How is IELTS Band score calculated?explained in detail

How are IELTS band scores calculated 2019?

The IELTS band scores range from 0 to 9. Your score can also have .5, like 7.5 or 8.5 band.
You get an overall band score and a band score for each of the skills like

  • listening (0-9) example score – 6.5
  • Reading (0-9) example score – 7.0
  • Writing (0-9)   example score – 7.5
  • Speaking (0-9)example score – 6.5

Overall band score is an average of all the skills. Example overall IELTS band score for the above is 7.0.

IELTS band score

The overall Band score is rounded to the nearest .0 or 0.5, so your score is always either ending in .0
for example

  • If your overall score average is – 6.1, your overall score will be 6.0
  • If your overall score average is – 7.25, then overall score will be 7.5
  • If your overall score average is- 7.75, your overall score will be 8.0
  • Your overall score is rounded up to the nearest 0.5 or a whole number.

Band score descriptions – what do they mean?

When they say you need a minimum score of 6.5 band on IELTS, What do they want?
Each band has a certain description. It represents the level of English you currently use. Band 9 means you have full understanding of English. You can communicate accurately, like a native speaker. Look at the chart below to read the descriptions.

Band score descriptions
Band score descriptions

Listening and reading band score explained

The number of correct answers determine your score in both listening and reading modules of the test.
There is no negative scoring in IELTS so, only the number of correct answers are counted. Out of 40 questions in listening and reading module, the number of correct answers determines your score.

IELTS listening score

The table below shows how many correct answers are necessary for each band.

IELTS listening score
IELTS listening score

If you have taken the IELTS test and are wondering what your score may be, then this table can help you figure it out.

IELTS reading score for academic module

IELTS academic reading score
IELTS academic reading score

General training band score for reading

General training reading band score
General training reading band score

IELTS Writing assessment criteria – evaluating writing tasks


Task achievement (task 1 – usually a graph or picture with a question)

  • Presenting accurate information.
  • Providing an overview.
  • highlight key features or stages.
  • supporting details with data.

Task response (task 2 – essay type question)

  • addressing the task or answering the question asked.
  • giving relevant main points that are supported and developed.
  • Stating a clear position or giving an opinion when asked.
  • providing a conclusion.

Other factors they consider are:

Coherence and cohesion

  • organizing information or ideas into paragraphs.
  • Each paragraph should have a main idea.
  • Linking paragraphs using linking words and sentences.

Lexical resources

  • Using a range of words and paraphrasing.
  • using collocations ( words that commonly occur together ).
  • spellings.
  • avoiding errors.

Grammar and accuracy

  • using a range of sentence structure.
  • using grammar tenses.
  • punctuation is right.
  • avoiding grammar errors.

For more on how writing tasks are assessed you can check the official descriptions

IELTS band score descriptors by IELTS (official public version) for writing task 1

IELTS band score descriptors by IELTS (official public version) for writing task 2

Speaking assessment criteria for academic and general training

Speaking test is assessed on four factors such as


  • avoiding long pauses and hesitations
  • talking at length
  • avoiding frequent self correction
  • being understandable
  • linking information

lexical resource

  • good vocabulary
  • Paraphrasing and using a range of words.
  • avoiding errors
  • using collocations .

grammar and pronunciation.

  • easily understandable speech
  • Using intonation
  • clear accent
  • accurate pronunciation
  • avoiding grammar errors
  • using a range of sentence structures.

If you want further details check the official descriptors for speaking test.

1 thought on “How is IELTS Band score calculated?explained in detail”

  1. Pingback: How are answers in IELTS marked? - Fryenglish

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