IELTS 2020 SCORE

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    IELTS Score

    Karishma Khatri Karishma Khatri
    Exams Prep Master

    International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test that is taken by candidates aspiring to pursue their education and career in an English-speaking country.  It is also taken by those who wish to migrate to such a nation and settle there permanently. The IELTSexam is jointly conducted by University of Cambridge ESOL, the British Council and IDP.

    The IELTS exam is a reputed way to assess the test taker’s English language skills in four specific areas – Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking. The overall duration of the entire test may span around 3 hours. There are sectional time limits for the various components. IELTS is different from other exams in the sense that it is a task-based test where the applicant must complete several tasks of diverse nature while appearing for the exam.

    IETLS results are provided after the candidate’s answers have been evaluated. They are in the form of a 9 band scale, where the test taker’s score can be anything from 1 to 9. Different points on the scale denote different levels of the candidate’s English language abilities. The British Council IELTS results are fairly easy to understand and have gained a reputed seating all over the world.

    IELTS Score 9-band scale

    There are four sections in the IELTS test paper, namely Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The IELTS score is provided for each of these four sections and then the individual scores get averaged and rounded to arrive at the final band score.

    It must be kept in mind that the IELTS score is usually valid for a period of 2 years. However, the duration of validity may vary according to different organisations. The meaning of the 9-band scale and what each point stands for is explained below:

    Band ScoreCategoryExplanation
    9Expert userThis denotes that the candidate has complete understanding of English and uses it fluently and correctly.
    8Very good userThis indicates that the test taker understands the language and handles complex and detailed argumentation well. Occasionally, there may be some inaccuracies in usage, due to unfamiliar situations.
    7Good userThis tells us that the candidate uses the language well but under certain situations, there may be mistakes and he may showcase inappropriate usage.
    6Competent user This score shows that the usage of English by the candidate is effective, especially in familiar situations. There may be some inaccurate application of the language along with unsuitable practice.
    5Modest userThis indicates that the test taker is able to handle communication using the language in familiar circumstances, but otherwise, they only have partial command over it. They are liable to make ample mistakes.
    4Limited userThis denotes that the candidate is not able to understand complex language and can only manage basic usage under very familiar situations.
    3Extremely limited userThis score shows that the test taker’s knowledge of the language is rudimentary and even under basic circumstances, they are able to convey only the general meaning.
    2Intermittent userThis score tells us that the candidate faces immense difficulty in understanding spoken and written English.
    1Non-userThis score denotes that the test taker’s knowledge of the language is limited to some random isolated words.
    0Did not attempt the testThis indicates that the test taker was unable to answer any questions in the paper.

    IELTS Score Detailed Calculation

    The IELTS band score is calculated by taking the average of the scores obtained in the individual sections and rounding it off to the nearest digit. The detailed mechanism to score the candidate’s answers in different sections of the paper is discussed below:

    • Listening and Reading:

    Scoring

    The IELTS Listening and Reading tests both consist of 40 questions each. For every question answered correctly, the test taker is awarded 1 mark. The raw score is calculated, on the basis of which the band score is obtained.

    For Listening section,

    • To achieve a band score of 5, a raw score of 16 out of 40 is needed.
    • To achieve a band score of 6, a raw score of 23 out of 40 is needed.
    • To achieve a band score of 7, a raw score of 30 out of 40 is needed.
    • To achieve a band score of 8, a raw score of 35 out of 40 is needed.

    For Academic Reading section,

    • To achieve a band score of 5, a raw score of 15 out of 40 is needed.
    • To achieve a band score of 6, a raw score of 23 out of 40 is needed.
    • To achieve a band score of 7, a raw score of 30 out of 40 is needed.
    • To achieve a band score of 8, a raw score of 35 out of 40 is needed.

    For General Training Reading section,

    • To achieve a band score of 4, a raw score of 15 out of 40 is needed.
    • To achieve a band score of 5, a raw score of 23 out of 40 is needed.
    • To achieve a band score of 6, a raw score of 30 out of 40 is needed.
    • To achieve a band score of 7, a raw score of 34 out of 40 is needed.

    Differences

    In case of Listening component, there is no difference between the IELTS General Training version and the IELTS Academic version. This is because listening skills are as necessary in academic sectors as they are in work places. But, in case of Reading component of the paper, there are some differences between the two versions of IELTS exam. The differences are in the following criteria:

    • The text in Academic paper may be more complex with more difficult vocabulary.
    • To obtain a certain band score, more questions will have to be answered in the General Training paper.
    • The Academic paper consists of more questions in the band of 5 to 8. The General Training paper has more questions in the band of 3 to 6.
    • Writing and Speaking:

    Scoring

    The IELTS Writing and Speaking sections are evaluated using detailed assessment criteria known as “band descriptors” to assign a band score for each criterion.

    The four criteria for Writing component and their weightage are-

    • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2) – 25%
    • Coherence and Cohesion – 25%
    • Lexical Resource – 25%
    • Grammatical Range and Accuracy – 25%

    The four criteria for Speaking component and their weightage are-

    • Fluency and Coherence – 25%
    • Lexical Resource – 25%
    • Grammatical Range and Accuracy – 25%
    • Pronunciation – 25%

    Differences

    In case of Speaking section of the paper, the IELTS Academic version and the IELTS General Training version are identical. This is because there in both academic and work sectors, speaking skills are equally important.  However, in the case of Writing section, the two versions of the IELTS exam vary in terms of the topics and genre of the questions.


    IELTS Score Assessment Criteria

    For evaluation of the Writing and Speaking components of the IELTS exam paper, a detailed assessment criteria is used. They are known as “Band Descriptors” and tell us which band the performance of the test taker should be assigned to.

    The working of this assessment technique for IELTS Writing Section is provided below:

    • Task Response: The test taker is allotted a band score depending on how well he satisfies the requirements of the task. The score also denotes the level of the answer prepared in response to the task.
    • Coherency and Cohesion: A band score is provided depending on how seamlessly the answer has been written and the use of appropriate paragraphing.
    • Lexical resource: This criterion assesses the use of vocabulary, whether it is wide ranged or limited to certain words, and also whether they have been employed in a natural, smoothly flowing manner.
    • Grammatical range and accuracy: A suitable band score is awarded according to correctness of the grammar used and application of a broad structure range with complete flexibility.

    The working of this assessment technique for IELTS Speaking Section is provided below:

    • Fluency and Coherence: This criterion is aimed at assessing how well and fluently the test taker speaks, whether there is repetition or hesitation in the speech and how fully the content of the topic is developed.
    • Lexical resource: Band score is allotted depending on the candidate’s use of precise vocabulary with appropriate idiomatic language employed in speech.
    • Grammatical range and accuracy: This tests how correctly and naturally the grammar is used while speaking apart from some minor slips that are native to the speaker’s own culture.
    • Pronunciation: This is aimed at evaluating how clearly and correctly the words are spoken by the test taker and how easy is to understand his speech. Band score also takes into consideration the use of flexible features with precision and subtlety.

    IELTS Score FAQs

    Ques.  Is there any negative marking for IELTS?

    Ans. No, there is no specified negative marking for IELTS. However, candidates are judged on various criteria, so they must take the guidelines into consideration while taking the test. 

    Ques.  What is tested in IELTS speaking test?

    Ans. IELTS speaking test judges a candidate on the parameters of his/her fluency and flow of thoughts, vocabulary, grammatical accuracy and pronunciation. 

    Ques.  How long is IELTS score valid for?

    Ans. The validity of IELTS score is a period of 6 years. 

    Ques.  Is 6 a good score for IELTS?

    Ans. A band score of 6 falls in the category of a ‘competent user’. This shows effective usage of english but in familiar situations. Generally a score of 6.5 is considered safe. You may get some universities with this score, but you should aim for a higher score for more options. 

    Ques.  Will it affect my score if I exceed the word limit in IELTS Writing section?

    Ans. Candidates should stick to the word limit provided in the writing section. Although there is no specified negative marking yet, candidates are being judged on several parameters and therefore they must adhere to the instructions. 

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

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