How IELTS Reading Band Score is Determined and Marking Criteria

  • Team MasterPrep
  • minute read
  • Feb 23, 2023 04:52 PM

Many students find IELTS Reading very confusing, IELTS test takers should be aware of how the Reading band score is calculated. This article will explain the band score calculation, IELTS reading score chart, IELTS reading band descriptors, how IELTS Reading band scores are determined etc.

IELTS Reading score details 

The IELTS reading band score is rated on a scale from 0 to 9 in increments of 0.5, with band 1 representing the lowest grade and band 9 the highest. The reading section has 40 questions, and each one is worth one mark. The band score will be created by converting the raw score out of 40. For inaccurate responses, there is no negative score. A full or half band may be awarded on the IELTS academic reading test.

After the TRF is issued, the IELTS reading band score is valid for two years. Academic and general reading are scored differently on the IELTS reading scale. The reading band score chart is shown below for your reference:

IELTS Reading band score: Academic 

The number of right responses is used to determine the IELTS academic reading score, from which you can also determine your scoring band:

Band Correct Answer
9 39-40
8.5 37-38
8 36-35
7.5 34-33
7 32-30
6.5 29-27
6 26-23
5.5 22-19
5 18-15
4.5 14-13
4 12-10
3.5 9-8
3 7-6
2.5 5-4

IELTS Reading band score: General Training 

The general reading score used by IELTS to determine band scores and the proportion of right responses is as follows:

Band Correct Answer
9 40
8.5 39
8 37-38
7.5 36
7 34-35
6.5 32-33
6 30-31
5.5 27-29
5 23-26
4.5 19-22
4 15-18
3.5 12-14
3 9-11
2.5 6-8

Also read : Top IELTS Reading Test Skills

IELTS Reading Band Score Descriptors

The IELTS candidates are introduced in the following table together with the IELTS reading score band descriptors, which indicate each candidate's proficiency level.

Band Skill set Description
9 Expert user shows a high level of competence in reading, comprehending, and interpreting complex texts; produces well-structured, specific, and accurate responses to questions; uses a variety of vocabulary fluidly and naturally; and demonstrates an exceptional ability to use grammar with full flexibility and accuracy.
8 Very good user shows a high level of competency in comprehending and interpreting complicated materials; produces well-structured, thorough, and accurate responses to questions; demonstrates a clear and accurate grasp of the text; employs a variety of words appropriately and with some flexibility; demonstrates solid grammar control with only occasional errors.
7 Good user displays a decent level of proficiency in reading, comprehending, and interpreting complicated materials; consistently produces well-structured, thorough, and accurate answers to questions. There could be some errors and misconceptions for the candidate.
6 Competent User exhibits some proficiency in reading and analysing complex materials, demonstrates a partial knowledge of the text, and provides hazy, generic answers to questions
5 Modest user displays a limited comprehension of the content, a limited ability to comprehend and analyse complex texts, and a limited ability to offer fully formed, general answers to questions.
4 Limited user displays a very limited comprehension of the text, a very limited grasp and interpretation of complicated texts, and offers very simple answers to queries.
3 Extremely limited user displays very little comprehension of the content, little ability to comprehend and analyse complex texts, and very little ability to respond to questions
2 Intermittent user shows a very low command of the skills necessary to comprehend and interpret complicated texts, and produces very poor responses to questions.

Also read : How to Get 9 In IELTS Reading?

IELTS Reading Score Calculation: How Does It Work?

The table below shows the achieved band score with the help of raw scores a student or test-taker has attained.

Academic Reading

Band Raw Score
31 7
29 6.5
24 6

General Training Reading

Band Raw Score
34 7
36 7.5
24 5

So, as per the predetermined scale, the band score is determined.

Also read : : Top Tips to Pass Your Reading Section of IELTS Exam

How to improve your final IELTS Reading band score?

You can use a variety of techniques to raise your IELTS Reading band score.

  • Work on improving your reading abilities: Working on improving your reading abilities is one of the most crucial things you can do to raise your Reading band score. To do this, read a variety of literature with the goal of enhancing your vocabulary, comprehension, and reading speed. Read a variety of things, including fiction and non-fiction books, academic journals, and news items. Not to just learn something new but to improve reading only. Remember that reading does not check your knowledge of the subject but other problem-solving skills.
  • Practice skimming and scanning: These reading strategies are crucial for helping you get the information you need in a text fast. While scanning entails seeking for specific information or keywords, skimming involves swiftly reading over a text to obtain a basic picture of what it's about. Set a timer for yourself and read through passages fast to practice these strategies.
  • Make use of context cues: Even if you don't understand every word in a passage, you can still make sense of it by using context cues. Search for terms that sound similar to phrases you already know, and try to deduce the meaning of unknown words from the context of the sentence.
  • Enhance your time management skills: The IELTS Reading test's time restriction is one of the test's main hurdles. During practice exams, work on time management skills to raise your score. Make an effort to pace yourself so you have enough time to respond to every question in each section.
  • Learn the exam structure: It's crucial to become familiar with the IELTS Reading test structure, including the types of questions that are given and the time constraints for each part. You can obtain a sense of what to expect on exam day by practicing.
  • Request feedback: Request comments on your performance on the practice test from a teacher or tutor. They can offer advice on how to manage problem areas and assist in identifying areas where you need to improve.

Keep in mind that it takes time and effort to raise your reading band score. Be kind to yourself and keep your eyes on the prize. You can raise your IELTS Reading band score if you put up persistent work and attention. Institutions and immigration officials utilise the "IELTS reading band score" to gain insight into your reading abilities. We hope the material in this blog will help you better understand the reading scores, the standards used to determine them, and their reliability.

Also read : How to Calculate Your IELTS Reading Score?