The calculation of the IELTS Exam score
The results certificate is sent to you within 13 days following the day of the exam.
Be aware that some test centres will not send test results worldwide, while others will also allow you to consult your results online. You can find out more from the test centre in which you will sit your IELTS exam.
On your results certificate, you will find 5 scores:
4 subscores, one for each section (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking)
1 total score: the overall band score, which is the average of the 4 subscores
Each of these 5 scores is marked between 1 and 9. Each subscore is worth the same as the others and all the scores are rounded to the nearest half point.
Examples of IELTS scores
If you obtain 3.25, the score will be rounded to 3.50
- If you obtain 7.75, the score will be rounded to 8
- If you obtain 2.10, the score will be rounded to 2
The sections are marked in accordance with several marking criteria which differ according to each section
- Writing: correct execution of tasks, coherence and cohesion, vocabulary, and the usage of correct grammar and precision.
- Speaking: pronunciation, fluency and coherence, vocabulary, and the usage of correct grammar and precision
- For the Listening and Reading sections: the number of correct answers (out of a total of 40 questions) is translated into a score out of 9 (for example, between 10 and 13 correct answers gives you a score of 4/0, while between 39 and 40 correct answers give you a score of 9/9)
The score reflects the candidate’s proficiency in English
IELTS Score – Interpretation
|9||Expert User||Total mastery of the language. Understands perfectly and is at ease orally|
|8||Very good user||Very good operational mastery of the language. Some occasional faults.|
|7||Good user||Good general mastery of the language, despite some errors and misunderstandings|
|6||Competent user||Competent mastery of the language in unfamiliar situations. Good mastery of everyday situations. Multiple errors and misunderstandings|
|5||Modest User||Ability to understand the general meaning of a situation, despite numerous errors and misunderstandings|
|4||Limited user||Ability to deal with a few daily situations. The candidate does not use complex language|
|3||Extremely limited user||Can only deal with very familiar situations. Has difficulties communicating.|
|2||Intermittent user||Has great difficulties communicating and being understood|
|1||Non-user||Does not know how to speak the language except for certain ideas|
|0||Did not sit the exam|
The Common European Framework of Reference to Languages (CEFR) is used in France and abroad by most universities and language schools. It allows the comparison of scores between different tests on the same scale.
The following table shows the correlation between IELTS exam scores and CEFR levels
IELTS – Who recognizes it?
Thousands of organizations (universities, schools, employers, governments) recognize the scores obtained in the IELTS exams as proof of your English level.
The IELTS exam is not a test that you pass or fail. Organisations determine their own score requirements according to the level of English that they deem necessary. Universities generally require a score of 6 or 7. Please note that they may also require a minimum score for each section.
Scores are valid for two years. If you are not satisfied with your score, you may sit the IELTS exam as many times as you wish. However, given the test fee, it is better to practice correctly for the IELTS in order to obtain the highest possible score on your first try.