How IELTS Band Score is Calculated

Are you new to the IELTS exam and wondering exactly how each individual subtest in IELTS is evaluated and scored? Do you keep hearing about the ‘band score’ and ‘overall score’ but have absolutely no clue how any of this works? Don’t worry, when you’re done reading this, you will have a complete idea about how the IELTS is scored! 

How to pass the IELTS exam?

There is no concept in IELTS such as “pass” or “fail”, only how capable you are of handling the English language out of a numeric grading system of 9. You will be assessed based on your Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking skills and each test will have a score out of 9. Your overall score is the sum average of all four tests. For example, if you have an overall score of 7.5, that means it is the average score you get when you divide all four scores by 4. This is what is generally called ‘band’ 7.5 of IELTS. Similarly, based on how well you perform, band 8.5, band 7, band 7.5 etc. Contact Medcity to know more about the best IELTS coaching options available to attain such high scores. 

Understanding your IELTS score

Most of the time, the average of these subtests does not end in a whole number and may even end in decimals. So, how do we retrieve our band score from such a scenario? Let’s see. 

If the average score of all four tests ends in 0.25, the overall score will be rounded up to the next band. 
If the score ends in 0.75, then similarly, that score will be rounded up to the next band. 
If the score is less than 0.25 or 0.75, that means that you will be assigned a score below the decimals. Confused? Don’t worry. Let’s look at it this way: 

Scenario 1:

Imagine that your scores for a test are as listed below:

Listening: 9
Reading: 7.5
Writing: 7
Speaking: 6.5 

When you sum up all the scores for each test, 9+7.5+7+6.5 = 30. The sum total is 30

When you divide to get the average score, 30/4 = 7.5

Congratulations, your band score is therefore 7.5!

Scenario 2:

Now, things will be very different if you have the following scores:
Listening: 4
Reading: 3.5
Writing: 5
Speaking: 5 

Taking into account, the sum total: 4+3.5+5+5 = 17.5

On division, 17.5/4 = 4.375 

Here, you have a score of 4.375! But there’s no such score in IELTS. So, what is your actual score? 

Since you have scored above 0.25 decimally, that means your band score is 4.5

Scenario 3:

Listening: 8
Reading: 7
Writing: 7
Speaking: 5

The total would be, 8+7+7+5 = 27

27/4 = 6.75 

As the score has landed on an increment of 0.75, it automatically becomes 7. So, is your band score. 

Scenario 4: 

Listening: 6
Reading: 7
Writing: 5
Speaking: 5.5 

The total, 23.5/4 = 5.875

You have a band! 

Scenario 5: 

Listening: 8
Reading: 6.5
Writing: 5
Speaking: 5

24.5/4 = 6.125

Here, you haven’t met the mark of 0.25 or higher and as it is much less, your score will be downgraded to a band of 6


So, hopefully, now you have a solid understanding of how the grading system in IELTS operates. The next thing to do is ensure that you put in the maximum effort to score the highest grade possible. For this, you have to prepare well. No score in IELTS is unattainable if you prepare well enough. You could accomplish wonderful things if you take guidance from the best IELTS training centre in Kerala and push forward. 

If you are a working individual or are someone who requires flexibility in their learning schedule, enrol in the best IELTS online training with Medcity. If you would like to take classes offline, join up in any of Medcity’s 15 branches in Kerala or in Mangalore and experience the best IELTS offline training. Your future is not something to gamble with, so make your decisions wisely.  

For details on our courses, contact us through call or WhatsApp on: +91 8086631234, +91 9961919293, +91 8086776222.