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How IELTS is scored

The IELTS band score chart below explains your IELTS mark in more detail. It helps you understand the band score you see on your official IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). On your Test Report Form, you’ll find your overall band score and the results you achieved in each part of the test.

All IELTS band scores are between 0 and 9. IELTS gives band scores as whole or half band scores. For example, you can get a band score of 8 or 8.5. Learn more about how IELTS band scores are calculated.

Official IELTS band score chart

IELTS Band ScoreSkill LevelDescription
Band 9Expert userYou have fully operational command of the language. Your use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding
Band 8Very good userYou have fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. You may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. You handle complex and detailed argumentation well.
Band 7Good userYou have operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. You generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
Band 6Competent userYou have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. You can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
Band 5Modest userYou have a partial command of the language and cope with overall meaning in most situations, although you are likely to make many mistakes. You should be able to handle basic communication in your own field.
Band 4Limited userYour basic competence is limited to familiar situations. You frequently show problems in understanding and expression. You are not able to use complex language.
Band 3Extremely limited userYou convey and understand only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
Band 2Intermittent userYou have great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
Band 1Non-userYou have no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
Band 0Did not attempt the testYou did not answer the questions.

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IELTS band scores FAQ

Why do I score higher in some parts of the test over others?

It is common for people to achieve a different band score for each skill and completely normal to have a difference of up to two bands between skills. This occurs regardless of the language being tested and the type of language test taken. Listening and Speaking are often the strongest skills for most people.

Hear from IELTS expert, Don, as he talks about the IELTS assessment criteria and official IELTS band scores, to help you perform your best on test day.

Can you help me understand how the IELTS test is assessed?

Hear from IELTS expert, Don, as he talks about the IELTS assessment criteria and official IELTS band scores, to help you perform your best on test day.

Learn more about IELTS sub band scores