IELTS Scoring System: What your band score means

Your band score in IELTS will be between 0 and 9. Let's take a look what some band scores mean:

Band 6: If you are a band 6, you can talk and write about your familiar situations. But you struggle when it's about a little more complex or unfamiliar issue. Moreover, you make frequent mistakes when you speak or write, sometimes you cannot understand clearly what others are speaking or writing in English.

Band 7: If you are a band 7, you are a 'good user' of English language. You don't make too many mistakes when you speak or write. You can even deal with unfamiliar or complex issues using English language. Overall, you can communicate with people in your everyday life without too many mistakes. 

Band 8: If you have a band 8 score, you are a 'very good' user of English language. You make mistakes very occasionally even in case of complex or unfamiliar situations. Apart from a few mistakes, overall you are a confident user of English language.

Band 9: If you are a band score 9, you are definitely an expert user of English language. This is a very advanced level, and not many people can achieve this level. However, despite being a confident user of English language, many students cannot achieve a band 9. It might happen due to various reasons. Therefore, though it's a superior English level and the most desired score for many students, just a band 9 does not necessarily mean a perfect English.

How your score is calculated

Having discussed what each band score means, let's dive into a brief description on how the scores are calculated.


In each module (Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking), you will be scored from 0 to 9. Your score will be rounded up or down to 0.5.  If the fraction is more than or equal to 0.25 and less than 0.5, your score will be rounded to 0.5. Likewise, if the fraction is less than 0.25, your score will be rounded to the closest integer. That means, 

  • if you get 7.25 in listening, your score will be 7.5 

  • if you get 7.24, your score will be decreased to 7

Your scores from all the four sections will be aggregated, and then the total number will be divided by 4. For example,

if your scores are,

Speaking 7.5

Listening 8

Reading 7

Writing 6.5

Your overall band score is {(7.5 + 8 + 7 + 6.5)/4} = 7.25 --------> 7.5

IELTS Reading Scores

how IELTS Reading score is calculated

IELTS Listening Scores

The scores will be between 0 and 9. There will be total 40 questions in Listening test. This is same for both General Training and Academic IELTS Listening. Click here to know more on IELTS Listening scoring system.

how IELTS Listening score is calculated

IELTS Writing Scores

For IELTS Writing assessment, 4 criteria are considered: Task Achievement, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resources and Grammar. In the Writing section, we discussed in detail what these criteria mean and how you can fulfill them.

how IELTS Writing is scored

IELTS Speaking Scores

Likewise Writing, IELTS Speaking also has 4 criteria: Fluency, Lexical Resources, Grammatical Range & Accuracy, and Pronunciation.

how IELTS Speaking is scored

For more details about scoring for IELTS Speaking, check the official band score description.

Don't forget to check the following resources: