A Complete Guide : IELTS Band Scores check how to calculate

10 minutes reading time (2004 words)

Are you preparing for the IELTS? The International English Language Testing System is an international standardised test that evaluates the English language proficiency of non-native English language speakers. Your efforts to move abroad to study, migrate or work have a higher chance of leading you to success with the aid of a good IELTS score. By learning how to ace your IELTS test, you can make your dream of gaining academic/professional experience in a top study destination a reality.

Before getting into the reliable IELTS exam, the IELTS scorecard or scoreboard is some thing that all candidates are very involved  in, so how is the IELTS scale calculated, how to calculate unique ratings in the listening and speak me sections. How to examine and write? Candidates, please study this article immediately.

Speaking of top study destinations, each of them set a minimum required IELTS score for immigration. 

Australia 6
New Zealand6.5


There are four sections to the IELTS test and the candidate is tested on all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking, unless there is an exemption due to a disability. The IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests are the two that are offered..

The tests for Academic and General Training are different. The academic tests are for candidates seeking to study at university or college (undergraduate or postgraduate) or an entry into a professional institution. The general training tests are for candidates seeking to migrate to English speaking countries or for an entry into secondary institutions, colleges or education training centres. The general tests are designed to assess the candidate's proficiency in every-day, non-academic English. The IELTS Listening score scale will be the same for both test types, so both academic and general training will use the same score conversion scale. However, the IELTS Reading scale of each subject will be different, because each topic has a different difficulty level. 

IELTS Listening Test

Duration: 30 + 10 minutes (40 questions)

The candidate must listen to four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by diverse native speakers, and write their answers to a series of questions based on the recordings. The questions will test the candidate's ability in understanding and processing ideas, opinions and facts. To put it simply, the 'purpose' behind what is said is to be understood by the candidate.This test is divided into the four sections -

  • Section 1 is a casual social conversation between two people
  • Section 2 is a monologue set in an everyday social context
  • Section 3 is a conversation between a maximum of four people, set in an educational or training context
  • Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject.
  • Note that each section can be heard only once in a given time of 30 minutes. The answers are to be given in the rest of the 10 minutes.
  • Scoring

Every correct answer gets awarded 1 mark. Scores received out of 40 get converted to the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores will then be reported in whole or half bands. 

IELTS Reading Test

Duration: 60 minutes (40 questions)

This test has multiple forms of reading questions like reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.

  • Academic Reading

This test has three long texts that are usually taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. The nature of the readings range from being descriptive to analytical.

  • General Training Reading

This test has three passages with varied tasks like multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer's views/claims, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, and short-answer questions. It requires the candidate to read excerpts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines.

  • Scoring

Every correct answer gets awarded 1 mark. Scores received out of 40 get converted to the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores will then be reported in whole or half bands. 

IELTS Writing Test

Duration: 60 minutes (2 tasks)

Academic Test

Topics in this test are based on general knowledge and understanding.

  • Task 1: This section provides a graph, table, chart or diagram which the candidate must explain within a minimum of 150 words. The question may be on deciphering the data to explain how something works, the stages of a process, or elucidating a situation or an event.
  • Task 2: This section is an essay writing test with a minimum of 250 words, where the candidate is expected to respond to a point of view, argument or situational problem.

General Training Test

This consists of two tasks, which are based on general interests.

  • Task 1: The candidate is required to write a letter requesting information or explaining the given situation.
  • Task 2: The candidate is required to write an essay of minimum 250 words, responding to an argument, a point of view, or a situational problem.
  • Scoring: Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 under the Writing score. Whole or half bands are used to indicate scores.. Assessment is based on task achievement, task response, coherence, cohesion, lexical resource, grammar range and accuracy. 

IELTS Speaking Test

Duration: 11-14 minutes (3 tasks)

The IELTS Speaking test is a face-to-face recorded interview, designed to assess the candidate's capability to speak in English fluently. This section is divided into three tasks.

  • Task 1: The candidate must answer general questions about themselves. Questions would be related to their home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts around 4-5 minutes.
  • Task 2: The candidate is given a card that holds a topic to be discussed. A minute is offered to the candidate to prepare before speaking on the topic. This task lasts 3–4 minutes, including the preparation time. This will need the candidate to draw on their own experiences.
  • Task 3: The candidate is asked further questions in line with the topic in Task 2. These questions are designed to discuss more abstract ideas.
  • Scoring

Assessment of the performance is done by the certified IELTS examiner throughout the test. It is based on fluency, lexical resources, grammar range, accuracy and pronunciation. 

IELTS Band Score Scale

  • The IELTS test examines the candidate's skills in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
  • The assessment is done by scoring each skill from the IELTS band of 1 to 9; whole or half scores are given.The average of all 4 skills will be your total IELTS Score. 

How to calculate the IELTS overall score?

  • IELTS Overall Score Calculation
  • The test results feature the IELTS overall score on the test score results table. The IELTS scoreboard will have the scores of all 4 skills and the average overall score. The way to calculate IELTS overall score is the average score of those 4 skills. 
  • The formula for calculating the IELTS overall score specifically is as follows:
IELTS Score Overall = (Speaking Score + Listening Score + Writing Score + Reading Score)/4
9 39-40 9 40 9 39-40
8.5 37-38 8.5 39 8.5 37-38
8 35-36 8 37-38 8 35-36
7.5 33-34 7.5 36 7.5 32-34
7 30-32 7 34-35 7 30-31
6.5 27-29 6.5 32-33 6.5 26-29
6 23-26 6 30-31 6 23-25
5.5 19-22 5.5 27-29 5.5 18-22
5 15-18 5 23-26 5 16-17
4.5 13-14 4.5 19-22 4.5 13-15
4 10-12 4 15-18 4 10-12

How to calculate IELTS overall score + Rounding procedure

Decimal fraction Rounding procedure Example
i < 0.25 Round down to the preceding integer 8.20 rounded to 8.0
i is between 0.25 - 0.75Round to 0.56.275 rounded to 6.5
5.70 rounded to 5.5
i = 0.75Round up to the next integer7.75 rounded to 8.0

For example, a candidate with score scales of 7.5 (Listening), 8 (Reading), 6.5 (Writing) and 7 (Speaking) will have a total IELTS score of 7 (29 ÷ 4 = 7.25 = 7). 


9 EXPERT The exam taker is proficient in the language in all practical aspects. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, showing complete understanding.
8VERY GOODThe test-taker has complete command of the language, with the exception of a few accidental unsystematic errors and incorrect usage. In unfamiliar circumstances, they could misinterpret some information. They are skilled in dealing with intricate and elaborate argumentation.
7GOODThe exam taker has functional mastery of the language, however, there are occasional errors, incorrect usage, and misinterpretations in certain contexts. They typically grasp intricate thinking and can manage sophisticated language well..
6COMPETENTDespite some errors, improper usage, and misunderstandings, the test taker has a strong command of the language. In familiar settings, they can use and comprehend pretty complex language.
5MODESTThe test taker has a limited grasp of the language and can deal with overall meaning in most instances, though they are likely to make several mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.
4LIMITEDThe basic competence of the exam taker is restricted to familiar settings. They usually exhibit difficulties with comprehension and expression. They are unable to communicate in complicated language.
3EXTREMELY LIMITEDIn relatively familiar scenarios, the test taker merely expresses and understands generic meaning. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
2INTERMITTENTThe test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1NON USERExcept for a few isolated words, the test-taker is unable to use the language.
0DID NOT ATTEMPT THE TESTThe test taker did not answer the questions

Validity of IELTS Score

While it is up to each organisation to set a validity period that works for their purposes, most IELTS partners recommend a 2-year validity period for the IELTS test scores. 

Benefits of a High IELTS Score

  • A great IELTS score opens doors to a great future. And that's not all, you'll also:
  • Get Into Top Universities
  • Most universities factor in a good IELTS score as part of the admission process. Language proficiency is a huge advantage in the learning arena as it helps students learn efficiently and communicate with a multitude of people with great comfort.
  • Get your Dream International Career
  • A good IELTS score offers you plentiful opportunities in your career path. Most companies seek proficiency in the English language to assess the capabilities of their candidates. A good IELTS score reflects your potential to the employer as a talented and promising hire. Most careers require good communication skills and a good IELTS score is proof of your skill.
  • Be a Global Person, and Migrate as you Dream
  • To travel the world and be unified is possible only through effective communication. English, being a widespread language, offers the fluidity you need to travel across the globe. A good IELTS score will get you easier approvals to travel, thereby facilitating a smoother accomplishment of your dreams. Whether you want to migrate or study or work, IELTS is a common test to determine your proficiency in the global language.
  • With more and more businesses and industries requiring non-native English speakers, proving your proficiency in English can give you an edge while approaching potential employers.
  • Be it government agencies, companies, universities or any other professional organisation in any field of interest, a good IELTS score can unlock amazing opportunities for you. IELTS is a highly reliable and valid assessment of your skill. Institutions trust this certification to a great extent, so be mindful of its potential and prepare for your IELTS test with focus and dedication.
  • TIP: Share your IELTS score on your LinkedIn profile to attract better opportunities.
  • Get in touch with us today to know more about English Language Tests! Our expert counsellors will guide you through it. 

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