The IELTS Test Report Form shows the individual scores your students have achieved in each of the four parts of the IELTS test, as well as their overall band score.

How are IELTS scores calculated?

The individual IELTS scores for Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking are all equally weighted. They are rated from 0 – 9, with increments of 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75.

The overall band score is calculated by taking the mean result for all four parts of the test. This is calculated to the nearest whole or half band, with scores ending in .25 rounded up to the next half band and scores ending in .75 rounded up to the next whole band.

What do IELTS scores show?

The table below shows what each band score means in terms of a student’s skill level. It also includes a description or narrative that you can share with the student.

Band score Skill level Description
Band 9 Expert user You have a full operational command of the language. Your use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and you show complete understanding.
Band 8 Very good user You have a fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. You may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. You handle complex detailed argumentation well.
Band 7 Good user You have an operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally you handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
Band 6 Competent user Generally you have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. You can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
Band 5 Modest user You have a partial command of the language, and cope with overall meaning in most situations, although you are likely to make many mistakes. You should be able to handle basic communication in your own field.
Band 4 Limited user Your basic competence is limited to familiar situations. You frequently show problems in understanding and expression. You are not able to use complex language.
Band 3 Extremely limited user You convey and understand only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
Band 2 Intermittent user You have great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
Band 1 Non-user You have no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
Band 0 Did not attempt the test You did not answer the questions.

IELTS and the Common European Framework (CEFR)

The CEFR is an international standard for describing language ability. It marks an individual's language skills along a six-mark scale ranging from A1 (beginners) to C2 (advanced). The highest CEFR level in IELTS would be band 9.

You can map your students’ IELTS scores against this framework to help them gauge their language ability. The CEFR rankings also help other teachers and examiners to compare IELTS skills and scores with those of other language tests and qualifications.

Mapping IELTS against CEFR

CEFR and IELTS bandscore table

See also