band in IELTS?

The band is the rating on the basis of which your marks are converted on a scale of 1 to 9. Your IELTS score chart will have your band score which you have received in the Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening sections.

Q. How overall band is calculated in IELTS?

For your IELTS test, you will be rated on your skills in each of the sections of the test, and the average score you receive in all of these sections will be calculated as your band score.

Q. What is the minimum band score for IELTS for Canada?

If you are applying for a study visa for Canada, you need to score a minimum of 6.0 with no section less than 5.5 in each of the four bands in IELTS to get admission to undergraduate and diploma courses.

Q. What are IELTS Writing Assessment Criteria?

The IELTS Writing Assessment Criteria is used by examiners in both General Training and Academic tests. The assessment criteria include Task Achievement (Task1)/Task Response (Task 2), Cohesive and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range, and Accuracy.

Q. What are IELTS Speaking assessment criteria?

The IELTS Speaking Assessment Criteria used by an examiner is on the basis of Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Pronunciation and Grammatical Accuracy and Range.

Q. How to calculate and convert the overall IELTS band score?

To calculate your IELTS band score, you need to derive the band scores from the marks you have received in each individual section. After having received your individual band scores, you can take a mean out of the four sections to get your overall IELTS band score.

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