How are IELTS answers scored?

IELTS scoring system – How is IELTS marked?

IELTS test has 4 modules and each module is scored differently. There is an overall score or Band and an individual score for each module. Usually academic institutions require a certain band in each module and an overall band score too. The overall score is simply an average of all the individual module scores.

Example score:
Listening – 5.0, Reading – 5.0, writing – 7.0 and speaking – 7.0

5+5+7+7 = 24/4 = 6.0

Overall band – 6.0


Individual modules have different Band score that are given to the actual score.
There are 40 questions in the listening module. If all the answers are correct the candidate gets 9 band.

IELTS band calculator card for listening

IELTS band calculator card for listening

IELTS band calculator card for academic reading

IELTS band calculator card for academic reading

The listening section has 40 questions that need to be answered. The pictures show how the score is converted to the IELTS Band in listening which is common to both Academic and General IELTS tests. The writing and speaking modules have different parameters that are calculated to get a score.

How is the IELTS task 1 marked – Band scale explained.


Writing task 1 is measured for
1. Task Achievement – What is Task achievement? It is to measure how much of the question was answered properly. This term is used for marking the IELTS writing task 1.
2. Coherence and Cohesion – the clarity, progression and relevance of the answers are measured to arrive at a particular Band score.
3. Lexical resources – This is fancy term which means usage of vocabulary. It measures the range of words used and how natural was the usage of different words.
4. Grammatical range and accuracy – The usage of different grammar structures including, various descriptors and tenses are carefully checked.

The score is given by examiners and they usually follow some internal specific guidelines to score.

Writing task 2 has the same parameters except the first one.
It’s termed Task responses. It refers to how well developed is the essay, has it clearly stated the position or opinions.