IELTS Scoring: Explained in Detail

All the four modules of IELTS Exam – Listening, Reading, Writing & Speaking – are weighted equally.
The overall band score is calculated by taking an average of total score of four modules.

For example,

Listening Reading Writing Speaking Overall
7.5 8.0 7.0 7.5 7.5

Calculating Overall Band Score:
  • 7.5 + 8.0 + 7.0 + 7.5 = 30 (Total of all the four modules)
  • 30 / 4 = 7.5 (Average of the total score)

IELTS Overall Band Score is calculated between 0 to 9 Band. The score is rounded up or down to the next half or whole Band. To make this statement clear, below are some examples.

  • If the average score ends in .25, the overall score is rounded up to next half band. For example, an average of 6.25 is rounded up to 6.50
  • If the average score ends in .75, the overall score is rounded up to next whole band. For example, an average of 6.75 is rounded up to 7.0
  • If the average score ends in .10, the overall score will go down. For example, an average score of 6.1 is rounded up to 6.0

You can calculate your IELTS Score here.
Let’s take a closer look on band score description of each module so that you can undergo focused IELTS test preparation.

Component-wise Band Score Descriptors

IELTS Listening Test

This module comprises of 40 questions each worth 1 point in the raw score. Here,

Raw Score = How many questions you answer correctly.

You don’t lose points for incorrect answers.
Below is the table denoting Raw Score and its conversion to Band Score for IELTS Listening Test.

Band Score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5
Score / 40 39-40 37-38 35-36 32-34 30-31 26-29 23-25 18-22 16-17 13-15 10-12 8-10 6-7 4-5

IELTS Reading Test

This test comprises of 40 questions each worth 1 point in the raw score. One thing to be taken into consideration here is that the conversion of Raw Score to Band Score is different for IELTS Academic Reading & General Training Reading.

Here is the table denoting Raw Score and its conversion to Band Score for Academic Reading Test & General Training Reading Test.

Academic Reading Band Score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5
Score / 40 39-40 37-38 35-36 32-34 30-31 26-29 23-25 18-22 16-17 13-15 10-12 8-10 6-7 4-5
 
General Training Reading Band Score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5
Score / 40 39-40 37-38 35-36 32-34 30-31 26-29 23-25 18-22 16-17 13-15 10-12 8-10 6-7 4-5

IELTS Writing Test

This test comprises of two tasks. These tasks are evaluated using IELTS Writing Assessment Criteria to provide a Band Score to each of the four criteria.

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

These criteria are equally weighted and the Writing Band Score is an average of the total score of these criteria.

IELTS Speaking Test

This test is a face-to-face interview between the test taker and the examiner. It is scored using the IELTS Speaking Assessment Criteria for each of the following four criteria:

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

These criteria are equally weighted and the Speaking Band Score is an average of the total score of these criteria.

Prepare for your IELTS Test keeping the scoring pattern in mind. Attempt IELTS Practice tests or free IELTS mock tests to polish your skills and improve your score. You can also opt for IELTS Online Coaching.