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Your IELTS Result - What It Means

You will receive your IELTS result on a Test Report Form approximately 2 weeks after you completed the test. Test centres cannot divulge test results over the telephone, by fax or email.

As well as identifying you as the candidate and detailing the exam date and test centre, the Test Report Form contains your IELTS result. This is reported as a separate band score for each module together with an overall band score. On the reverse of the Test Report Form you will find a description of what each band score means. We have reproduced this below for your information:

 Band 9 - Expert User 
 Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding. 
 Band 8 - Very Good User 
 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 7 - Good User 
 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 6 - Competent User 
 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 5 - Modest User 
 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 4 - Limited User 
 Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language. 
 Band 3 - Extremely Limited User 
 Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur. 
 Band 2 - Intermittent User 
 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 1 - Non User 
 Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words. 
 Band 0 - Did not attempt the test 
 No assessable information provided. 
 Taken from the IELTS Handbook 2005. 

Don't be tempted to alter your band score. Any attempt to tamper with your Test Report Form will result in it being cancelled by IELTS.

Any organisation that wants to verify your IELTS result can do so by contacting IELTS, or online via the IELTS website.

When you receive your result, you can check whether you have achieved the score you needed. If you have, congratulations! It's time to celebrate.

Keep your IELTS Test Report Form safe! You will receive only one copy, which cannot be replaced. However, you can ask for up to five additional copies to be sent to the organisation/government agency etc. you have applied to if you do so when you make your application for the IELTS test.

If you haven't achieved the result you needed, don't despair! All is not lost. Have a look at our What To Do If Your IELTS Result Is Too Low page. You may still be able salvage the situation, especially if your result is close to that required.

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