How to calculate IELTS Band scores
The IELTS Test is made up of four sections, the reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each of these sections is worth 25% of your score, so no section of the test is weighted more than the other.
To get your overall band score, each section is calculated and then your band is the average of those four scores. Overall scores are rounded up to the nearest .5. So, if your average overall score is 6.75, this will be rounded up to a 7.
However, this is not the case with individual sections of the test where scores are rounded down. Example, in writing, if you get a 6.75, this would be rounded down to a 6.5 and NOT rounded up to a 7.
Here is an example of the band score descriptors, for you to get an idea of what is expected for band band 6 to band 9.
The IELTS Reading Band Scores
The marking for reading is objective where the number of correct answers will determine your band score. Each question is worth one mark. Spelling mistakes will be marked as incorrect so it is important that your spelling is as accurate as possible.
Academic Reading Scores
General Reading Scores
IELTS Listening Scores
The marking for listening is also objective where the number of correct answers will determine your band score. Each question is worth one mark. Spelling mistakes will be marked as incorrect so it is important that your spelling is as accurate as possible.
IELTS Speaking Scores
The IELTS Speaking section is scored on 4 criteria:
- Fluency and Coherence
- Lexical Resources
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Band descriptors for Speaking can be found HERE
In order to score at a particular band, the candidate has to fulfill ALL the positive descriptors for that band. For example, at band 7 under Fluency and Coherence the positive descriptors are:
- speaks at length without noticeable effort or loss of coherence
- may demonstrate language-related hesitation at times, or some repetition and/or self-correction
- uses a range of connectives and discourse markers with some flexibility
If a candidate fulfills only 1 or 2 of the descriptors, he or she cannot score a 7 for Fluency and Coherence.
IELTS Writing Band Scores
Task 2 of the exam is worth double the marks of task 1 and there are different band descriptors for each task. As with the speaking test, there are four criteria that are considered:
- Task Achievement
- Coherence and Cohesion
- Lexical Resources
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy.
The band descriptors for task 1 also include certain criteria that are relevant only for the General test and others that apply only to Academic. For example, for the General test, it is important test takers use the right tone (formal or informal) in their letters but for the Academic test, students must include an overview in their response in order to be considered for a band 6.
You can find band descriptors for task 1 here: https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/ielts_task_1_writing_band_descriptors.pdf
In order to score at a particular band, the candidate has to fulfill ALL the positive descriptors for that band. For example, at band 7 under Task Achievement for Task 2 the positive descriptors are:
- Addresses ALL parts of the task
- Presents a clear position THROUGHOUT the response
- Presents, EXTENDS AND SUPPORTS main ideas
If a candidate fails to fulfill all the positive descriptors for this band, he or she cannot obtain a 7 for Task Achievement.
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