How is IELTS scored?

IELTS exam scoring system

IELTS is marked by trained examiners and they are given rigorous training for conducting the test. The examiners are qualified in English language teaching and/or have a certificate for English language studies. It really depends on the requirements and demands of the country in which you are applying.

Candidates receive a band score on a scale of 1 to 9. The four skills are scored on this scale and these individual scores are then averaged and rounded to produce an overall band score.

IELTS scoring criteria

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For example, if your Reading is 7.0, Listening 6.5, Writing 6.0 and Speaking 6.0, the overall average score will be 6.375 which will be rounded off to 6.5.

IELTS official guide gives general overview of the band scores on different levels. Here I am giving you a table format which is just a representation of the band scores based on the information given in official website. However, depending on the difficulty level of the test, these band levels may be changed.

In general, reading and listening sections are marked by two examiners to avoid mistakes. The table below provides basic guide to IELTS band score divisions for Listening and reading tests.

IELTS Listening Bands table

Convert your correct answers into band score

IELTS Listening band calculator



IELTS Reading bands table

Convert your correct answers into band score

IELTS Reading Band calculator


Similarly, Writing and Speaking are scored on different criteria which I will discuss in another post.

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