IELTS 9-band Scale
You will be awarded an IELTS band score from 0-9 for each test section, which reflects your proficiency in English.
Your TRF shows a score for each of the four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking), as well as an overall band score. You can score whole band scores (for example 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half band scores (e.g. 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) in each section of the test.
- Band Score / Band 9Skill Level / Expert userDescription / has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
- Band Score / Band 8Skill Level / Very good userDescription / has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
- Band Score / Band 7Skill Level / Good userDescription / has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
- Band Score / Band 6Skill Level / Competent userDescription / has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
- Band Score / Band 5Skill Level / Modest userDescription / has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
- Band Score / Band 4Skill Level / Limited userDescription / basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.
- Band Score / Band 3Skill Level / Extremely limited userDescription / conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
- Band Score / Band 2Skill Level / Non-userDescription / no real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
- Band Score / Band 1Skill Level / Non-userDescription / essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly
- Band Score / Band 0Skill Level / Did not attempt the testDescription / No assessable information provided.
Find out more about what your score means here.
IELTS assessment criteria
To get a better understanding of the IELTS assessment criteria and the level of performance required to attain a particular band score, please download the PDFs below.
Assessment criteria for Listening and Reading
IELTS Listening and Reading papers each contain 40 items and each correct item is awarded one mark; the maximum raw score a candidate can achieve on a paper is 40. Band scores ranging from Band 1 to Band 9 are awarded to candidates on the basis of their raw scores.
How long are my IELTS results valid for?
Organisations will usually not accept your results if they are more than two years old, unless you provide evidence that you have actively maintained or tried to improve your English since taking the test. The IELTS Partners cannot confirm the validity of test results that are more than two years old.