IELTS Band Scores: How they are calculated

  • Team MasterPrep
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  • Nov 02, 2022 10:23 AM

The IELTS test is a great way to measure your English language proficiency for academic or immigration purposes. If you’re interested in taking the test, you’ll need to know how to interpret an IELTS band score. The IELTS band score measures your reading, Writing, Speaking, and listening ability. This blog will explain how to calculate your IELTS band score so that you can easily register for the exam.

The IELTS test is a great way to measure your English language proficiency for academic or immigration purposes. If you’re interested in taking the test, you’ll need to know how to interpret an IELTS band score. The IELTS band score measures your reading, Writing, Speaking, and listening ability. This blog will explain how to calculate your IELTS band score so that you can easily register for the exam.

How to Calculate Your IELTS Band Score: A Step-by-Step Guide

An IELTS band score is your final score on the test. It's a great way to measure your English language proficiency without attaching a letter grade. IELTS scores can range from 0 to 9 for each module. 8 band and above is considered "high-level proficiency" in English and could be applicable for higher education, employment, or immigration purposes. The IELTS score is calculated by adding your test score to each module. For example, if your Reading and Writing test scores are high and your Speaking and Listening test scores are average, you'll get around Band 6.

Before calculating your IELTS band score, you must know your exam test scoring guide.

Once you have the scoring guide, you can calculate your overall IELTS band score.

Overall Band Score in IELTS test = Reading Band Score + Writing Band Score + Listening Band Score + Speaking Band Score.

The next step is to calculate the overall average IELTS band score. You can use the charts below to find your IELTS band score. The charts will show you how to calculate your IELTS band score.

Also read : Improve IELTS Listening Skills

Step 1: Know the Scoring Guide for Your Test Date

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IELTS band score calculation

Step 2: Calculate Your Overall Band Score

Once you have each module's score, add them to get your overall band score. Overall Band Score = Reading Band Score + Writing Band Score + Listening Band Score + Speaking Band Score. The next step is to calculate the overall IELTS band score by finding the average of all scores.

Also read : How to calculate IELTS reading score

Which IELTS Band Should You Aim for?

Once you know how to calculate your IELTS band score, you'll need to know which IELTS band you should aim for. The IELTS band score will depend on what you're using the test for. 

Here are the minimum IELTS band scores for your test date. If you're hoping to use your IELTS test score for academic purposes, you'll need to aim for a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5. If you're hoping to use your IELTS test score for immigration purposes, you'll need to aim for a minimum IELTS band score of 7.5. If you're taking your IELTS test for a job, you'll need to aim for a minimum IELTS band score of 8.

Band score  Skill level Descriptors
9 Expert user The person taking the test is fluent in the language their proficient use of the english language demonstrates their thorough comprehension of it.
8 very good user  The test-taker has excellent linguistic proficiency and few errors. They have good situational awareness. They might interpret some unfamiliar contexts incorrectly.
7 Good user The test-taker generally has a strong knowledge of the English language, while there are occasional errors and incorrect usage in some circumstances. They are good at interpreting complex sentences and comprehending intricate thinking.
6 Competent user Although there are some errors and some incorrect language usage, the test-taker has a strong command of the language. In familiar settings, they may interpret complex language well.
5 Modest user The test-taker can deal with general meaning and has a limited command of the English language. They misjudge frequently. They have minimal communication skills for their sector.
4 Limited user The test-taker can deal with general meaning and has a limited command of the English language. They misjudge frequently. They have minimal communication skills for their sector.
3 Extremely limited user The test taker understands only the general meaning in very familiar situations. Communication breakdowns occur frequently.
2 Intermittent user The test taker finds it extremely challenging to comprehend spoken and written English.
1 Non-user Except for a few isolated words, the test-taker is unable to use the English language.
0 Did not attempt the test The test-taker failed to respond to the questions


The score that you predict using these tools could be different from the actual score as many other factors might affect the final score that you receive. Once you start getting good scores consistently, you may apply for the real test. 

Also read : Practice IELTS listening module