On the IELTS Test Report Form, you’ll find the overall band score and the results your students achieved in each part of the test.

Individual test scores

Scores for each of the four skills are equally weighted. The overall band scores are calculated by taking the mean result for each part of the test. 

The overall band score 

Overall band scores are calculated to the nearest whole or half band. If the average score across the four skills – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking – ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band.

If it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.

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.

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).

IELTS scores range from 0 - 9. IELTS teachers can map scores against the Common European Framework to help gauge a student's language ability.

The scale helps IELTS teachers, examiners and students to compare language skills and scores from tests and qualifications.

How does IELTS map against CEFR?

CEFR and IELTS bandscore table

See also