IELTS Band Scores: Understand How they are Calculated

Thursday, Jan 19

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The International English Language Testing System popularly known as IELTS is an English language proficiency test. This test is structured keeping in mind the skills required for the test taker of a non-English speaking country to study, work or migrate in an English-speaking country. 

IELTS test score is accepted and recognized by more than 11,000 organizations globally. This includes leading countries like the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. IELTS has two test categories: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Both tests assess the test taker’s English language skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Collectively, this test is graded on a scale of 1-9.

Considering that the IELTS scores are an essential requirement to move to a country where the English language is predominately used, the test taker must know the scoring of these bands. Being aware of the calculation of the band scores will help the test taker understand if he/she will be able to fulfill the requirements of the IELTS score and complete test preparation for IELTS according to the scores. 

With the aim of simplifying the method of score calculation, we have jotted down all the essential details to understand the calculation of IELTS scoring. Keep reading!

 

IELTS Section

The IELTS Section is broadly categorized into 4 sections: namely Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. 

The final IELTS score is calculated based on these 4 sections. 

As we are now acquainted with the sections of IELTS, let us proceed to find out the details of the scoring. 

 

IELTS Scoring in Detail

In the IELTS Scoring section, the scores are calculated on a 9-band scale. On this scale ranging from 1 to 9, band 1 is considered the lowest and band 9 is considered the highest. The scoring system will be the same for all types of IELTS tests. 

 

Listening

The listening section consists of 40 questions in total and for every correct answer, one mark will be given to the test taker. So, the total raw score of 40 questions is turned into the 9-band scale. Understand this conversion of scores in the table below.

Raw score (Out of 40)

Band score

16

5

23

6

30

7

35

8

 

Reading

The reading section consists of 40 questions in total and for every correct answer, one mark will be given to the test taker. So, the total raw score of 40 questions is turned into the 9-band scale. This conversion will differ for the Academic and General Training Tests. Understand this conversion of scores in the tables below.

 

Academic Reading 

Raw score (Out of 40)

Band score

15

5

23

6

30

7

35

8

 

General Training Reading 

Raw score (Out of 40)

Band score

15

4

23

5

30

6

34

7

38

8

 

Writing

The writing section consists of 2 tasks. The test format is the same for IELTS the Academic and General Training Tests however, the types of questions asked in these tests vary.

To give a band score in this section, the examiners have predetermined assessment criteria. Based on these criteria the band score is given to the test taker. 

The assessment criteria to grant a band score are enlisted below 

  1. Task Achievement for Task 1 and Task Response for Task 2
  2. Coherence and Cohesion
  3. Lexical Resource
  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

 

Speaking

The speaking section is divided into 3 parts. It is basically an oral interview between the examiner and the test taken. The number of questions asked in this section is variable. To grant the band score, the examiner uses the assessment criteria that are given below. 

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

Now that you are familiar with the individual scoring of the IELTS sections, let us understand how to calculate the overall band. 

 

How to Calculate the Overall Band Score

The overall band score for IELTS is calculated by taking the average of all four sections. In simple terms, the total of four individual sections is calculated and then it is divided by four to get the final band score. The overall score is rounded to the nearest band if the average band is .25 or .75 then the score will be rounded off to the next half band or band respectively.

Owing to the fact that you can now calculate your IELTS score, let us now figure out the skill level and meaning of this scale. 

 

The IELTS Scale – Understand the Skill level and their Meaning

The IELTS test has a 9-band scale, as this scale measures the English language skills of the test taker, on this scale from 1-9, 1 is considered the lowest, and 9 is the highest. This scale is easy to comprehend. Read on to understand the skill level and its meaning. 

Band Score

Skill level

Skill Description

 

 

9

 

 

Expert user

The test taker has complete operational command of the English language. 

Additionally, their use of English is accurate and fluent and portrays an appropriate and complete understanding of the language. 

 

8

 

Very good user

The test taker has complete operational command of the English language with minor inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. 

 

7

 

Good user

The test taker has operational command of the English language with occasional inaccuracies and inappropriate usage.

 

6

 

Competent user

The test taker has an effective command of the English language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings.

 

5

 

Modest user

The test taker has partial command of the language. 

They would be able to handle basic communication.

 

4

 

Limited user

The basic ability of the test taker is limited to familiar situations. They have problems with understanding and expressions. 

 

3

 

Extremely limited user

The test taker can convey and understands the general meanings in familiar situations. 

 

2

 

Intermittent user

The test taker has difficulty understanding both, spoken and written English.

1

Non-user

The test taker has no ability to use the English language.

0

Did not attempt the test

The test taker did not attempt and answer the questions.

 

IELTS Results and Test Validity

Test results for IELTS on paper come after 13 days, whereas for the computer test the results come after 3–5 days. 

The test validity period is 2 years. 

On a concluding note, the test takers who are planning to give this test will now be able to calculate their IELTS score, and they will also be able to interpret their skills with the information given above. 

To ace your IELTS scores and secure admission to the institution of your choice, you can join our upcoming online IELTS test preparation batch. 

The industry experts at KC academy have trained thousands of test takers to reach their higher potential and achieve their top scores. Our highly skilled IELTS trainers will provide you with top-quality test preparation materials, practice questionnaires, and mock tests. 

So, without any delay, join in and enroll in the top IELTS Coaching in Nagpur! We have limited seats for each batch so don’t miss your chance. 

Contact KC Academy experts today!

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