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How are the IELTS band scores calculated?

First of all, IELTS is made up of four subsections based on the four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Interestingly, the productive skills, speaking, and writing, are scored very differently from the receptive skills, reading and listening. In addition, the qualifications needed to mark the different papers vary significantly.  Different countries and institutions ask for different IELTS scores. Therefore, students need to check with the relevant authority to find out the scores they need.

Overall IELTS Band Score

To start with, the scoring system in IELTS allows for half marks and ranges from 0 to 9.0. Second, calculations for the overall score involve adding together the individual band scores and dividing them by four. Next, examiners take the averages ending in 0.25 or 0.75 round and round them up to the nearest band:

Overall IELTS Band Score

 

Scoring for the IELTS listening test

Firstly, the listening test has four parts and is scored out of 40. Second, the difficulty increases towards the end of the test.  However, the official scoring does vary slightly based on the difficulty of each test.

 Band Score Calculator:ielts listening score

Scoring for the IELTS reading test

Similarly, The IELTS reading test has 40 questions and is split into three sections:

IELTS Reading Score

Calculations for Speaking & Writing

Firstly, examiners use a rubric to score the IELTS Writing and IELTS Speaking Tests. This assesses the student across four areas (25% each). Secondly, scores for the four sections are averaged and rounded down to the nearest 0.5. For example, an average score of 6.75 is rounded down to 6.5.

Scoring for the IELTS writing test

Scored Areas (25% each) Aspects Tested
Task Achievement Fully covering all parts of the question.

Writing with a consistent and appropriate tone and level of formality.

Developing and supporting your arguments.

Coherence and Cohesion Using discourse markers/linkers and paragraphs effectively.

Organising your writing logically.

Lexical Resource Spelling and using a range of vocabulary.

Using idioms and frequent collocations.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy Using some complex structures (the passive, relative clauses, conditionals, complex/compound sentences, etc.)

The frequency of grammatical errors.

Correct use of capital letters.

 

Scoring for the IELTS speaking test

Scored Areas (25% each) Aspects Tested
Fluency and Coherence Speaking continuously with few hesitations.

Expanding topics in an appropriate way.

Using cohesive devices and discourse markers effectively.

Lexical Resource The ability to use idioms and appropriate collocations.

Paraphrasing answers to questions appropriately.

Showing a wide range of vocabulary.

Grammar Flexibly using complex grammatical structures while avoiding too many grammatical errors.
Pronunciation Skilfully controlling the pronunciation of phonemes.

The ability to pronounce words so they are easy to understand.

 

 Applying for Remarking

Apply for remarking of the IELTS test

Fortunately, it is possible to apply for remarking of the IELTS test. This is carried out blind, which is fairer as the marker has no idea of the original mark. Therefore, the original mark could actually go down. Thus, it is worth considering this option carefully. Hence, the best time to apply for remarking is when only one of your band scores is 0.5 bands below your target. Lastly, there is a fee for this service, 250 dirhams for IELTS in Dubai, but the fee is refunded should the scores change.

Special Needs

Firstly, it you can apply for special dispensation if you have a disability or impairment which may affect your performance. However, you should contact IDP or the British Council as early as possible to have your case assessed as this can take some time. Following a successful application, you will be given extra time or any other equipment which is deemed necessary.

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