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How your IELTS result is calculated

Listening and Reading

The listening and reading modules scores are calculated by counting the number of correct answers and then using a conversion table to translate this number into a band score. Scores are reported as whole or half bands. Your answer paper is marked against a set of model answers so there is no subjectivity involved except, perhaps, where unclear writing could be interpreted differently. This method of marking allows little room for error so it is highly unllikely that a re-mark of either your listening or reading module will result in a change to your band score.

Writing and Speaking

The writing and speaking modules are marked by examiners who use a set of descriptors to establish which band you fall into for each of a number of criteria.

In the case of writing, each of the two tasks is marked using the following criteria:

The final band score for each task is a rounded average of the scores for each of the criteria. The overall Writing module score is calculated using a weighting of one third of the overall band score of task one and two thirds of the overall band score of task 2 and is reported as a whole or half band.

The Speaking module is marked on the following criteria:

The Speaking module score is calculated using a rounded average of all criteria and is reported as a whole or half band.

The criteria and descriptors are designed to to make the marking of the speaking and writing modules as objective as possible. However, there is much more opportunity for variation between examiners than in the case of listening and reading. You should bear this in mind if you fail to achieve the IELTS result you need. For further information on what you can do if you fail to get the score you need see our What To Do If Your IELTS Result Is Too Low page.

Overall Score

Your overall IELTS band score is calculated by averaging the scores for each of the modules and rounding to the nearest half band. Your overall IELTS score will therefore be reported as a half or whole band.

For example:

Listening: 6.5
Reading: 6
Writing: 6
Speaking: 6
Overall: 6

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