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IELTS results are presented as band scores, with each band reflecting a different level of English language proficiency ranging from 1 to 9. You will receive an overall band score as well as a score for each component of the test, of which Listening is one part. The questions in your Listening test will be based on four audio recordings taken from different scenarios. Each recording will cover a different situation you might encounter in everyday life which can be a conversation between two people, a monologue from an everyday social situation (a speech), a conversation between up to 4 people and finally a monologue from an academic context (university lecture).

How to calculate IELTS Listening Score

You will need to answer 40 questions in your Listening test, with each correct answer given one mark. The total number of correct answers will be used to calculate your final Listening band score. It is very important to try and answer every question, as a blank answer will get no marks. For instance, to achieve a band score of 8 in the Listening test , you will need a raw score of 35 out of 40. This score will, in turn, be used to calculate your overall band score for IELTS.

Listening Band Score Chart and IELTS Listening Band Score Descriptions

Band score

Skill level

Description

9

Expert user

Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.

8

Very good user

Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.

7

Good user

Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally, handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.

6

Competent user

Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

5

Modest user

Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.

4

Limited user

Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.

3

Extremely limited user

Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.

2

Intermittent user

No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

1

Non-user

Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.

0

Did not attempt test

No assessable information provided.

IELTS Listening score table converter

Number of correct answers (Raw Score)

IELTS Listening Band Score

39-40

9

37-38

8.5

35-36

8

32-34

7.5

30-31

7

26-29

6.5

23-25

6

18-22

5.5

16-17

5

13-15

4.5

11-12

4

The IELTS Listening band score tables that are shown here highlight the average number of marks required to achieve a particular IELTS band score. Actual marks may vary slightly between tests due to the variation in listening questions used on different occasions.

How is the IELTS Listening test marked?

In the Listening test, you will answer 40 questions that relate to audio clips that will be played to you. Your answers are either correct or incorrect, so the marking is a little different to the Speaking and Writing tests. You will receive one mark for each correct answer, with the total number of marks determining your band score. 

The points below indicate the average number of marks required to achieve a particular band score in the Listening test: 

  • Band score 5 = 16 out of a raw score of 40 

  • Band score 6 = 23 out of a raw score of 40 

  • Band score 7 = 30 out of a raw score of 40 

  • Band score 8 = 35 out of a raw score of 40 

You can also check this article to find everything you need to know about IELTS band scores.

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