The official IELTS by IDP app is here! Download it today.


Your results are presented as band scores, with each band reflecting a different level of English language proficiency and ranging from 1 to 9. You will receive a band score for each section of the test—Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking—as well as an overall band score.

Meaning of your IELTS score

IELTS scores are made to be simple and easy to understand. IELTS results are on a 9-band scale; they are known as band scores on a scale from 1 to 9, 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. All formats of IELTS use the same scoring system.

9Expert userThe test taker is proficient in the language in all operational senses. Their usage of the English language is proper, correct, and fluent, demonstrating full comprehension.
8Very good userThe test-taker has complete command of the language, except for a few occasional unsystematic errors and incorrect usage. In unfamiliar circumstances, they could misinterpret some information. They are capable of handling complex and detailed argumentation.
7Good userAlthough there are occasional errors, incorrect usage, and misinterpretations in specific contexts, the test-taker has a solid grasp of the language. They typically recognise complex thinking and can manage sophisticated language well.
6Competent userDespite mistakes, misuse, and misunderstandings, the test-taker has a strong understanding of the language. In familiar settings, they can use and comprehend reasonably complex language.
5Modest userDespite having a limited understanding of the language, the test taker usually understands the overall meaning in most circumstances. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field or industry.
4Limited userBasic competency is restricted to situations that the test-taker is familiar with. They generally show understanding and communication issues. They are unable to speak in complex sentences.
3Extremely limited user In extremely familiar situations, the test taker can only express and comprehend the generic meaning. Communication breakdowns happen frequently.
2Intermittent userThe test taker faces great difficulty in understanding spoken and written English.
1Non-userThe test taker doesn’t have the ability to use the language except for a few isolated words.
0Did not attempt the testThe test taker did not answer the questions.

How to calculate IELTS score?

Each test - Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking– is given a score. To create an overall band score, the individual scores are then summed and rounded to the nearest half band.

Section band scores

How to calculate IELTS listening score?

There are 40 questions in the IELTS Listening test. One mark is assigned to every correct answer. The IELTS nine-band scale is used to convert scores out of 40. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

IELTS Reading scores

There are 40 questions on the IELTS Reading test. One mark is assigned to each correct response. The IELTS nine-band scale is used to convert scores out of 40. Scores are reported in whole and half bands. The grades for the Academic and General Training Reading tests are the same. The difference between the two tests basically comes down to text genre. However, materials used in Academic Reading assessments may have more challenging vocabulary or a more complicated writing style. On a General Training Reading test, it is common that more questions must be answered correctly in order to receive a certain band score. Here are the average number of marks required to achieve a particular band score in Listening, Academic Reading, and General Training Reading.


Band scoreRaw score out of 40

Academic Reading

Band scoreRaw score out of 40

General Training Reading

Band scoreRaw score out of 40

IELTS Writing scores

Examiners assign a band score for each of the four categories using assessment criteria:

  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2)

  • Lexical Resource

  • Coherence and Cohesion

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

The average score for the task is calculated by measuring the criteria equally and the Writing band score is the average.

IELTS Speaking scores

Examiners use the assessment criteria below to determine a band score for each of the four categories:

  • Fluency and Coherence

  • Lexical Resource

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

  • Pronunciation

The average score for the task is calculated by measuring the criteria equally and the Speaking band score is the average.

What is the validity of the IELTS score?

The IELTS partners recommend a 2-year validity period for the IELTS test results based on the well-established concept of second language loss or "attrition," although it is up to each organisation to determine a validity period that suits their needs. You can get your IELTS test results within a few days, depending on which type of test you take. Click here to know more about the IELTS test results.


What is the difference between raw scores and band scores?

The Listening and Reading parts of the IELTS test  are scored out of 40 and then converted  to a  band score which ranges  from  band 1  to  band 9.

The Listening and Reading tests contain 40 questions and each correct question will be awarded 1 mark (so the maximum a test  taker can score here is 40).  Band scores, ranging from band 1 to band 9, are  awarded based on the raw scores.  

How is IELTS Scored? Find out how all four parts of the IELTS test are scored in this short video

How is IELTS scored?

To help you work towards the IELTS score you need, watch this short video and find out how IELTS is scored in all four parts of the test.

Learn More