How to read the IELTS score

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Do you know how to read the IELTS score?

What is IELTS and why is it important?


IELTS stands for “International English Language Testing System.” It is a globally recognized test designed to assess the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. Whether you are a student, a professional, or an immigrant, IELTS can play a crucial role in achieving your dreams of studying, working, or settling in a country where English is the native language.

IELTS measures your ability to communicate effectively in English across four key language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. These skills are essential for your success in academic and professional environments. Many universities, colleges, and employers in English-speaking countries require IELTS scores as part of their admission or hiring process.


Understanding IELTS

There are two types of IELTS tests:

  • IELTS ACADEMIC – This version is suitable for individuals planning to pursue higher education, such as undergraduate or postgraduate courses, in an English-speaking country. It evaluates your academic language skills.
  • IELTS General Training – If you intend to work, live, or undertake training programs in an English-speaking country, the General Training version is for you. It focuses on practical language usage in daily life and workplace settings.
Understanding IELTS: How to Read the IELTS Score
Best tips to get a high IELTS score

How is IELTS Scored?

The IELTS scoring system uses a band scale from 1 to 9, with each band representing a specific level of English proficiency:

  • Band 1 to 3: Non-user: You have little or no ability to use English for communication.
  • Band 4 to 5: Limited user: You can understand basic English but struggle in most situations.
  • Band 6: Competent user: You have an effective command of English, especially in familiar situations.
  • Band 7 to 8: Good user: You can handle complex language and understand detailed reasoning.
  • Band 9: Expert user: Your English proficiency is almost at a native speaker’s level.

How to read your IELTS score:

When you receive your IELTS Test Report Form (TRF), you’ll find your overall band score and individual scores for each section. Here’s how to interpret your scores:

Overall Band Score: This is the average of your scores in all four sections. It indicates your general English proficiency level. For instance, if you get a Band 7 overall, it means you are a “Good user” of English.


Section Scores: Apart from the overall score, you’ll receive scores for each section. These scores range from 0 to 9 as well. They indicate your performance in specific language skills.

  • Listening Score: Your ability to understand spoken English in various contexts.
  • Reading Score: Your comprehension skills in reading passages and answering questions.
  • Writing Score: Your ability to present and organize ideas coherently in writing tasks.
  • Speaking Score: Your spoken language skills, including fluency, pronunciation, and vocabulary.


Individual Module Scores (Academic Only): If you take the IELTS Academic test, you’ll also receive individual scores for the writing and speaking modules. This breakdown provides more detailed insights into your language abilities.

Using IELTS Scores:

Different institutions and organizations have specific IELTS score requirements for admission or employment. It’s essential to check the minimum score needed by your chosen university, college, employer, or visa program. If your scores fall short of their requirements, you may need to retake the test to improve your band score.


Preparing for the IELTS:

To achieve a desirable IELTS score, preparation is key. Here are some tips to help you prepare effectively:

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Test Format: Understand the structure of the IELTS test, types of questions, and time constraints for each section.
  • Practice Regularly: Take practice tests to get used to the test format and improve your time management skills.
  • Identify Weak Areas: Identify your weak language skills and work on improving them. Seek help from teachers, study materials, or online resources.
  • Improve Your English: Engage in regular conversations, read English articles, and listen to English podcasts to enhance your language skills.
  • Join Preparation Courses: Consider joining IELTS preparation courses offered by language schools or online platforms to get expert guidance and tips.
IELTS Tests - How to Read the IELTS Score

Remember, IELTS scores are not only a reflection of your language proficiency but also an opportunity to grow and improve. That’s why all our courses at Perfectly Spoken align with IELTS levels so you can easily check the best courses and practice at your level.


Our message to you:

Stay focused, practise diligently, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your desired IELTS score and fulfilling your dreams in an English-speaking world.

Good luck!

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