IFI | How is IELTS scored

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IELTS scoring in detail

Both IELTS Academic and General Training tests are graded using a nine-band scale.

The Test Report Form provides you with both band score of each of the four test sections, and the overall band score of all the sections together.


Overall Band Score

The Overall Band Score is the average of the scores of each test part. These scores are weighted equally, then the Overall Band Score is rounded to the next half band, in case the average of all parts ends is .25, or it is rounded to the next whole band in case the average ends in .75


Some examples:

  Listening Reading Writing Speaking Average of four components Band score
Test taker A 6.5 6.5 5 7 6.25 6.5
Test taker B 4.0 3.5 4.0 4.0 3.875 4.0
Test taker C 6.5 6.5 5.5 6.0 6.125 6.0

 


Component Band Scores


Listening

The IELTS Listening test consists of 40 questions. You get 1 mark for each correct answer. Your total score which is out of 40 is converted to the IELTS nine-band scale and is reported in whole and half bands.


Reading

The IELTS Reading test consists of 40 questions. You get 1 mark for each correct answer. Your total score which is out of 40 is converted to the IELTS nine-band scale and is reported in whole and half bands.

Both test types, Academic and General training are scored using the nine-band scale. The only difference between these two tests is the text type. Academic reading tests might be more complex and contain difficult vocabulary. Note that in the General Training reading test, you need to answer a greater number of questions to secure a given band score.

The table below shows the number of marks you need to get in the Listening, Academic Reading and General Training Reading tests in order to secure the needed band score.


Listening

Band score Raw score out of 40
5 16
6 23
7 30
8 35
Academic Reading

Band score Raw score out of 40
5 15
6 23
7 30
8 35
General Training Reading

Band score Raw score out of 40
4 15
5 23
6 30
7 34
8 38

 

Writing

Examiners mark your tests depending on the following criteria:

  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2)
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

The overall task score is the average of the four criteria scores.

 

Speaking

Examiners mark your tests depending on the following criteria:

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

The overall task score is the average of the four criteria scores.

The criteria used for the assessment of Writing and Speaking tests is generated to help stakeholders develop better understanding of the level of performance needed to achieve a specific band score.



How is IELTS scored?

To help you achieve the band score you need, check this short video to better understand how are the four sections of the IELTS test graded.
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