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How Are Scores Calculated in IELTS?

IELTS has four sections. All of these four sections are given scores from 1 to 9. You can score half bands (5.5) or whole bands (5.0) in each of these sections of IELTS.

Overall score

How is your overall score calculated?

Your overall score is calculated with the help of the mean score of all the four sections. The four sections of the IELTS are writing, speaking, reading and listening. The score of each of these sections is put together and then divided by four. Then your overall score is rounded up to the band which is the nearest.

For example:

Suppose you get the following scores in each of the IELTS sections

Listening: 6.5

Reading – 6.5

Speaking – 7.0

Writing – 5.0

Your total score is – 25

Divided by four: 6.25

Your overall score would be: 6.25

Reading and listening scores: How are they calculated

The listening and reading sections in IELTS have 40 questions each. Each of these questions carries one mark. You can score max 40 for each of these sections.

A band from 1 to 9 is given based on your raw score in each of these sections.

Speaking and writing scores: How are they calculated?

The scoring for these two sections of IELTS is a bit more detailed than the other two. Let us see how the scores are calculated.

The writing section in IELTS has two “tasks”. Each of these tasks are scored individually.

The two tasks are:

  • Letter writing
  • Essay writing

Each of these tasks contains four scoring criteria(s):

The four criteria(s) are:

  • Lexical Resource
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Grammatical range and accuracy
  • Task response (for Task 2) and Task achievement (for Task 1)

Each of these four criteria(s) are weighed equally

The Speaking section too has four scoring criteria(s):

They are as follows:

  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy
  • Pronunciation
  • Fluency and Coherence

Each of these four criteria(s) are weighed equally

The IELTS scoring scale:

0 – You didn’t take the test

1 – You have no ability of the English language

2 – You face difficulty with writing and speaking in English

3 – You can convey general meaning the communication often breaks down

4 – Your competence of English is limited to situations you are familiar with

5 – You have partial command of English and you are able to cope in spite of making mistakes

6 – You have effective command of English in spite of few inaccuracies here and there

7 – You have operational command of English except few occasional mistakes

8 – You have fully operational command of English with a few inappropriate uses of words here and there

9 – You are completely fluent and accurate in using the English language