How do IELTS Calculate Band Scores?

Overall Band Scores.

How is my overall band score calculated?

Your overall IELTS band score is given as a score between 0 and 9 calculated by adding up the 4 scores for listening, reading, speaking and writing, then dividing them by 4.

For example, if you got the following scores: L = 8, R = 7, S = 6 and W = 7.5 then those would be calculated like this: 8 + 7 + 6 + 7.5 = 28.5 (divide by 4) = 7.125.  Therefore the overall band score is 7.

Are band scores rounded up and down?

Yes. Band scores are rounded up or down to the nearest half band.  For example 7.75 is rounded up to band 8, but 8.125 is rounded down to band 8.

IELTS Writing Band Scores (Academic & General Training)

How is my IELTS writing score calculated?

Your IELTS writing is calculated by adding together the band scores for task 1 and task 2.  However, the calculation is a little more complicated because task 2 is worth two-thirds of the marks and task 1 is worth a third of the marks.  To calculate the overall writing band score, add 1 (task 1 band score) with 2 (task 2 band scores) and divide by 3.

For example...

... if you get band 5 for task 1 and band 7 for task 2, the following calculation would apply...

Task 1 = band score 5 (x 1) = 5   Task 2 = band score 7 (x 2) = 14

5+14 = 19  (divided by 3) = 6.33 rounded to the nearest half band  =  6.5 Band Score

How do Examiners Assess IELTS Writing?

Your IELTS writing is assessed according to a very specific criteria, which is the IELTS Writing Band Score Descriptors. Your writing is assessed according to 4 specific descriptors:

1) Task Achievement. This criteria assesses how completely and effectively you answered the question.

3) Lexical Resource assesses your range and accuracy in using academic vocabulary, phrases and collocations.

4) Grammatical Range and Accuracy assesses your accuracy and range of grammatical tenses, different sentence structures, and punctuation.

IELTS Writing Band Score Descriptors.

Below there are links to the IELTS writing band score descriptors. They are worth looking over in detail to gain an awareness of what the examiners are looking for when they mark your answers. Note: All the writing techniques in the video lessons on this website were developed to specifically address these descriptors and maximise band scores.

Listening, Reading & Speaking Band Scores.

How do IELTS calculate reading and listening scores?

For reading and listening, it depends on the number of answers you get correct.  Out of 40 marks, you get the following bands scores:

Listening Band Scores (Academic & GT Modules)

Band 9 (39-40) Band 8.5 (37-38) Band 8 (35-36) Band 7.5 (32-34) Band 7 (30-31) Band 6.5

(26-29)  Band 6 (23-25) Band 5.5 (18-22) Band 5 (16-17) Band 4.5 (13-15) Band 4 (11-12).