IELTS Results: Understanding Your IELTS Scores

By | August 7, 2020

Do you dream of studying in England, Australia, New Zealand or Canada? Here, the IELTS language test is most commonly used. However, there are still many American universities that also accept IELTS on an equal footing with TOEFL. The IELTS test is British and has been in existence since 1989, and is conducted every year by more than two million test participants.

Which IELTS language test should you choose?

There are two versions of the IELTS language test: “Academic Training” and “General Training”. One is targeted at students and the other is targeted at working people. The same is that they both need to test your ability to listen, read, write and speak English as a second language.

If you want to study abroad, you must therefore always choose the academic IELTS language test, while the general IELTS language test is targeted at you who want to live or work in an English-speaking country. This is often sufficient if, for example, you are going on an internship abroad.

Are you in the process of preparing for a semester, a year of study or an entire education abroad, or perhaps do you need an IELTS language test to live and work in an English-speaking country? Here we guide you through the IELTS score you need to obtain and how to understand your own IELTS score.

IELTS Test Results

Your test results are available online thirteen days after completing the IELTS language test. The IELTS scores consist of:

  • An individual grade for each of the four parts of the test
  • An overall grade for the entire test

The grade is given in full and half according to the IELTS 9-point scale. You will receive an email when your test results are ready at You will also receive a document (Test Report Form) by post. It is important that you take care of this as it cannot be resent if you lose it.

In your test score report, your photo and information about name, date of birth, nationality and mother tongue will appear in addition to your IELTS test results. In addition, it will be stated whether you have completed the academic or the general IELTS test.

IELTS Scores

On the IELTS Test Report Form, you will see an Overall Band Score and band scores for each of the four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Here is a sample test report.

IELTS Test Report Form

On the above image, you can see that the Overall Band Score is the average of the four section scores, rounded to the nearest whole or half band. In total, IELTS scores range from 0 to 9. A score of 7 or above is considered good, and score of 8 or higher is very good.

9 Expert
8 or 8.5 Very good
7 or 7.5 Good
6 or 6.5 Competent
5 or 5.5 Modest
4 or 4.5 Limited
3 or 3.5 Extremely limited
2 or 2.5 Intermittent
1 or 1.5 Non-user

IELTS Listening Score

The Listening section of IELTS contains 40 questions. You get one point for each correct answer. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS nine-band scale in this way:

IELTS Listening Score

IELTS Reading Score

The Reading section of IELTS contains 40 questions, too. You get one point for each correct answer. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS nine-band scale in this way:

IELTS Reading Score