IELTS Band Score 2024 - Everything You Need to Know

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MOEC

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Updated On 22 July 2023

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Overview

 Are you planning to go abroad for study or work purposes? If yes, then you must understand the importance of the IELTS exam and its band scores while migrating to an English-speaking country.

 

From pursuing higher education overseas to permanent residency to accessing global work opportunities, the IELTS band score is a highly required document for a non-native English speaker.

 

Today, in this blog, you will learn all the exam patterns and IELTS scoring criteria. 

 

What do you understand by the IELTS exam?

 Let’s start with a detailed understanding of the IELTS exam format. There are four sections, listening, reading, speaking, and writing, and you must attempt all of them.

 

The IELTS exam has two modules for study and work purposes - Academic and General. Attempting these exams is not tough as there’s no pass or fail over here.

 

You’ll be graded on your ability to speak, read, listen and write, using the IELTS scores from 1-9 for each part. With the IELTS highest score, you can get admission to top-class universities and work anywhere in the world.

 

Also, the unique 9-band IELTS exam score will measure your performance constantly, wherever and whenever the test is taken. 

 

What’s an IELTS band score?

  Now that you have understood how important the IELTS exam is and its band scores. Also, about the marking system, let’s take a detailed look at the IELTS band score.

 

Scoring between 1-9 takes into account the increments of 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75. The mean result for all four parts of the IELTS exam is used to compute the overall band score. Scores ending in .25 are rounded up to the next half band, while IELTS scores ending in .75 are rounded to the next entire band.

 

If you need an IELTS band score for university applications, you must thoroughly study the requirements and prerequisites as they differ from university to university and even for various courses. Below is the table for band descriptors:

Band score

Skill level

Description

Band 9

Expert user

 - Full operational command of the language.

 - Proper English usage with accuracy and fluency 

 - Complete understanding.

Band 8

Very good user

 - Full operational command of the language.

 - Only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. 

 - Misunderstandings in unfamiliar situations. 

 - Handle complex detailed argumentation well.

Band 7

Good user

 - Operational command of the language

 - Occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. 

 - Handle complex language well 

 - Understand detailed reasoning.

Band 6

Competent user

 - Effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. 

 - Use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

Band 5

Modest user

 - Partial command of the language.

 - Cope with overall meaning in most situations. 

 - Many mistakes. 

 - Handle basic communication in your own field.

Band 4

Limited user

 - Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. 

 - Frequently show problems in understanding and expressing. 

 - Not able to use complex language.

Band 3

Extremely limited user

 - Convey and understand only general meaning in very familiar situations. 

 - Frequent breakdowns in communication.

Band 2

Intermittent user

 - Great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

Band 1

Non-user

 - No ability to use the language except for a few isolated words.

Band 0

Did not attempt the test

 - Didn’t answer the questions.

After detailed knowledge of band score descriptors, here’s an interpretation of each section particularly: 

 

  • Listening - The IELTS listening score is assessed on 40 questions, where 1 mark is awarded every time your answer is correct. The raw score out of 40 is then converted to a 9-band IELTS score scale.

Raw Score

Band Score

39-40

9

37-38

8.5

35-36

8

32-34

7.5

30-31

7

26-29

6.5

23-25

6

18-22

5.5

16-17

5

13-15

4.5

11-12

4

  • Reading - The reading band score has 40 questions again. The rules are the same, but the scoring scale differs from academic to general in terms of genre or text type.

Academic Reading Test - Raw Score Conversion

Raw Score

Band Score

39-40

9

37-38

8.5

35-36

8

33-34

7.5

30-32

7

27-29

6.5

23-26

6

19-22

5.5

15-18

5

13-14

4.5

10-12

4

8-9

3.5

6-7

3

General Reading Test - Raw Score Conversion

Raw Score

Band Score

40

9

39

8.5

37-38

8

36

7.5

34-35

7

32-33

6.5

30-31

6

27-29

5.5

23-26

5

19-22

4.5

15-18

4

12-14

3.5

9-11

3

  • Writing - An examiner marks the two-part writing test and assigns an IELTS band score based on four criteria:

 

  • Task completion (Task 1) / Task Response (Task 2)

  • Coherence and cohesion

  • Lexical Resource 

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

 

Each criterion is weighted equally. The four criteria scores are averaged to get the overall IELTS writing band score.

  • Speaking - Everything’s the same for the speaking section. Also, the IELTS speaking score is assessed on the below criteria. 

    • Task Achievement (Task 1) / Task Response (Task 2)

    • Coherence and Cohesion

    • Lexical Resource

    • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

 

How to Prepare for the IELTS Exam?

Along with a detailed understanding of the IELTS band score and its marking criteria, you should focus on achieving the highest band in IELTS. You just need to practice hard to achieve everything you want with dedication. Don’t worry! You don’t need to put your nose into the grindstone.

 

Start watching English movies, TV shows, books, journals, magazines, and newspapers, focus on details and the right pronunciation of vocabulary, devote time effectively, practice in front of your mirror, and work hard on a consistent basis.

 

Apart from this, you can also check on resources like Road to IELTS by the British Council, Barron’s and Parthesh Thakka’s IELTS books for each section, and The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS, among others.

 

Besides practising, mock tests are significantly helpful when you need clarity in the structure, help assess your difficulty level, gain objective assessment on all parts, and enhance your English skills.

 

How to Improve Your Overall Band Score?

 You must start practising for your IELTS exam with the above tips and understand how to improve your overall 9-band IELTS scores to impact universities and careers available significantly.

 

Have a look at the targeted strategies to enhance performance in each section: 

 

  • IELTS listening score - Actively listen to the recordings. Take notes. Paraphrase. Jot down new words. Practise correct pronunciation. Find synonyms and antonyms. 

  • IELTS reading score - Read as much as possible. Identification of task types. From 1st to 3rd, passages will become difficult. 

  • IELTS writing score - Read instructions carefully. Take feedbacks. Pay close attention to grammatical nuances. Use words and phrases for coherence. Interlink your opinion with one of the authors. 

  • IELTS speaking score - Practice spoken English. Slowly focus on pronunciation. Show off your vocabulary and conversation skills. 

 

Lastly, as a significant part of strategies, you must learn to manage your time effectively and enhance your test-taking skills or techniques. 

 

IELTS Band Score Requirements

 The IELTS band score requirements vary depending on your utility of the band, say for getting admission to a university or general immigration, etc. They commonly range from 5.5 to 7.5 for both academic and general modules. Let’s explore the requirements in brief.

 

For university admissions

Country

Bachelor’s (minimum)

Master’s (minimum)

Australia

6.0

6.5

New Zealand

6.0 to 6.5

6.0 to 6.5

Canada

5.5 to 6.0

6.0 to 6.5

U.S.A

6.0

7.0

U.K

6.5

7.0 to 7.5

  For immigration and visa applications

Country

IELTS Band Score Requirements

Australia

General Skilled Migration (GSM): Overall 6.0, no less than 6.0 in each module.

 

Employer-Sponsored Visas: Varies depending on the specific visa subclass, commonly between 5.0 to 7.0.

New Zealand

Skilled Migrant Category: Overall 6.5, no less than 6.0 in each module.

 

Other Work and Study Visas: Varies depending on the visa type. Generally, 5.5 to 6.5.

Canada

Express Entry System: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for most economic immigration programs.

 

Quebec Skilled Worker Program: CLB 5 in speaking, CLB 4 in other modules.

U.S.A

There is no specific IELTS requirement for U.S. immigration. Language proficiency is assessed during the immigration process.

U.K

Skilled Worker Visa (formerly Tier 2 General): Overall 6.5, with at least 5.5 in each module, or 80 in the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.

 

Other visas may have different requirements. Always check the official guidelines for the specific visa you are applying for.

For professional registration and employment 

 

Australia

New Zealand

Canada

U.S.A

U.K

Listening

7.0

7.5

8.0

8.0

7.5

Reading

7.0

7.5

8.0

7.0

7.5

Writing

7.0

7.5

7.0

7.0

7.0

Speaking

7.0

7.5

7.0

7.0

7.0 

FAQs

Q. Do I have to take the entire test on the same day? Which section do I start with?

A. The test's Listening, Reading, and Writing sections are always performed consecutively and without a pause. Depending on the exam centre, you can take the Speaking test up to 7 days before or after the test date. Many of our test centres will allow you to complete all four parts of the test on the same day or to finish the Speaking part on a different day, depending on what works best for you. The Listening part will be completed first, followed by the Reading and Writing part of the test.

 

Q. What am I permitted to bring into the examination room?

A. Just pens, pencils, and erasers are permitted. You must bring the passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form to the test. Everything else must be left outside the exam room. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off and deposited in the allocated location with personal belongings. You will be disqualified if you do not turn off your phone/pager or keep it with you.

 

Q. How are the tests marked?

A. To report test scores consistently, IELTS employs a 9-band scoring system. Individual band scores for Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking and an overall band score on a scale of 1-9 are assigned.

 

Q. How soon can I re-sit the test?

A. There is no time limit for taking the exam. Nonetheless, it is strongly advised that you study further before taking the test again. Some testing centres provide preparatory courses as well as language training.

 

Q. What if I am not happy with my result?

A. Within 6 weeks after the exam date, you can apply for a re-mark at your test centre, also known as an Inquiry on Results. An inquiry charge must be paid, which will be fully reimbursed if your band score changes. It is important to note that IELTS Examiners and Markers adhere to tight assessment rules and are routinely checked. The IELTS testing system employs the most stringent quality control procedures.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, the IELTS exam and its band score are important to understand so that you know how hard you need to work on your English skills to get IELTS highest score

 

Now you also have complete knowledge about preparing for the IELTS exam and achieving your desired score. Don’t forget to check on detailed IELTS band score requirements for your purpose of going abroad. 

 

We hope you enjoyed learning about IELTS Band Score 2024. If you would like to get a deeper insight into the IELTS exam score, we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our counsellors will provide you with guidance throughout your study abroad journey. 


Get help with the application process, SOPs and filing for a visa. Visit us and get one-to-one counselling or avail yourself of free video counselling via our website. We will be happy to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at application02@meridean.org or 1800-1230-00011.

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