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    Know How to Calculate IELTS Band Score & Marking Criteria?

    Oct 27,2021

    IELTS Score IELTS Band Score and Marking

    IELTS is a widely accepted test to prove your English language proficiency when you are seeking to study or migrate abroad. IELTS score is accepted by numerous institutes and organizations in all parts of the world. A good IELTS score is imperative to secure admission to top abroad universities and get into the world of opportunities.  

    The blog aims to detail you on how the IELTS score is calculated. Let’s start by understanding the IELTS 9 band scale. 

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    IELTS 9-Band Scale

    IELTS Band Score is given in a range of 0 to 9 where each IELTS band score depicts different skill level of the test taker. The below table explains what each IELTS band score means 

    IELTS band score Skill level of the test taker Description 
    Expert Test-taker has excellent command over the English language. He is able to do all operations appropriately, accurately, and fluently. 
    Very good Test-taker has good command over the English language however mistakes can be expected in occasional situations.  
    Good Test-taker has effective command over the English language. Can manage and understand complex language, however, misunderstandings and flaws can be expected sometimes.  
    Competent The candidate has effective command over the language. Is able to understand and utilize complex language but can make mistakes. Inaccuracies, misunderstandings, and inappropriateness can be expected in unfamiliar situations.  
    Moderate  The candidate has incomplete command over the language. Is able to handle basic communication and understand the meaning of a conveyed message but plenty of mistakes can be expected. 
    Limited  The candidate is able to handle only familiar situations. Likely to encounter problems while understanding and using complex language. Finds problems in interpreting the language and expression many times. 
    Very limited Can communicate only in very familiar situations. Absence of fluent and firm communication. 
    Intermittent  Managing the communication and language is greatly difficult for the candidate.  
    Non-user The candidate has zero ability to understand and communicate in the English language.  
    Did not take the test – 

    How is the Overall IELTS Band Score Calculated?

    The overall IELTS band score is calculated by taking the average of all four constituents i.e. the IELTS Listening Band Score, IELTS reading band score, IELTS writing band score, and IELTS speaking band score. After calculating the average of the four mentioned scores, the obtained number is rounded to the closest whole or half band.  

    Suppose, on calculating the average of four component scores we get .25 in the end. In this case, the overall IELTS band score will be rounded up to the next half band. If we get .75 in the end then the figure will be rounded up to the next whole band. If we get a fraction that is less than .25 or .75 in the end then the overall IELTS band score will be obtained by rounding down the figure. 

    Consider the below examples to have a better idea of how the overall IELTS band score is calculated.  

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    Some Examples –

    Example 1 : 

    • Reading – 6.5 
    • Writing – 5 
    • Speaking – 7 
    • Listening – 6.5 

    Overall IELTS Band Score Calculation

    • 6.5 + 5 + 7 + 6.5 = 25 
    • By dividing 25 by 4 we get 6.25 
    • After rounding up the next half band we get 6.5 so the overall IELTS band score = 6.5 

    Example 2 : 

    • Reading  – 6.5  
    • Writing – 5.5  
    • Speaking  – 6.0  
    • Listening – 6.5  

    Overall IELTS Band Score Calculation

    • 6.5 + 5.5 + 6.0 + 6.5 = 24.5 
    • On dividing 24.5 by 4, we get 6.125 
    • On rounding down to the next whole band we get 6.0 so the overall IELTS band score = 6.0 

    Example 3 :

    • Reading – 3.5  
    • Writing – 4.0  
    • Speaking – 4.0  
    • Listening – 4.0 

    Overall IELTS Band Score Calculation

    3.5 + 4.0 + 4.0 + 4.0 = 19.5 

    On dividing 19.5 by 4, we get 3.875 

    On rounding up the next whole band we get 4.0 so the overall IELTS band score = 4.0 

    IELTS Band Scoring and Marking

    Knowing the marking pattern is vital to acquiring the aspired IELTS band score, hence, is an important part of your IELTS exam preparation. Let’s learn how different sections of the IELTS exam are marked.  

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    IELTS Score – Listening Section

     The IELTS listening section contains 40 questions. For every correct answer, you get one mark. The score is then transformed as per the IELTS nine-band scale. The number of correct answers and the associated IELTS listening band score are given in the below table. 

    Number of correct answers IELTS listening band score 
    39-40 
    37-38 8.5 
    35-36 
    32-34 7.5 
    30-31 
    26-29 6.5 
    23-25 
    18-22 5.5 
    16-17 
    13-15 4.5 
    11-12 
    8-10 3.5 
    6-7 
    4-5 2.5 

    IELTS Score – Reading Section

    Same as the listening task, the IELTS reading task also presents 40 questions. The types of questions include multiple-choice, True/False/Not Given, matching, and sentence completion. For each correct answer, you get one mark. The below table shows the IELTS reading band score based on the number of correct answers. The information is given for both versions of the IELTS reading.  

    Number of correct answers  IELTS reading band score 
    39-40 
    37-38 8.5 
    35-36 
    33-34 7.5 
    30-32 
    27-29 6.5 
    23-26 
    19-22 5.5 
    15-18 
    13-14 4.5 
    10-12 
    8-9 3.5 
    6-7 
    4-5 2.5 

    IELTS Score – Writing Section

    The IELTS writing section comprises two tasks and is evaluated by qualified IELTS examiners. The prominent factors based on which your IELTS writing task is scored include  

    • Task achievement 
    • Coherence and Cohesion 
    • Lexical Resource 
    • Grammatical Range and Accuracy 

    The candidate gets the highest IELTS Writing Band Score (such as 9 or 8) if he fulfills all the requirements of the test, does paragraphing skillfully, utilizes an extensive range of vocabulary, and commits negligible spelling and sentence formation mistakes. On the other hand, the incomplete, unrelated answers drive test-takers towards the least IELTS writing band score. If the candidate is unable to convey the message appropriately, uses a limited vocabulary, fails to make proper sentences, or goes out of track while answering the questions, he is likely to get the least IELTS writing band score (such as 1 or 2). 

    IELTS Score – Speaking Section

    The IELTS speaking section is like a conversation we perform in our daily life. The test-taker has to sit in front of a skilled IELTS examiner. The examiner evaluates your speaking skills on the basis of a few factors which include 

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

    The test-taker secures the highest IELTS speaking band score (such as 9) if  

    • He is able to speak fluently without incorporating repetition or correction. 
    • Sticks to the discussed topic completely. 
    • Use high-end and precise vocabulary. 
    • Form sentences swiftly and accurately. 
    • Use correct pronunciation while speaking. 
    • Is able to present information in an understandable way. 
    • Make correct sentences consistently. 

    If the candidate takes long pauses while speaking, uses repetitive words, is poor in sentence formation, is not able the convey the message properly or is not able to communicate at all then he is likely to obtain the minimum IELTS Speaking Band Score (like 1 or 2). 

    IELTS Score – Test Report Form

    The result of the IELTS test is generally declared within 13 days (if paper-based) or 7 days (if computer-based) of the completion of the test. The test-takers receive a document called Test Report Form or TRF holding detailed information about their performance in the IELTS test along with the overall IELTS band score achieved. The report also includes the candidate’s photograph and basic information about him. The report is of great importance to demonstrate your language proficiency while striving to study or migrate abroad. The candidates can send this report to the underlying organizations directly.  

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    Validity of the IELTS Score

    The IELTS Score is valid only for two years effective from the day of the test. If a candidate needs the IELTS score after two years of accomplishment, he/she has to take the test again. The validity period remains the same for both versions of the IELTS test i.e. IELTS academic and IELTS general.  

    Required Minimum IELTS Score for International Students to Study in Top Study Abroad Universities

    Different universities have different IELTS band score requirements. Hence, checking the minimum IELTS band score requirement of your chosen university is essential to set your path to studying in your craved abroad university. Below we have collected the minimum IELTS band score requirement information to help you gain admission to the top-rated study abroad destinations as well as universities.  

    UK 

    UK is home to several world-class universities. Students from all over the world endeavor to study in UK in search of a better life and career prospects. Let’s have a look at the minimum IELTS score requirements to study undergraduate or graduate programs in top UK universities.  

    University Minimum IELTS score requirement (for undergraduate programs) Minimum IELTS score requirement (for postgraduate programs) 
    University of Oxford 7.0 7.5 
    University of Cambridge 7.0 7.0 
    Imperial College London 7.0 7.0 
    University College London 6.5 6.5 
    University of Edinburgh 6.5 6.5 
    King’s College London 7.0 7.0 
    University of Manchester 6.0 7.5 
    University of Bristol 6.0 6.0 
    University of Warwick 6.5 6.5 
    University of Glasgow 6.0 7.0 

    USA 

    USA welcomes a plethora of international students every year. The phenomenal study and life opportunities make USA the first choice of international students to study abroad. USA has several finest universities offering admission to international students. The universities differ when it comes to the minimum IELTS score requirement. Let’s discover what is the minimum IELTS score requirements to pursue undergraduate or graduate programs in superlative USA universities. 

    University Minimum IELTS score requirement (for undergraduate programs) Minimum IELTS score requirement (for postgraduate programs) 
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology 7.0 7.0 
    California Institute of Technology 7.0 7.0 
    Harvard University 7.0 7.0 
    Yale University 7.0 7.0 
    University of Chicago 7.0 7.0 
    University of Pennsylvania 7.0 7.0 
    University of California, Berkeley 7.0 7.0 
    Columbia University 7.0 7.0 
    Duke University 7.0 7.0 
    Cornell University 7.0 7.5 

    Australia

    Austalia is a renowned country, not only for its beautiful landscape but for its excellent education system too. The degree from a reputed Australian university is a gateway to tremendous national and international job opportunities. The below table shows the minimum IELTS score requirement to gain admission to leading Australian universities. 

    University Minimum IELTS score requirement (for undergraduate programs) Minimum IELTS score requirement (for postgraduate programs) 
    University of Melbourne 7.0 7.0 
    Australian National University 6.5 7.0 
    University of Sydney 6.5 6.5 
    University of Queensland 6.5 6.5 
    Monash University 6.5 6.5 
    University of New South Wales 6.5 6.5 
    University of Western Australia 6.5 6.5 
    University of Adelaide 6.5 6.5 
    University of Technology Sydney 6.0 6.5 

    Canada

    It’s hard to beat Canada when it comes to high-quality education. The superior quality education available in budget-friendly manners makes Canada a brilliant choice for international students to study abroad. Let’s see how much minimum IELTS band score you have to secure to reserve your seat in a thriving Canadian university. 

    University Minimum IELTS score requirement (for undergraduate programs) Minimum IELTS score requirement (for postgraduate programs) 
    University of Toronto 6.5 7.0 
    University of British Columbia 6.5 6.5 
    McGill University 6.5 6.5 
    McMaster University 6.5 6.5 
    University of Alberta 6.5 6.5 
    University of Waterloo 7.0 7.0 

    New Zealand

    New Zealand is one more excellent option to acquire first-rate education in a cost-effective manner. The minimum IELTS score requirement to study at dominant New Zealand universities is given below 

    University Minimum IELTS score requirement (for undergraduate programs) Minimum IELTS score requirement (for postgraduate programs) 
    University of Auckland 6.0 6.5 
    University of Otago 6.0 6.5 
    Victoria University of Wellington 6.0 6.5 
    University of Canterbury 6.0 6.5 
    University of Waikato 6.0 6.5 
    Massey University 6.0 6.5 
    Lincoln University 6.0 6.5 
    Auckland University of Technology 6.0 6.5 

    What is CLB 9 in IELTS?

    IELTS CLB 9 aids you to get Canada PR with ease. You need IELTS reading band score of 7.0, IELTS writing band score of 7.0, IELTS speaking band score of 7.0 and IELTS listening band score of 8.0 to reach CLB 9 in IELTS. IELTS CLB 9 holds great significance when you dream of Canada immigration. To improve your IELTS score and reach the IELTS CLB 9, it’s crucial to prepare for IELTS with the help of a skillful team.  

    Conclusion

    Securing a commendable IELTS band score is extremely important to study in your aspired study abroad country hassle-freely. Your IELTS Reading Band Score, IELTS writing band score, IELTS listening band score, and IELTS speaking band score, all make a difference to your chances to study abroad. Hence, focusing on each section of the IELTS test and doing adequate preparation is crucial to reserve a seat in your craved abroad university.  

    Contacting an intellectual team of IELTS professionals is the best move to enhance your IELTS writing band score, IELTS reading band score, IELTS listening band score, and IELTS speaking band score. If you are searching for one, get in touch with our IELTS experts for the best assistance! 

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      Written By

      Viral Pandya

      Viral Pandya is an Author, IELTS Coaching Expert, and Management Consultant with a whopping 7+ years of experience in assisting students to achieve their desired scores. Also, he has written four books on IELTS Modules. Other than he considers himself as a beast hungry for knowledge. With academic credentials ranging from Bachelor in IT to Master in HR, he has been privileged to work with Multinational companies. Having a deep desire to achieve a doctorate degree in management he has plunged himself into the Management domain and working his ways out to create waves in the domain.

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