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How IELTS score is calculated?

Both IELTS versions -- Academic and General Training follows the same 9-band scale for score calculations. Let’s understand how overall IELTS band score is calculated. IETLS test takers get a Test Report Form setting out the overall band score and scores in the four sections -- Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Each of the four components carry equal weightage. To calculate the overall band score, the average of the four individual component scores are calculated. To arrive at the overall band score, the nearest whole or half-band is considered. Check out the rounding convention which is applied to calculated the final score. If a test taker’s average score across four components ends in .25, it will be rounded making it .5 (half band), and if an average score ends in .75, it is rounded to the next whole band. How IELTS Score is Calculated? Average score is calculated by totaling the four components divided by four. Few examples:
IELTS Score Summary
Listening Difference between IELTS Academic & General Training
It consists of 40 questions. 1 mark is awarded for each correct answer. Based on raw scores, a test taker is awarded 1-9 band score. There is no difference. Because social oriented language skills of listening and speaking are equally important in academic or workplace settings.
The Reading section consists of 40 questions. For each correct answer 1 mark is awarded. A band score ranging from 1 -- 9 is awarded based on raw scores. Following are the differences between Academic and General Training for the Reading component: a)       The texts (topic, genre, discourse type, length, number, etc.). Academic papers source tests are more difficult and complex in style.b)       To secure a desired band score. A greater number of questions must be answered correctly on a General Training Reading Testc)       The Academic Reading component has more items pitched between 5 -8 band score, whereas in General Training more items are pitched between 3-6.
IELTS examiners use detailed assessment criteria known as band descriptors, to award each of the four assessment criteria:
  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2) -- 25%
  • Coherence and Cohesion -- 25%
  • Lexical Resource -- 25%
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy -- 25%
The IELTS Writing (Academic and General Training) are differentiated according by the tasks (based on topic and genre).This is the case because the difference between Academic and General Training lies basically in the reading and writing components.
In order to award a band in each of the four assessment criteria:
  • Fluency and Coherence -25%
  • Lexical Resource -- 25%
  • Grammatical Range -- 25%
  • Pronunciation -- 25%
There is no difference between IELTS Academic and General Training Speaking section as it is important irrespective of a test taker would be in a learning or working environment.
Band score boundaries All IELTS test materials are pretested and standards fixed before being given as live tests, although there are inevitably minor differences in the difficulty level across tests. The band score boundaries are set to equate different test versions so that all the test takers’ result relate to the same scale of achievement. For example, the Band score boundary may be set at a slightly different raw score across individual test versions. Listening and Reading Scoring IELTS Listening and Reading papers consist of 40 items and each correct item is awarded 1 mark. A test taker can score a maximum raw score of 40 in a paper. Based on raw score a Band score of 1 -- 9 are awarded. The table below will help you understand the number of marks required to achieve a particular band score in each of the sections.
Band score Raw score out of 40
5 16
6 23
7 30
8 35
Academic Reading
Band score Raw score out of 40
5 15
6 23
7 30
8 35
General Training Reading
Band score Raw score out of 40
4 15
5 23
6 30
7 34
Both the IELTS Academic and General Training Papers graded to the same scale. The difference between the two is one of genre or discourse type. The difference lies in the difficulty level of source texts, which is generally more complex in the Academic paper than the General Training Reading paper. Writing and Speaking scoring Examiners use detailed performance descriptors which describe the written and spoken performance of candidates at each of the 9 IELTS bands. For better understanding of the assessment criteria for IELTS Writing and IELTS Speaking sections, and what is expected from a test taker to score a specific band score. Writing task 1 assessment criteria Writing task 2 assessment criteria Speaking assessment criteria Looking for IELTS Coaching? Post your requirements here.


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