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How to Get 9 Bands in IELTS : Section Wise Details

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

how to score 9 bands in ielts

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the most popular exam in the world to test the English language proficiency of individuals wishing to go abroad for study or work. The exam has been globally accepted by more than 10,000 organizations, making it a reliable source for accessing the language skills of individuals. 

There are four sections in IELTS: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. In each section, a candidate is allotted a score between 0 to 9. The average of all the scores obtained in all the sections is taken. 

Scoring System of IELTS Exam 

In order to know how to score 9 bands in IELTS, one should take a look at what these scores depict. IELTS scores are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). Let us take a look at the table for different categories of a user based on different band scores acquired by them:

Band score

Skill level



Expert userThe user has a good command of the language. This score shows that the candidate is fluent and has a thorough understanding of the language.


Very good userThe user who gets a score of 8 out of 9 holds a fine grasp over the language but can make some errors in unusual situations.


Good userThis score reflects that a candidate knows the language but lacks accuracy. They have good logical thinking skills.


Competent user

A user can

understand and use the language in familiar situations.


Modest usersModest users with a basic understanding of the language and likely to commit errors.


Limited usersThe user can only understand the language in certain situations. There is a wide room for improvement for such users.


Extremely limited usersThe user can only get a general idea about the language in simple situations.


Intermittent usersThe user cannot understand written or spoken English.


Non-userHave zero knowledge about the language except for a few words.


Didn’t attempt the exam.The user didn’t try all questions in the exam.


Why is It Important to Score Good Bands in IELTS? 

All the universities worldwide demand a valid IELTS score to consider students for undergraduate and postgraduate admissions. The IELTS score of the candidates provides an idea to the university about the candidate’s ability to comprehend the English language. As the programs at the university are taught in the English language, through a candidates’ IELTS score, the university wants to know whether or not he’ll be able to keep up with the program. 

Every university sets a minimum requirement of IELTS score that a candidate needs to match in order to prove their eligibility to apply for a program. A good score in IELTS is a ticket to a candidate’s dream university. If he successfully meets the minimum score requirement set by the university, his chances of getting admission automatically increase as there are other eligibility criteria of the university that needs to be met by him.

Even if the band score of a student falls short of the minimum requirement by 0.5, his admission might get affected. Therefore, getting a score which is either equal to or higher than the minimum requirement is important to secure a place at a university abroad. 

Now that we know the importance of the IELTS exam, let’s know about the tips to score 9 bands in each section of the exam.

IELTS Speaking 

The speaking section of IELTS consists of 3 rounds.  

  • Round 1 : In this round, the examiner asks general questions related to your everyday life. This round usually lasts for 4 to 5 minutes.  
  • Round 2 : In the second round, you’ll get a cue card in which a topic will be written. You’ll get 1 minute to prepare your answer and then you’ll be asked to speak for 1 to 2 minutes on the topic. 
  • Round 3 : In this round, the examiner will ask you cross-questions about the topic you spoke about in Round 2. This round further gives a chance to build rapport with your examiner. 

How to Get 9 Bands in IELTS Speaking?

Understand what the examiner wants to know 

To answer any question confidently, you should know what the question demands. If you don’t understand the question in the first go, don’t just answer the question in haste based on what comes into your mind at first. Ask the examiner to repeat the question. You won’t lose any marks for asking him to read the question again for you.

Keep eye contact while answering the questions

Maintaining eye contact while speaking shows that you’re confident to share your thoughts. It creates a good impression in front of the examiner and helps you present your answers in a convincing manner. 

Elaborate your answers 

In the speaking test, the examiner evaluates your English communication skills and expects you to answer the questions in detail. Therefore, make sure that you justify your answers properly. There are many ways by which you can do this like giving examples, presenting facts and figures, and other data associated with the topic in question. This would not only substantiate your answers but also embellish your answers and make you more presentable in front of the examiner.

Expand your vocabulary 

Vocabulary works as a tool for showing your command over the language. A good vocabulary is a skill that adds up to 25% of your total score. So, make sure that you learn new words every day before your speaking test. 

Speak loud enough to be heard clearly

One of the most important things to keep in mind while answering the questions is to speak in a volume that can be heard by the examiner clearly. Your tone should be polite at the same time.

Practice every day to develop fluency 

Fluency comes with practice and consistency. A good way to start is by picking any topic and speaking in front of the mirror. This way, you’ll get to know about your mistakes and the areas you need to work on. Make this a part of your daily routine and you’ll eventually start developing fluency. Also, whenever you learn a new word pay stress on its pronunciation.  Pronunciation plays a major role in your speaking skills. Without a good hold over pronunciation, one cannot achieve good fluency.

Know the examiner’s accent 

Most of the time, Indian candidates get interviewed by foreign examiners whose accent turns out to be an issue. To ensure that you don’t go through the same, begin watching English movies and web series with subtitles to understand how words are pronounced in different accents.

Important Resources to Read for IELTS:

IELTS Speaking TopicsIELTS Writing Task 2Opinion Essay IELTS
Important Vocabulary for IELTSIELTS Band ScoreValidity of IELTS Score
IELTS Reading SectionIELTS Essay Writing SamplesEssay on Historical Places
IELTS Test Report formBenefits of IELTS CoachingHow to Cancel IELTS Exam



IELTS Listening Section

The listening section of IELTS consists of 4 parts. Each part has ten questions. 

Part 1: A conversation between two people based in daily context (inquiry about a language class) 

Part 2: A speech on a particular topic 

Part 3: A conversation between more than two people ( a discussion between university    students about a project)

Part 4: A lecture based on an academic subject ( a university lecture).

The recording for each part is played once for the candidates. Candidates are supposed to hear the recording and answer questions simultaneously as the recording moves forward. 

The total time allotted for listening is 30 minutes. However, extra 10 minutes are given to transfer the answers from the question book to the answer sheet. 

How to Get 9 Bands in IELTS Listening

Get familiar with the type of questions 

Acquainting yourself with the type of questions you can expect in each part of IELTS listening can make your practice a little easier. 

The questions you might get in your listening test are listed below:

Matching information

Short answers

Multiple-choice questions

Table, flowchart, and diagram completion

Sentence completion 

Start by solving practice tests

To make yourself familiar with the IELTS Listening test pattern, practice as much as possible. Listen to the recordings carefully and solve practice tests and previous year sample papers to prepare yourself before the exam. 

Familiarize yourself with the accent

There is a wide range of accents in the IELTS listening test. All of them have different pronunciations for every word. Once you start listening to accents from all English-speaking countries, you’ll get a clear understanding of how certain words are pronounced in different accents. This way, you’ll not face any difficulties in your listening test. 

Stay focused during the test

Attempting the IELTS listening test requires multi-tasking. You have to listen, read and write at the same time. So, make sure that you listen to the recordings with complete focus and mark your answers simultaneously.

Be mindful of the word limit 

Some parts of the test require the candidates to answer the questions by using limited words. For example, if the instruction says not more than 10 words, then you cannot surpass the limit set in the instructions. So, before attempting to answer the questions go through the instructions carefully.

Bring down your listening to one 

Always make sure that you are solving the practice tests by listening to the recordings in the first time only as in the IELTS listening test, the recordings won’t be played a second time. 

Utilize the 30 seconds before the recording starts 

You get 30 seconds to read the instructions and skim through the questions before each section starts. Use this time wisely to underline the keywords in the questions.

More Resources to Read:

IELTS Band Score ChartHow to get 8 band in IELTSTypes of IELTS Exam
Average IELTS ScoresIELTS Score for USAStudy in USA Without IELTS
Study in UK Without IELTSIELTS Reading Band ScoreIELTS Bar Graph
Writing Task 1 Line GraphCollocation for IELTSIELTS Reading Tips



Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

ielts sample essays

IELTS Reading

The reading section of IELTS consists of three long passages from a wide range of materials. These materials can be magazines, books, and reports. Candidates have to answer 40 questions in 60 minutes. 

The type of questions that one can expect in IELTS Reading are 

  • Multiple choice
  • Sentence completion
  • Gap-fill 
  • Summary 
  • Matching information 
  • Short answer questions 
  • Matching headings
  • Diagram labeling 

How to Get 9 Bands in IELTS Reading

Some of the best reading tips are given below 

Manage time 

To answer 40 questions in 60 minutes, you must know how to manage time effectively. Don’t spend more than 20 minutes on each passage. Pick the passage that you find easiest first and then move to the rest, this way, you can spare time for the lengthier passages. 

Skim through the passages

The finest strategy to finish your reading test in 60 minutes is to skim through the text for the information of interest in each passage. Avoid reading the entire passage as it will take a lot of time and create confusion.

Mark the keywords

Every passage will have some important keywords to help you find the answers. Start by reading the questions first, then identify the keywords. They can be locations, dates and years, names, or numbers. 

Don’t fret while coming across complex words

There can be some words in the passage which you might not understand. If this happens, don’t panic as you don’t have to understand every word you just have to know the meaning of the words related to the question. 

Answer every question 

In case, you can’t find an answer to a question, don’t leave it blank. Write what you think can be a possible answer. There’s no negative marking in the test, your marks won’t get deducted for wrong answers. 

Don’t forget to check your answers 

Once you're done with all the questions. Check your answers to make sure you have attempted all the questions, and there’s no spelling mistake.

Recommended Reads:

IELTS Writing Task 1 AcademicIELTS Last Minute TipsIELTS Academic Reading
IELTS Speaking Test formatHow IELTS Exam is ConductedIndian Education System Essay
IELTS Academic Writing Task 1IELTS Academic ExamIELTS General Writing Tips Task 2
MBA in Germany Without IELTSHow to Improve IELTS Score from 6.5 to 7IELTS Speaking Tips



IELTS Writing 

The Writing section of IELTS consists of two tasks. 

Task 1- In task 1, candidates are supposed to describe a graph, diagram or a chart in not more than 150 words. The time allotted for task 1 is 20 minutes. 

Task 2- In task 2, candidates will get an opinion, arguement or problem. They might be asked      to agree or disagree with a problem, discuss pros and cons of a topic, describe the given problem or the cause of the problem and the solution.  The time allotted to finish task 2 is 40 minutes.

How to Get 9 Bands in IELTS Writing

Writing Tips for Task 1 

Know how the candidates are assessed in the writing task

Your writing test will be judged on four below-mentioned criteria:

Task Achievement

This factor tests whether the question has been properly answered by the candidate. Whether the task is achieved or not depends on how well the candidate has written the answer.

Coherence and cohesion: Coherence and cohesion define the structure and flow of your essay and its paragraphs.

Lexical resource: It judges how well the candidate has used a wide range of vocabulary in the given context. 

Grammatical range and accuracy

This factor evaluates how the sentences are constructed and how accurate the usage is.

Tips to follow for Writing task 1

  1. Paraphrase the question of Task 1: Task 1 consists of a graph, chart, or diagram. To start with the introduction of the pictorial representation, write about what it represents and for what is the time period. For writing the description, you can paraphrase the question. 
  2. The Second paragraph includes the overview: The overview is the most important paragraph of Task 1. It includes a summary of the major aspects of the graph, chart, or diagram. Generally, the overview consists of 2 or 3 sentences. 
  3. Paragraphs 3 and 4: Describe the main feature in detail 

In the third paragraph, try to describe the main aspects of the task in detail. 

Writing Tips for Task 2 

Know the type of questions you may get 

Before you start writing your answer, it is important to identify the question type and device strategy behind answering each type of question. You can get questions such as 

Agree or disagree 

This type of question will state an opinion which will be followed by the factual statement. After that, the question will be asked to what extent do you agree or disagree?

Structure to answer agree or disagree 

Intro- To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Body- Why do you agree or disagree?

Conclusion- Restate why you agree or disagree using different words 

Discuss both views and give your opinion

This question requires the discussion of two opposing views on the same topic and state your opinion in the end.

Structure to discuss both views

Intro- In short, write about both sides of the topic

Body- Discuss both sides with supporting statements, facts, and figures

Conclusion- Review both sides and share your opinion 

Causes and solution

The question begins with stating a problem. The first part of the question asks the cause of the problem and the second part demands the solution of the problem. 

Structure to answer Causes and solution

Intro-  Briefly state the cause of the problem and solution

Body- Explain the causes and solution in detail

Conclusion- Conclude by giving some finishing thoughts on the problem, its causes, and how it can be solved. 

Two parts

As the name suggests, the question consists of two different parts. The question will start with the statement followed by a question. The second part of the question will ask a different question. 

     Structure to answer two-part questions 

     Intro- Start by answering the questions in brief 

     Body- Answer both the parts in detail 

     Conclusion- Conclude by reviewing both parts of the question using different words 

Pros and cons 

This question will ask you to state the advantages and disadvantages of a given statement. 

    Structure to answer pros and cons 

    Intro-  State the pros and cons of the given statement 

    Body- Explain the pros and cons in detail 

    Conclude- Re-state the pros and cons in other words. 

Use good vocabulary: Other than identifying the type of questions, maintaining a good range of vocabulary plays an important role in getting a good band score in IELTS 

Avoid spelling mistakes: Writing wrong is a silly mistake that you must not let happen. It can affect the impression of your well-written essay and can eventually affect your IELTS score.

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How to Prepare for IELTS at Home Without Coaching

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How to Write Conclusion in Writing Task 2

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.