IELTS Band Score Chart 2024: IELTS Scoring Pattern & Band Score Chart

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Did you know? Every year, 5.5 million people take the IELTS test from 130 countries. Because so many students want to study abroad, this number is rising quickly every year. On average, Hindi-speaking Indian test-takers score a band of 6.5 in the IELTS exam.

The scale used to measure IELTS scores goes from 0 to 9. This is called the “9-band scale.” This scale scores all four parts of the IELTS test: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. All four parts’ mean scores are combined to get the overall IELTS Band score.

While different places need different IELTS band scores, the minimum standards vary from university to university.

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Details Of IELTS Band Score

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam is widely accepted worldwide as proof of English language proficiency. The IELTS test scores range from 0 to 9, with 9 being the highest score. 

The four parts of the IELTS test – speaking, writing, reading, and listening – are scored on this 9-band scale. The overall IELTS band score is calculated by combining the mean scores of all four parts. 

Different institutions and countries have different minimum IELTS band score requirements. It’s important to note that an IELTS score is valid for 2 years after the test date. The most recent score is considered if a candidate takes the test more than once a year.

The table below highlights the IELTS band description for better understanding. 

Band score Description Skill level 
• Complete command of the English language
• Use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent. 
8• Very few inaccuracies occur, and the candidate excels in handling detailed argumentation.Very good 
7• Demonstrates an operational command of the language with occasional errors.Good 
6• Exhibits detailed reasoning skills.Holds a good command of the language, although errors may occur.Competent 
• Capable of understanding and using reasonably complex language.Modest 
4• Possesses a partial command of the language and can handle essential communication in their field. The candidate’s competence is limited to familiar situations. However, they are unable to use complex language.Limited 
3• The candidate experiences frequent breakdowns.Can convey only the general meaning in familiar situations.Very limited 
2• Faces difficulty in understanding both written and spoken English.Intermittent 
• Except for a few isolated words, the candidate is unable to use the language.Non-user 
0Did not attempt the test, or You did not answer the questions.Did not attempt the test

How is the IELTS band score calculated?

The overall IELTS band score chart is prepared by averaging the score of 4 sections and then rounding off the final score to its nearest half or value.  

For example, if, after calculation, the IELTS band score ends at .25, then it will be rounded off to its nearest half, which is 0.5; similarly, if a calculation ends at .75, then it will be rounded off to its nearest full value.

If a student’s average IELTS band score stands at 6.75, then their final score will be 7; similarly, if the average score is 6.25, then the final IELTS band score will be 6.5

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IELTS Band Score Chart 2024: IELTS Scoring Pattern & Band Score Chart

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IELTS Band Score Chart 2024: IELTS Scoring Pattern & Band Score Chart

IELTS Band Score Chart: Section-wise

The IELTS Band Score Chart is an essential tool that helps test-takers understand how their raw scores are converted into band scores. The chart shows the correlation between raw scores and band scores for each section of the IELTS test, including listening, reading, writing, and speaking. 

The chart ranges from band 0 to 9, with 9 being the highest score. The chart helps assess a student’s overall performance and determine whether they meet the language requirements for academic or immigration purposes. The official website of IELTS has shown how bands are linked with raw scores out of 40 in 3 sections

This band score chart is given in a table format below:

Raw Score Out of 100Band Score
39 – 409
37 – 388.5
35 – 36  8
32 – 34 7.5
30 – 31   7
26 – 29  6.5
23 – 256
18 – 22 5.5
16 – 17 5
13 – 154.5
10 – 124

Now let’s look at each IELTS Test section in more detail

IELTS Listening

This section consists of 40 questions, where each question comprises 1 mark. Then, this raw score will be converted to an IELTS band score, either in half or full band. 

IELTS Reading 

This section also consists of 40 questions. Each section has 1 mark, and with every correct answer, 1 mark is awarded. Then, the raw marks will be converted into 9 points score as per the chart.  

Additionally, it should be noted that IELTS academic and general training are graded similarly. However, these two exams differ based on text complexity, such as sentence construction, vocabulary, and others.

IELTS Writing

IELTS examiners, awards marks, and band scores are based on four basic criteria. These criteria are

  1. For Task 1, Task Achievement, and Task 2, Task Response.
  2. Coherence and cohesion.   
  3. Grammatical accuracy and range.
  4. Lexical resource

Broadly, the process of awarding marks for IELTS writing is discussed below – 

Task Achievement – Task 1: 

  • Presenting an overview
  • Providing details with data
  • Highlighting relevant features
  • Giving accurate information

Task Response – Task 2:

  • Addressing by answering questions
  • Giving primary pointers with supportive information 
  • Providing a clear position with opinion 
  • Clear concluding remark

Coherence and cohesion 

  • Stating a clear idea in every paragraph
  • Using a variety of linking devices
  • Organising information into a paragraph

Grammatical accuracy and range 

  • Avoiding errors
  • Punctuation
  • Versatility in using sentence structure
  • Using tense

Lexical resource

  • Spelling mistake
  • Collocation use
  • Using a diaspora of words
  • Avoiding errors 

In IELTS Writing, you are scored based on four criteria, and each criterion receives a score from 0 to 9 points. 

To calculate your total score for a writing task, the scores from these four criteria are added together and then divided by 4 to find the average.

For example, if you received the following scores for Task 1:

  • Task Achievement: 6.0
  • Coherence and Cohesion: 7.5
  • Lexical Resource: 7.0
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: 7.5

Your total score for Task 1 would be calculated as (6.0 + 7.5 + 7.0 + 7.5) / 4 = 7.0.

IELTS Speaking

During the Speaking test, IELTS examiners use 4 pointers to mark the candidate’s performance. Those four criteria are:-

  1. Lexical resource.
  2. Fluency and coherence.
  3. Pronunciation.
  4. Grammatical range and accuracy.

In an explanatory way, the criteria for speaking assessment are – Lexical resource 

  • Using diversity in vocabulary. 
  • Avoiding errors. 
  • Using a variety of words and paraphrasing. 

Fluency and coherence

  • Speaking without self-correction.
  • Speaking understandable English.
  • Talking fluently, without hesitations.
  • Speaking at length. 
  • Using interlinking words. 


  • Understandable throughout the examination. 
  • Understanding is not affected by actions. 
  • Use of accurate pronunciation.
  • Proper use of tone. 

Grammatical range and accuracy 

  • Using a range of tenses.
  • Using a variety of sentence structures.
  • Avoiding errors.   

It should be noted that all these factors are weighted equally for band score. Apart from all these, IELTS band scores are also related to CEFRs. 

IELTS Speaking Score is calculated by the arithmetic mean of all four criteria.

For example: 6+7+7+8/4=7)

The table below explains the reading band score chart, listening band score chart, writing band score chart and speaking band score chart.

CriteriaBand Scored 
Fluency and Coherence6
Lexical Resource7
Grammatical range and accuracy8
Total IELTS Speaking Score7

What is CEFR?

CEFR stands for Central European Framework of Reference for Languages

The six-point scale describes the candidate’s ability in that language. These pointers are marked as C2 for experts and A1 for beginners. 

This CEFR refers to using an individual’s 5 language skills: listening, writing, reading, spoken production, and spoken interaction. 

The levels of ability are divided into 3 groups:

  1. Basic user (A1 and A2).
  2. Independent user (B1 and B2).
  3. Proficient user (C1 and C2).

IELTS band score and the CEFR scale

The CEFR  is a standard scale used to measure language proficiency. It has six levels – A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2, with C2 being the highest level. 

On the other hand, IELTS is a popular English language proficiency test that universities, immigration authorities, and employers widely accept. It is scored on a band scale of 0-9, with 9 being the highest score.

The table below shows the CEFR level and corresponding IELTS band score:

CEFR levelIELTS band score
C17 – 8
B25.5 – 6.5
B14 – 5
A22.5 – 3.5
A12 and less.

In general, the IELTS scoring pattern differs from country to country. Also, specifically speaking, these requirements vary depending on the academic institutions and job prospects. 

General country-specific requirements are as follows.

CountryAverage overall IELTS band
UK6.0 – 6.5
Australia6.0 – 6.5
New Zealand6.0 – 6.5

Wrapping up

The USA, Canada, and Australia are popular study choices for Indians who want to study abroad in English-speaking countries.

If you plan to study overseas, taking an English proficiency test is a crucial step. Before applying, it’s important to know the specific requirements to make the application process smoother.

Remember, each university may have different IELTS requirements. Generally, a band score of 6 to 7 is the commonly asked minimum. Some universities may focus on specific section scores, while others examine the overall IELTS band score.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Does the IELTS score differ with the university?

    A. Absolutely, the IELTS score requirements can indeed vary from one university to another. Each university sets its own minimum IELTS score criteria for admission, considering the language proficiency level required for successful academic performance. Some universities may have higher IELTS score requirements, while others may be more flexible, depending on the programs and courses offered.

  • Q. Should I apply for IELTS Academic or General?

    A. When deciding whether to apply for IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training, it’s essential to consider your specific goals and requirements.
    IELTS Academic is the appropriate choice if you want to pursue higher education at a university or academic institution. On the other hand, if you are planning to immigrate to an English-speaking country or wish to work in a professional environment, IELTS General Training may be more suitable.

  • Q Does the IELTS speaking test happen on the same day as the test?

    A. The scheduling of the IELTS speaking test depends on the type of test you are taking. If you are taking the Computer-Based Test (CBT), the speaking test may be conducted on the same day as the other sections. On the other hand, if you are taking the Paper-Based Test (PBT), the speaking test is typically scheduled separately on a different day. In PBT, the speaking test is conducted face-to-face with an examiner, and the test centres usually arrange specific speaking test slots on different days to accommodate candidates.

  • Q. How is the IELTS band score calculated?

    A. The IELTS band score represents your overall English language proficiency, and it is determined by evaluating your performance in each section of the exam, which includes Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. For the Listening and Reading sections, your responses are marked against predefined criteria, and you receive scores ranging from 0 to 9 for each section. These individual scores indicate your level of proficiency in understanding spoken and written English.

  • Q. Can I retake the IELTS test if I’m unsatisfied with my IELTS band score?

    A. Absolutely! If you are not content with your IELTS band score or wish to improve it, you can retake the test. Unlike some standardised exams, there is no restriction on the number of times you can take the IELTS test. Retaking the IELTS exam allows you to work towards achieving a better band score that aligns with your specific goals, whether it’s for university admissions, employment opportunities, or immigration purposes.

  • Q. Can I combine IELTS band scores from different IELTS test sessions to meet specific requirements?

    A. No,  the IELTS policy strictly prohibits combining scores from different test sessions to fulfil specific requirements. Each IELTS test result is considered separate and stands alone as a valid representation of your language proficiency. This means that IELTS band scores from one test session cannot be merged with scores from another, even if they were taken at different times.

  • Q. Is there any negative marking for incorrect answers in the IELTS exam?

    A. No, there is no negative marking for incorrect answers. The IELTS exam operates differently, unlike some tests where you might lose marks for wrong responses. You are encouraged to try your best to answer all questions, even if you are uncertain about the correct response. The IELTS exam aims to provide a fair and unbiased assessment of your language proficiency by not penalising incorrect answers.

  • Q. How can I improve my IELTS band score if I want to achieve a higher level?

    A: To improve your IELTS band score:
    -Focus on strengthening your English language skills through regular practice.
    -Utilise sample tests to become familiar with the exam format and types of questions.
    -Seek guidance from experienced IELTS instructors who can provide valuable feedback.
    -Manage your time effectively during the exam, and aim for consistency in your preparation efforts.

  • Q. What is an IELTS band score, and why is it important?

    A. An IELTS band score is a numerical representation of your English language proficiency. It ranges from 0 to 9, with 9 being the highest. It is crucial for various purposes, including university admissions, immigration, and employment. Different institutions and countries have specific band score requirements, and achieving the required score is essential for success in these endeavours.

  • Q. How is the IELTS band score calculated?

    A. The IELTS band score is calculated based on your performance in each section: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Your raw scores in each section are converted to a band score using a conversion table. The average of these four individual scores determines your overall band score. Understanding how scores are calculated helps test-takers focus on improving specific skills and achieving their desired band score.

  • Q. What is the difference between individual section scores and overall band scores?

    A. The individual section scores in IELTS (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) represent your performance in each specific skill. These scores are given on a scale of 0 to 9. The overall band score is the average of these four section scores. While some institutions may have specific requirements for individual sections, others emphasise the overall band score. Test-takers must know their section scores and the overall band score, depending on their goals.

Know more about IELTS

Get Free Speaking Practice Samples
Get Free Reading Practice Samples
Get Free Writing Practice Samples
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IELTS Important Information
IELTS Test Centre and Dates in India
Anjandeep Singh

Anjandeep is a study-abroad advisor, with years of experience in the international education industry. He specializes in guiding students towards opportunities in Canada and the UK.

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