Understanding the IELTS Scoring System: Guide to IELTS Band Scores in 2024

Nov 29,2023

Understanding the IELTS Scoring System Guide to IELTS Band Scores

 If you’re planning to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in 2024, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the scoring system to set realistic goals and prepare effectively. This widely acknowledged evaluation of your English language proficiency is meant to gauge your language abilities and furnish you with an IELTS band score. In this blog, we will delve into the IELTS scoring system and the IELTS band score chart for 2024, giving you a comprehensive understanding of what each band score represents and how it can impact your goals. With the aid of our IELTS Band Score calculator, you’ll gain a better understanding of your current proficiency level and be able to track your progress as you work towards achieving your desired band score.

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Understanding the IELTS Scoring System

The IELTS scoring system ranges from band scores 0 to 9, with each band representing a different level of English proficiency. The IELTS Test measures four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each skill is scored individually on a scale of 0 to 9, and the average of these scores is calculated to provide an overall band score.

IELTS Band Score Chart 2024

To help you comprehend the significance of each band score, let’s take a closer look at the IELTS band score chart for 2024:

Band score The level of skillsWhat does it mean?
9Expert userThe test taker has full operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate, and fluent, with complete understanding in all contexts.
8Very Good UserThe test taker has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations. However, they are likely to make many mistakes and should not be able to use complex language.
7Good UserThe test taker has operational command of the language, with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings. They can handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
6Competent userThe test taker has an effective command of the language, despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
5Modest UserThe candidate did not complete the test or failed to provide any useful information.
4Limited UserThe test taker has a basic command of the language, with frequent problems in understanding and expressing themselves. They are unable to use complex language effectively and are likely to have difficulties in most situations.
3Extremely Limited UserThe test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. They have frequent breakdowns in communication and are unable to use complex language.
2Intermittent UserThe test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English, and they are unable to use English effectively, even in familiar situations.
1Non-UserThe test taker has no ability to use the language except for a few isolated words.
0Did not attempt the userThe candidate did not complete the test or failed to provide any usable information.

Must Read: IELTS Preparation: Get Yourself Familiar With the IELTS Exam Pattern

IELTS Overall Band Score Calculation

The IELTS overall band score is calculated by averaging the scores from the four sections of the test: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each section is scored on a scale of 0 to 9, and the average of these scores is rounded to the nearest half-band to determine the overall band score. The band scores range from 0 to 9, with 9 being the highest possible score. The overall band score is used to evaluate the English language proficiency of non-native speakers for a variety of purposes, including university admissions, immigration, and employment opportunities. 

IELTS Band Score Calculation for Individual Sections:

1). Listening

The IELTS Listening section comprises 40 questions. For each right answer, the candidate will get 1 mark, and there is no negative marking. The score obtained from these questions is then transformed into an IELTS band score, which may be given in either a half or full band. The scoring pattern for IELTS listening is the same for General Training and Academic training.

Number of Correct responsesBand Score 
39-409
37-388.5
35-368
32-347.5
30-317
26-296.5
23-256
18-225.5
16-175
13-154.5
10-124

2). Reading

IELTS Reading is scored on a scale of 0-9 based on the candidate’s ability to comprehend and interpret academic texts. Each correct answer is awarded 1 point, and there is no negative marking for incorrect answers. The total score is then converted to the IELTS 9-band scale, where each band corresponds to a level of proficiency.

Reading Score- General Training

Correct ResponsesBand Score
409
398.5
37-388
367.5
34-357
32-336.5
30-316
27-295.5
23-265
19-224.5
15-184
12-143.5
9-113
6-82.5

Reading Score-Academic Training

Correct ResponsesBand Score
39-409
37-388.5
35-368
33-347.5
30-327
27-396.5
23-266
19-225.5
15-185
13-144.5
10-124
8-93.5
6-73
4-52.5

3). Writing

The IELTS Writing section is assessed based on four criteria, with separate scores given for Task Achievement, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, and Grammatical Range and Accuracy.

Task Achievement evaluates how well you address the task and fulfill the requirements. Coherence and Cohesion assess the organization and logical flow of your ideas. Lexical Resource evaluates your vocabulary usage, including the range and accuracy of words and phrases. Grammatical Range and Accuracy measure your control over grammar, including sentence structures and error-free writing.

Each criterion is scored from 0 to 9, and the scores are then averaged to calculate your overall band score for the Writing section. Examiners follow strict marking guidelines and assess your performance objectively based on the given criteria.

4). Speaking

The Speaking section of the IELTS Exam is conducted as a face-to-face interview with an examiner.

The Speaking section is divided into three parts:

  1. Introduction 
  2. Individual Long Turn
  3. Two-way discussion

In the IELTS Speaking section, you will be evaluated based on four criteria. These criteria include Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation. 

  • Fluency and Coherence assess your ability to speak smoothly, maintain a natural pace, and connect your ideas together coherently. 
  • Lexical Resource evaluates your vocabulary range and accuracy, including your use of idiomatic expressions and appropriate terminology. 
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy measure your command of grammar and sentence structure, including the accurate use of tenses and verb forms.
  • Pronunciation evaluates your ability to produce clear and intelligible speech with proper stress and intonation patterns. 

Each criterion is scored from 0 to 9, and the individual scores are averaged to determine your overall band score. Certified IELTS examiners assess your performance in the Speaking section, and your score is based on strict marking criteria, without any influence from your accent or personal opinions.

Conclusion

Understanding the IELTS scoring system and the corresponding band scores is essential for anyone preparing to take the test. The band score you achieve can have a significant impact on your academic and professional pursuits. By familiarizing yourself with the IELTS band score chart for 2024 and following the tips mentioned, you can work towards improving your English language skills and achieving your desired band score, opening doors to a multitude of opportunities on your journey to success.

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Written By

Kirati Shah

Kirati Shah is a certified IELTS/TOEFL/PTE Trainer with 10 years of experience. She is on a mission to provide good quality lessons about IELTS and PTE through blogs and videos that can help students get their desired score and achieve their dream to migrate/study abroad.

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