When you get your IELTS test results you will be given an overall test score of between 0 and 9 on the IELTS scale. You will also get a score for each of the four sections of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The IELTS scale helps organisations understand your level of English.
IELTS Band Score:
9 Skill Level: Expert
- The test taker has fully operational command of the language.
- Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.
8 Skill Level: Very good
- The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage.
- They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.
7 Skill Level: Good
- The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations.
- They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
6 Skill Level: Competent
- The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings.
- They can use and understand reasonably complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
5 Skill Level: Modest
- The test taker has a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes.
- They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.
4 Skill Level: Limited
- The test taker's basic competence is limited to familiar situations.
- They frequently show problems in understanding and expression.
3 Skill Level: Extremely limited
- The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations.
- There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
2 Skill Level: Intermittent
- The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1 Skill Level: Non-user
- The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
0 Skill Level: Did not attempt the test
- The test taker did not answer the questions.
Calculating your overall score
For each section of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking – you will be awarded a score on the IELTS scale. Your overall score is the average of your section scores, rounded to the closest half-point on the scale.
How long is my IELTS score valid?
We recommend that IELTS test results are considered valid for two years after a test has been taken. This is based on research into second-language loss. Organisations that accept IELTS can choose to accept results for a longer period, so you should check with them directly.