IELTS Band Score Chart 2023 - Check IELTS Listening, Reading, Writing & Speaking Band Score

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Aarushi Jain
Updated on Mar 22, 2023 9:37 PM IST

What does your IELTS score chart represent? There is no doubt that IELTS is one of the most opted and recognised English proficiency tests used by a plethora of universities abroad. However, when it comes to its score report, the lack of understanding of the IELTS Band Score Chart can make it a head-scratcher. 

Many people are unaware that the IELTS exam is impossible to fail. The results are scored on a scale of 1-9 bands. Each test component has its own IELTS score. 

Hence, the overall IELTS band score is made up of individual scores from the four sections, which creates a band score chart. Let us discover more about the IELTS band chart 2023 here. 

Importance of IELTS Band Score

International universities accept IELTS scores for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Furthermore, professional institutions demand a band score to establish whether a student is capable of competing with the program's medium of instruction, which is English. Several non-English speaking nations demand IELTS results for courses provided in English.

The minimum IELTS standards that candidates must meet to be considered for admission are generally determined by universities. As a result, students with an ideal IELTS score that is equal to or greater than the basic level have a better chance of getting into university than those with an IELTS score that is lower than the basic requirement.

If one's IELTS band score falls below the necessary band score of 0.5, admission will be denied. As a result, students applying for admission to their selected institution should examine the minimum IELTS score specified in their admission requirements and attempt to acquire an IELTS score equal to or higher than the minimum level. A high IELTS band score increases students' confidence that they will be able to finish the courses without any language issues.

IELTS Band Score Chart 2023

It is essential to have a clear understanding of the IELTS band score chart to know what is the best way to attempt the exam. Each band is a reflection of the English language proficiency of test takers.

Generally, a candidate is marked on a scale of 0-9 where band 9 signifies an expert user and band 0 signifies that the test has not been attempted. That said, one must note that foreign universities require students to get at least band 6 or above to get admission to universities. Band 6 or higher testifies that the user is competent to understand the language without many hurdles.

Each section of the IELTS exam is scored separately. Also, there is an overall band score chart.

Check out the table below to get a better understanding of the IELTS band score chart and the band score that you should aim for.

IELTS Band Score

Skill Level

Description of the IELTS Score Chart


Expert User

Complete knowledge and understanding of the English language, with fluency and precision.


Very Good User

Excellent command of the English language, with nuanced and comprehensive argumentation. Occasional errors in strange conditions.


Good User

Makes excellent use of the language but only in certain circumstances.


Competent User

With some inaccuracy, effective English use.


Modest User

Familiar conditions are handled successfully with partial control and plenty of errors.


Limited User

Difficulty understanding sophisticated language - handles basics in extremely familiar situations.


Extremely Limited User

A basic understanding of the language is required to express merely the overall concept.


Intermittent User

There is a noticeable difficulty understanding spoken and written English.



Very limited and narrow knowledge of the language with a few random remote words.

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IELTS Band Score Chart Explained

After we have understood the basic idea of the IELTS score chart, let us get a clearer idea of the same with the help of some examples. Here, you can find the IELTS overall band score chart for two hypothetical IELTS candidates - ‘Person A’ and ‘Person B’.

IELTS Band Score Chart of Person A



IELTS Listening


IELTS Reading


IELTS Writing


IELTS Speaking


IELTS Band Score (Total/4)

6.12 = 6

IELTS Band Score Chart of Person B











IELTS Band Score (Total/4)

6.62 = 7.0

In case you have noticed, your IELTS band scores are rounded up to the nearest half or whole band score. If you get a 6.5 in Listening, a 6.5 in Reading, a 5 in Writing, and a 7 in Speaking, your average score will be 6.25 bands. For your overall band score, this score would be rounded up to 6.0 bands.

Before you move ahead with applying to universities, find out how to study abroad with or without IELTS scores:

How are IELTS Band Scores Calculated?

Now that you have seen and understood the IELTS band score chart with the examples given above let us also dig deep into how the IELTS band score is calculated for 4 different sections i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

IELTS Listening Section 

As per the IELTS score chart, there are 40 questions in the listening section. If you properly answer the question, you will receive one mark. The listening section of the test or the listening band score chart outlines a maximum score of 40 and a minimum score of 0. Hereafter, your section-wise marks, i.e. the raw score (number of correct answers) will be converted to an IELTS band scale of 1 to 9 (using the IELTS score chart).

IELTS Reading Section

There are 40 questions in the IELTS reading test, wherein each correct answer carries 1 mark. You can receive a maximum of 40 points and a minimum of 0 on the reading band score chart. The IELTS scores are converted into an appropriate IELTS band score (using the IELTS band score chart). 

The reading section of the test will be different between the two types of tests, i.e. the Academic and General Training test. While the questions in the reading section of the Academic test will focus more on an academic perspective, the General Test reading section will focus more on generic topics. However, the scoring of the section will be done as per the IELTS band score chart for both the Academic and General Training test.

IELTS Writing Section 

Both the IELTS Academic and General Training writing sections have two tasks in the writing segment. As per the IELTS score chart, each activity is graded separately on a scale of 0 to 9, with task 2 carrying more weightage in marking than task 1.

Spanning between 0-9 band scores, Writing Task 1 expects candidates to address all the parts of the task while presenting a fully developed response to get the best band score in the task. However, those targeting a 6.0 in the task must ensure that they address the requirements of the task and adequately present key features and points which are generally clear.

Meanwhile, for Writing Task 2, the test-taker is also expected to provide a “fully-developed response with relevant, fully extended and well-supported ideas” to get the best score, according to the IELTS band score chart. For those targeting a 6.0 on the band score for this task, must ensure they address all the parts of the task and present a relevant position and ideas for the task.

The exam also gives you a situation to examine and write a letter to explain the issue in task 1 of the General Training Writing test. The average of these scores is given an IELTS band score, which is explained further below.

The following are the parameters that are judged in the writing tasks of the test and subsequently given a score on the IELTS band score chart:

  • Task Achievement (Task1)/Task Response (Task 2)

  • Cohesive and Cohesion

  • Lexical Resource

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

IELTS Speaking Section

As per the IELTS score chart, the scoring for the speaking test of the exam is conducted by trained and certified IELTS examiners. They hold relevant teaching qualifications and extensive teaching experience before becoming an examiner. To properly assess your test, the examiners are given defined parameters that convert into scores according to the band score chart.

To receive the best score in the speaking section of the test, candidates must speak fluently and clearly with no hesitation. They should be able to use a full range of vocabulary with precision across different topics.

However, to receive a minimum of 6.0 on the IELTS band score chart for speaking tests, candidates must be able to speak at length using a wide enough range of vocabulary. They should be able to use a mix of complex and simple grammatical structures, however, while making some mistakes.

Just like the writing section, the speaking section of the test also has specific assessment criteria as per the IELTS score chart and is used by examiners to assess the test-takers within the defined parameters. These parameters are as follows:

  • Fluency and Coherence

  • Lexical Resource

  • Pronunciation

  • Grammatical Accuracy and Range

For a better understanding of the IELTS score chart, check out the IELTS band score calculator.

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Difference Between IELTS Raw Scores and IELTS Band Scores

The major difference between the IELTS band score chart and the raw scores majorly lies in what the scores mean. For instance, the scores obtained in the listening and reading sections of the test will be considered out of a total of 40, wherein, each correct answer carries one mark. In layman’s terms, whatever score you secure out of 40 in these sections will be termed the raw score.

On the other hand, the band score highlights your section-wise and overall performance in the test on a scale of 1-9. The raw scores you obtain in the test are converted into the appropriate band score using the IELTS band score chart.

You can use the tables highlighted in the upcoming sections of this article to determine your band score based on the raw scores you secured, which were then converted as per the IELTS score chart provided on this page.

It is important to remember that the complexity of the tests may vary because it is obviously impossible to create each examination at exactly the same level. As a result, the band score limits (as per the IELTS score chart) may differ slightly depending on the test.

Explore more about the IELTS by visiting the links below:

IELTS Score Chart for Listening Section

If you wish to learn how your raw scores for the listening sections are converted to band scores? Check out the table below that highlights the IELTS band score chart conversion of different raw scores.

IELTS Listening Band Score

Raw Scores (Correct Answers)


39 – 40


37 – 38


35 – 36


32 – 34


30 – 31


26 – 29


23 – 25


18 – 22


16 – 17


13 – 15


11 – 12

IELTS Score Chart for Reading Section

Outlined in the tables below, you will be able to understand how your raw scores in the reading section are converted to band scores as per the IELTS band score chart. Additionally, you will be able to check out the differences in band score conversions between the Academic and General Training tests.

IELTS Academic Reading Score Chart

The table highlights how your raw scores in the Academic reading section are converted to the relevant band score as per the IELTS score chart.

IELTS Reading Band Scores (Academic)

Raw Scores (Correct Answers)


40 – 39


38 – 37


36 – 35


34 – 33


32 – 30


29 – 27


26 – 23


22 – 19


18 – 15


14 – 13


12 – 10


9 – 8


7 – 6


5 – 4

IELTS Band Chart for General Reading

The table highlights how your raw scores in the General Training reading section are converted to the relevant band score as per the IELTS score chart.

IELTS Reading Band Scores (General Training)

Raw Scores (Correct Answers)






37 – 38




34 – 35


32 – 33


30 – 31


27 – 29


23 – 26


19 – 22


15 – 18


12 – 14


9 – 11


6 – 8

After thorough studying of the tables above, you must have understood the differences in the IELTS band score chart for both the Academic and General Training tests. Through these difference and conversion charts, you should be able to understand the raw scores you should achieve in the section.

IELTS Score Chart for Writing Section

As you have seen from the band score chart for each of the sections above, the evaluation and scoring processes are different. Here, we have outlined the scoring process for Task 1 and Task 2 of the writing section and how your scores will be converted as per the IELTS band score chart. The table below highlights the different parameters crucial for both the tasks and how you should go about structuring your response for the same.



Task Achievement (Task 1)

Providing accurate information 

Delivering a comprehensive overview

Highlighting key features/stage information Supporting details with appropriate data

Task Response (Task 2)

Attending the task (answering questions)

Giving  important main points to support the offered answer

Giving a clear position

Providing a clear conclusion

Grammar Range and Accuracy

Using a range of sentence structures

Using a range of grammar tenses 


Avoiding Errors

Lexical Resource

Using a range of words and paraphrasing

Using collocations


Avoid errors 

Cohesion and Coherence

Organizing information/ideas into paragraphs

Having one central idea in each paragraph 

Using a range of linking devices 

Note: As per the exam policies of the test, the criteria mentioned above have been given equal weightage, wherein the band score, calculated as per the IELTS score chart, is considered to be the average of their total scores.

IELTS Score Chart for Speaking Section

To score the best band score in this section, it is important to understand the IELTS band score chart for the speaking section as outlined in the table below. Candidates will be assessed on four different parameters including Fluency, Grammatical accuracy and range, lexical resource and even pronunciation.




Speaking at length, without pause or hesitation, employing connectors and being easy for listeners to understand

Lexical Resource 

Paraphrasing, employing a variety of words, collocation, and uncommon terminology

Grammar Range and Accuracy

Using a variety of tenses and suitable sentence patterns to avoid grammatical errors


Capable of being understood throughout the speech by using intonation, the accent should not interfere with understanding and usage of correct pronunciation

Note: The parameters are given equal weightage, which means that to have a good score in the section, candidates will have to excel in all these parameters. Evaluators will use these parameters to give the candidates a band score as per the IELTS band chart.

With the help of the information provided on this page, we hope we have been able to help you understand the IELTS band score chart and how your section-wise raw scores are converted. As a prospective international student, it is important for you to score as high as possible in each section of the test. Since these scores are used for admissions to universities as well as visa purposes, a high score on the IELTS band score chart will only be helpful.

Country Wise Average IELTS Band Score

In general, the IELTS band score varies by country. Furthermore, these needs differ based on education institutions and work opportunities. The following are the general country-specific average overall IELTS band criteria.


Average Overall IELTS Band Score 



New Zealand





5.5 – 6.5


6.0 – 6.5



What is CEFR?

CEFR is an abbreviation that stands for Central European Framework of Reference for Languages. It describes the candidate's command of that language on a six-point scale. These arrows are labelled C2 for professionals and A1 for novices. This CEFR relates to an individual's usage of his or her five language skills: listening, writing, reading, speaking production, and speaking interaction. The six degrees of ability are grouped into three categories:

  • Basic user (A1 and A2)

  • Independent user (B1 and B2)

  • Proficient user (C1 and C2)

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IELTS Band Score Chart Conversion to CEFR Scale

The IELTS band score and its correlation with the CEFR scale are depicted in the table tabulated below: 

IELTS Band Score

Equivalent CEFR Level











2 and less


FAQs on IELTS Band Score Chart

What is a good IELTS Band Score in USA?

7.0 is a good IELTS band score in the USA. The top US universities such as Harvard and Stanford accept more than 7.0 for their different programs for international students. On top of that, students must score at least 6.0 band or above and no subscore below 5.0 to study at the universities in the country.

What is a good IELTS Band Score in UK?

A good IELTS band score for UK is between 6.0 and 6.5. The requirement is sometimes higher for professional courses. Premier institutes like the University of Oxford have set their bars high at 7 bands with at least 6 in each component. It is mandatory to have a satisfactory IELTS band score for admission to UK universities.

What is a good IELTS Band Score in Canada?

A good IELTS band score for Canada lies between 5.5 and 6.5. That said, there is no minimum IELTS score required for immigration purposes. The IELTS score requirement is high for admission to top universities in Canada. While a score between 5.5 and 6.5 is decent for postgraduate courses, a score between 5 and 6 is good for undergraduate and diploma courses.

What is a good IELTS Band Score in Australia?

Generally speaking, a good IELTS band score to study in Australia is 6.5. One must have an overall band score of at least 6.5 with no subscore below 6.0 if one wishes to be accepted into Australian universities for postgraduate programmes. To get admitted to undergraduate programmes, one must have at least a 6.0 overall score with no subscore of less than 5.5 in each section. 

As per the IELTS band score chart, is a 6.5 band score a pass in the IELTS exam?

Yes, a 6.5 band score is definitely a pass in the IELTS exam as per the IELTS band score chart. It shows that you are a ‘competent user’ of the English language. A score higher than 6.5 shows that you have good proficiency in using and understanding the English language as a non-native English language user. 

Is a 6.5 IELTS band score good for Canada?

As per the IELTS band chart, 6.5 is a good score for Canada. The country has not set any minimum IELTS band score requirement for immigration purposes but the overall and sectional requirements are quite high at the universities. It is wise to get a minimum of 6.5 overall scores and 6.0 in each section. 

Is an IELTS band score of 7 hard to get?

No, it is not hard to get an IELTS band of 7. It can be achieved easily by a combination of hard work and smart work. Understanding the exam pattern and practising mock papers are key to achieving such high scores in IELTS. Along with that, knowledge of good vocabulary and grammar is important to get a band score of 7.


Which part of IELTS is most difficult to achieve a good IELTS band score?

The most difficult part of the IELTS exam is the Writing module among all the four modules. In general, writing is widely regarded as the most difficult module of any exam. It could be in major English proficiency assessments such as IELTS or in school-based tests.

Is 6.5 a good IELTS band score for Australia?

An IELTS band score chart of 6.5 is good for Australia is a good start for aspirants to study in this country. To study in Australia, you must have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with no band lower than 6.0 for your master's degree. When applying for bachelor's programs, you must have an IELTS score of at least 6.0 overall.

Is 6.5 a good IELTS band score for USA?

Yes, 6.5 is a good IELTS band score for USA as there are many universities that are accepting students with an IELTS band score of 6.5. Having said that, most of the top 200 bachelor's and master's programs require a minimum IELTS band score of 6.0 to 7.0, with some extremely selective colleges requiring a band score of 7.5.

Can I apply for a study visa in UK with 5.5 band score in IELTS?

Yes, you can apply for a study visa in UK with 5.5 band score in IELTS. To apply for a UK student visa, you should have proof of admission that you have secured to any of the UK universities for pursuing your higher studies along with all other documents that are required. 

Which country accepts an IELTS band score of 5.5 overall?

Countries that accept an IELTS band score of 5.5 overall are European countries like Malta, Poland, Greece, Germany, and even some universities in some of the top study abroad countries (only for selected programs and courses) like the UK, Canada, the USA and Australia. Many universities also give international students IELTS waivers too. 

What is the lowest IELTS band score?

The lowest IELTS band score that you can get is 1. IELTS scores are given on a 9-band scale. They are intended to be simple and easy to understand. They are reported as band scores ranging from band score 1 (which is the lowest) to band score 9 (which is the highest).

In which month it is easy to score a good IELTS band score?


There is no definite answer or month which is easy to score a good IELTS band score. The exam questions are updated/revised/modified every few months. As a result, there is no conclusive answer to which month would be the easiest. To improve your IELTS scores, you should retake the exam after a few months and with comprehensive preparation.

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