ielts reading band score

IELTS Reading Band Score: IELTS Reading Marking Scheme & Criteria

Updated on 06 December, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The International English Language Testing System, popularly known as IELTS is a globally accepted and standardized test that gauges the proficiency of English language of non-native English-speaking applicants. The IELTS examination consists of four sections - Writing, Reading, Speaking and Listening. The IELTS test is of two types – Academic and General Training.

The Reading Section in both types of IELTS exam evaluates the reading skills for main ideas and associated sub-skills such as understanding logical arguments, skimming, scanning, analyzing, recognizing writers’ details, opinion, reading for detail, and purpose. Applicants appearing for the IELTS examination receive scores within the band of zero to nine.

IELTS reading band score decides the knowledge and proficiency of the English language of the applicants. To prepare well for the Reading Section, applicants need to have good knowledge about the IELTS Reading band score and how it is calculated.

How is the IELTS Reading Band Score Calculated

The IELTS Reading Section consists of a total of 40 questions. The Reading Section for General Training and Academics is different. For every right question, the students are awarded a score of one with no deductions for wrong answers. All the scores in total, out of 40, are converted to the IELTS nine-band scale. The score for the reading section of IELTS general training and academic reading are reported in whole bands and half bands. On the same band scale, the IELTS Academic and General Training are marked. The Reading Section will have a variety of questions like multiple choices, matching, True/False/Not Given, and sentence completion. The answers in the reading section will either be marked correct or incorrect, unlike the marking in the speaking and writing sections. A reading band score IELTS of 8 is always an ideal score. The IELTS academic reading score and that of general training is different and has been provided below for the reference of test-takers.

IELTS Reading Band Score Table

The average marks required to achieve a particular band score in IELTS Academic Reading and General Training Reading are listed in the below table.

IELTS Academic Reading Band Score Table

Band ScoreRaw Score out of 40


Important Resouces to Read About IELTS:

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


General Training Reading Band Score for IELTS

Band ScoreRaw Score out of 40


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How is the Band Score Calculated in the General and Academic Section of IELTS?

The IELTS General Training and Academic tests are graded on a nine-band scale. The overall band score is calculated as the average of the four individual scores in listening, reading, writing, and speaking, and rounded to the nearest whole or half band. Each of the component scores is given equal weightage. Each section of the test will be marked on a band score from one to nine and the average of this score will form the total IELTS band score. This overall band score might be in whole such as 5 or 6 or end with .5 such as 7.5 and 8.5.

The overall band score is rounded up to the next half band if the average of the four components ends in .25, whereas if it ends in .75, the band score would be rounded up to the next whole band. 

For example:

  • Reading 6.5 + Writing 5 + Speaking 7 + Listening 6.5 = 25
    On dividing 25 by 4, the band score would be 6.25
    Since it ends in .25, the overall band score would be rounded up to the next half band which is 6.5
  • Reading 6.5 + Writing 5.5 + Speaking 6.0 + Listening 6.5 = 24.5
    On dividing 24.5 by 4, the band score would be 6.125
    Since it ends with a fraction below .25, the overall band score would be rounded down to the next whole band which is 6.0
  • Reading 3.5 + Writing 4.0 + Speaking 4.0 + Listening 4.0 = 19.5
    On dividing 19.5 by 4, the band score would be 3.875
    Since it ends with a fraction above .75, the overall band score would be rounded up to the next whole band which is 4.0


The raw score out of 40 is converted to the 9-band scale of the IELTS score. Applicants need to attempt a total of 40 questions in the Reading section of the IELTS examination with no negative marking. To know more about the score pattern, connect with the counselors of upGrad Abroad.

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Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How is the IELTS reading band score calculated?

The raw score for the IELTS reading section is calculated on the basis of the correct answers a candidate answers in a test. It is then converted to the 9-band scale to get the band score for the IELTS reading band score.

Q. How can one get 7 band in IELTS reading?

To get 7 band in the reading section of IELTS, practice reading so that you can develop its speed. In the examination, due to time constraints, you won’t be able to read the full passage, therefore, developing the skill of skimming and scanning. Focus on improving your grammarvocabulary and understand how you can spot the keywords in the passage to come up with the right answer.

Q. How can one score good band in IELTS reading?

To score good band in IELTS reading, you can take reading tests online or buy the IELTS Cambridge Test books. If you don’t practice regularly, you won’t improve. The reading test challenges your ability to scan the relevant information from the sea of words in a passage. Therefore, working on your vocabulary, grammatical errors, and developing your reading skills is the only key to scoring a high band in IELTS reading.

Know More:

IELTS Score for UKIELTS Score for USAValidity of IELTS Score
IELTS Speaking TopicsIELTS Reading TipsIELTS Preparation Books
Types of IELTS ExamIELTS Academic vs GeneralIELTS Exam Pattern


Q. How to improve band score for IELTS reading?

To improve a band score in IELTS reading, candidates are advised to take reading tests online or buy the IELTS Cambridge Test books. The only key to improving the band score is by practicing the test papers. Working on their vocabulary, grammatical errors, and developing the ability to scan the relevant information from the sea of words in a passage is the only way to scoring a high band in IELTS reading.

Download IELTS Sample Papers

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Writing sample test

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Dyslexia Reading Answers

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