How to Score Better in IELTS?

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    Every year thousands of candidates take IELTS to pursue higher education or employment opportunities at foreign lands. Some students take IELTS in consecutive years for scoring good marks. This article will help you in understanding scopes of scoring well in IELTS. As compared to IELTS General Training, test takers take Academic tests in larger numbers. 

    Level of English in IELTS 

    Usually overall band scores for test takers from India vary between 6-6.5. If the test taker wants to study in the top universities of the world then it is necessary to score a band score above 7. First the test taker has to find out his own strengths. Focus on improving strengths as the best scoring band for your IELTS. 

    IELTS measures language ability of the test taker therefore with little preparation tips one can improve certain sections of exam. English has to be strong enough for scoring well in IELTS. There are four sections in IELTS- Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Test takers have to be equally good at all four sections to improve overall band score in IELTS

    IELTS Score Band Description 

    IELTS score is scaled out of 9. So with usage of English, test takers have been scored. Detailed score band has been described 

    Score BandEnglish LevelWriting Skills
    9Expert User Accuracy of language; proper articulation of opinions 
    8Very Good User Very rare errors in writing; Proper usage of complex language 
    7Good UserOccasional types of errors; Proper usage of complex language in most of situations 
    6Competent User Some errors; Usage of language in the best known form 
    5Modest User Very frequent errors; Difficulty in dealing with language in a complex way

    How IELTS Scores in Reading and Listening Measured

    In both Listening and Reading sections in IELTS, test takers have to answer 40 questions in 60 minutes. Each question is worth 1 mark. Therefore both the Listening and Reading section will be marked out of 40 then it will be converted to scale of 9. Band score for both listening and reading in IELTS will be converted like the below table 

    Correct Answers Band Scores 
    40-39 9

    How IELTS Score in Writing Measured

    For both Academic and General Training, the writing section in IELTS is different. Reading and writing sections are different because test takers take different kinds of IELTS exam patterns for different purposes. IELTS Academic is mostly for those who want to study abroad in the top universities of the world. Whereas IELTS General Training is taken by those candidates who want to migrate to English speaking nations for employment opportunities. In both these exam patterns (Academic and General Training), there are two writing tasks for each test taker. In both these exam patterns, examiners mark on the basis of five criteria are as following 

    Task Achievement Test takers have to complete both tasks within stipulated time; Complete both tasks addressing all points 
    Coherence & Cohesion Paragraphs should be written with proper information given in a coherent manner; Paragraphs should be clear with meaning 
    Lexical Resource Using a good range of vocabulary; focus on correct spelling and with least errors 
    Accuracy & Grammar Usage Sentence should have a proper structure; Proper usage of tenses and punctuation 

    How IELTS Score in Speaking Measured

    Test takers complete Writing, Reading and Listening on one day and speaking on another day. Speaking section in IELTS is about face to face interviews of test takers. Total duration for speaking section is 11-14 minutes. There are 3 Tasks in speaking section. In Task 1, test taker has to give a general introduction, in Task 2, a card should be picked up by the test taker as a topic to discuss, and in Task 3 the examiner will discuss addressing any issue related to Task 2. Before taking exam, test takers must know the sections to be scored in Speaking by the examiners 

    Fluency Test taker should be talking with fluency with proper pronunciation and punctuation 
    Lexical Resource Good range of vocabulary with least errors 
    Usage of Grammar While speaking, one must focus on proper usage of grammar along with tenses 
    Pronunciation One should follow own accent with proper sound pronunciation 

    How IELTS Overall Band Scores are measured 

    IELTS score band is scaled out of 9. For each skill, the test taker will be marked by the examiner. Suppose a candidate scores as following 

    Listening- 7.5

    Reading- 7 

    Writing- 6.5 

    Speaking- 6.5 

    Therefore overall band score of the candidate will be (7.5+7+6.5+6.5)/4= 27.5/4=6.8 (7.0) 

    Calculation of IELTS Overall Band Score 

    • If the overall band score comes to an average of 6.25 then score will become 6.5 
    • If the overall band score comes to an average of 6.8 then score will become 7 
    • If the overall band score comes to an average of 6.1 then score will become 6
    • Score will always be rounded up to the nearest whole score or 0.5 score. 



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