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IELTS Score 2021: Score Range, Score Calculation, Raw Score to Scaled Score Conversion, Score Validity

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Sayantani Barman

Study Abroad Expert | Updated On -Jun 10, 2021

IELTS scores are scaled on a scale of 0-9. IELTS uses a 9 band scale for four sections: Listening, Writing, Reading, and Speaking. Overall IELTS Band score is calculated on the average score secured in four components. The band score of IELTS is rounded to the closest half band or the whole band. If the average band score comes down to 0.25 then the overall IELTS band score will be converted to the nearest half band and if the overall band score of IELTS comes down to 0.75 then the score will be converted to the nearest whole number.  

IELTS Band Score in India

As IELTS is an exam meant for the candidates of non-English speaking countries who are willing to study in English-speaking countries, India has a dominant number of IELTS test-takers.

IELTS Mean Score Secured by Indian Students

Even after being non-English speakers, Indian candidates have secured a sufficient score in IELTS, especially in speaking and listening. For a detailed overview of the IELTS score secured by Indian candidates check the graph below:

Mean IELTS Score of Indian Candidates based on mother tongue

In all the sections, the Marathi-speaking candidates from India are seen to exceed others. After that, there are Malayalam and Kannada speaking candidates. This shows that even though the mean IELTS band score in India is 6.72, a few regions of India scored more than that.

How the IELTS Band Scores are Calculated?

IELTS band score is calculated in a complex way: each section of IELTS has a raw score. The raw score of each section is based on the number of questions and the obtained IETLS raw score is the number of correct answers given.

IELTS Listening Score 

In IELTS listening section, candidates get 40 questions each. Each question carries 1 point, which makes the raw IELTS listening scores. The IELTS listening scores are calculated using the table mentioned below

IELTS General Reading Score 

IELTS general reading contains 40 questions and the IELTS general reading score can be calculated by following the below table 

IELTS Academic Reading Score

IELTS academic reading contains 40 questions. IELTS general reading is comparatively easier than IELTS academic reading. The approximate band score of IELTS reading is obtained out of 40 and is converted in a 9-band scale to get the scaled score of these sections. For example, a candidate has secured 34 out of 40 in IELTS reading – to understand the scaled score, the candidates have to find out the equivalent of 34 in terms of 9. The process is (34/40)*9= 7.65. This is how IELTS reading is calculated.

IELTS Writing Score

Candidates have two tasks to attempt two tasks. IELTS writing score is given based on 4 marking criteria:

  • Task Achievement (for Task 1) or Task Response (for Task 2)
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

IELTS writing score can be determined by following different criteria as described in the table 

IELTS Speaking Score 

IELTS speaking section is conducted either on the same day or within a week after taking the test. IELTS speaking score is given based on 4 marking criteria:

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range
  • Accuracy and Pronunciation

Based on these, the examiners award a score out of 9 for IELTS writing and speaking by equally evaluating each criterion.

The overall IELTS band score is calculated by extracting the average of the scores obtained in the individual sections and rounding it off to the nearest whole digit or half. For example, a candidate has obtained 6.5 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading, 5.0 for Writing, and 7.0 for Speaking. The overall score will be the total score by adding the score of 4 sections and dividing them by for.

Here the total is (6.5 + 6.5 + 5 + 7) = 25 which makes the average 25/4 = 6.25. In this case, the overall IELTS band score will be 6.5 considering it the nearest half. IELTS band score has to be a whole number of a digit with .5. Anything other than these will be rounded off to the nearest full or half.

IELTS Score Validity

IELTS score comes with validity for 2 years. After this period, the candidates will not be able to send an IELTS score to any university or organization, no matter how high band score they have secured. That’s why we recommend the candidates to apply wherever they want within its validity.

IELTS Band Score Description

The meaning of each point of the IELTS band scale is mentioned in the table below:

IELTS Band Score Explanation
9 or Expert Complete understanding of English with fluency and accuracy.
8 or Very good Good understanding of English with complex and detailed argumentation. Occasional inaccuracies in unfamiliar situations.
7 or Good Excellent use of the language in certain situations.
6 or Competent Candidate has shown effective usage of English with some inaccuracy.
5 or Modest Test-taker can handle can communicate in English in familiar circumstances well with partial command over it and ample mistakes.
4 or Limited Candidate does not understand complex language; they can manage basics under very familiar situations.
3 or Extremely limited Test-taker has a rudimentary knowledge of the language to convey only the general meaning.
2 or Intermittent Candidate has difficulty in understanding spoken and written English.
1 or Non-user The test-taker has limited knowledge of the language with a few random isolated words.
0 or Did not attempt Test-taker was unable to answer any questions.

Even after being a difficult exam, it is possible to secure a good IELTS band score with proper practice. The candidates can check the IELTS solved papers of writing for this purpose. As it is a difficult exam and it has a time limit for each of the sections, it is good for the candidates to use the smart preparation tips for IELTS to answer the questions correctly and quickly. Along with regular practice with IELTS papers, sincerity and confidence are the USPs to ace IELTS.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.


What score is good enough to get admission in Yale University?
diya suresh

There are different courses provided by Yale University and most of them accepts score of TOEFL and IELTS for admission purpose. The band score requirement is 7 in case of IELTS for majority courses. IELTS test can be taken in both online and offline mode as per the candidate’s preference. Find details at Yale University admissions 2021.

sandesh kumar
What is the score band to get admission in Harvard University?
diya suresh

Harvard is one of the prestigious and top ranking Universities in USA which accepts score of IELTS exam for admission purpose. A minimum band score of 7.5 is required to get admission. All courses here are in English hence score of IELTS or equivalent english proficiency test is mandatory. You will get more details at IELTS band score for US.

harmanjot kaur
What is result of ielts today
diya suresh

IELTS exam results are available in online mode after 3-5 days of the test. The result will be available on the website for 28 days and the same will be sent to the address registered at the time of application. The test score is valid for a period of 2 year.

sheetal chib
Is it compulsory for me to appear for the IELTS exam if I want to study in Canada?
ananya pandey
What level is 6.5 in ielts?
devnath tiwary

Dear Ananya Pandey

Greetings from Collegedunia. A 6.5 score in IELTS is a good score and is a result of sheer determination coupled with regular practice. To score 6.5 level, a candidate has to regularly practice learning and the most important is how to apply this learning to score 6.5 bands. For more information, kindly go through this link – IELTS Score

ananya pandey
How many times the IELTS exam is conducted in a year?
aditi arun

Hello Ananya,

The IELTS Exam is conducted 4 times in a month. You can give the examination as per your convenience.

gouri kumari
Where can I book my IELTS slot?
aditi arun

Hello Gouri,

If you have already registered, log in with your credentials and choose the date and centre of examination. If you haven’t registered yet, go to IELTS India website and register with your email ID. After filling up the basic details and paying the fee, you can choose your slot and centre.