IELTS test tip videos

How IELTS tests are marked


Want to know how to get a top score? Understand how IELTS is marked.

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What you need to know about how IELTS tests are marked.

Wonder what the numbers 1-9 mean in IELTS? Let’s take a look at it together! There’s no pass or fail in IELTS. You get what’s called a “band score” from 1 to 9 that indicates the level of your English skills. There can also be half band scores. So, for example, you could get a 7.5 instead of a 7. For each of the four components of the test you get individual band scores.

How do you get your overall band score? This is an average of your four individual scores. To work this out, add your Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking scores together, then divide this by four. Simple, right? How do you get marked for each test component? The Listening and Reading tests, each contain 40 questions. You get one mark for each correct answer. Your individual band scores for these tests depend on the number of correct answers you get. See how many correct answers you need for each band score here. The Writing and Speaking tests are a little bit different. The examiner uses detailed criteria to assess your skills based on how you perform.

Take a look at the assessment criteria. It’s also available for download. So now, you’re all set! But before you rush ahead, remember that your tests will be marked by highly qualified and trained examiners. They don’t know why you are taking the test, and they don’t know what score you need. So you can be sure your test is marked fairly and consistently.


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