Help better understand your level of IELTS Reading and IELTS Listening using our helpful band score calculator.
The IELTS test is divided into four parts: Writing, Speaking, Listening and Reading. For the IELTS Speaking and IELTS Writing areas of the exam – the band scores are awarded by a professional examiner. However, the IELTS Reading and the IELTS Listening sections are calculated by a computer, based on answers you have given on an answer sheet.
As IELTS Reading and IELTS Listening tests differ in difficulty – it can be difficult to know exactly what your current level or band score would be. It is also for this reason that there is no definitive IELTS Band Score Calculator that you can apply to every test for the Listening and Reading components.
However, here at English With An Expert, we’ve used our expert knowledge of the IELTS test and different band descriptors to create a rough IELTS calculator that helps you analyse your ability and track your progress in the Reading and Listening sections – and also to give you a rough guide for the Speaking and Writing.
Why You Need To Use An IELTS Band Score Calculator
When you’re studying hard and completing IELTS exam practice tests, part of your revision should involve tracking your score so that you are able to monitor your progress.
Personal tutoring from online IELTS coaches can help you with this, but for many people they want to simply check their score – and because of the grading system for IELTS Reading and Listening scores, this can present challenges.
That’s why it’s important to use an IELTS mark calculator that has been developed by an IELTS expert to track your progress in these two key areas of the test.
Our Essential IELTS Score Calculator For General & Academic Reading and Listening
For calculating an approximate IELTS Reading score and IELTS Listening score you can use our helpful calculator below. You should remember however, that because the actual computer-generated grades will be calculated based on the difficulty level of the specific test – these calculations may not be 100% accurate.
As a very rough rule of thumb, you need around
6 marks out of 10 to achieve a band 6.0 (so 24 total). Adding on another 6 marks will achieve a 7.0, and another 6 an 8.0. To achieve a 9.0 you should not make more than one mistake in the test.
How The Band Scores For IELTS Are Calculated
Each of the four IELTS modules (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) are scored independently on a scale ranging from 0 to 9, in half-point increments (e.g., 5.5, 6.0, 6.5). Your performance on each module is converted to a band score according to specific criteria.
Then your overall IELTS band score is calculated by taking the mean score of the four modules, rounded to the nearest half or whole number.
For example, if you scored 6.0 in Listening, 6.5 in Reading, 5.5 in Writing, and 6.0 in Speaking, your overall score would be (6.0+6.5+5.5+6.0)/4 = 6.0.
This example works quite well however the rounding can be a little confusing when module score totals are not easily divided by 4. Below is a more helpful breakdown of how this would essentially work in practice of your IELTS band scores being calculated.
If the total band scores divided by 4 is less than 6.25 then the overall score would be rounded to 6.0.
If the total band scores divided by 4 greater than 6.25 then the overall score would be rounded to 6.5.
Similarly, if the total band scores divided by 4 is less than 6.75 then the overall score would be rounded to 6.5.
But, if the total band scores divided by 4 is greater than 6.75 then the overall score would be rounded to 7.0.
A Rough Guide to Scoring Your IELTS Writing and IELTS Speaking Ability
The Public IELTS Band Score Descriptors say that more than half your sentences should be correct to score a band 8.0 for Grammatical Range and Accuracy. A band 7.0 means you have produced ‘frequent error-free sentences’.
So, if you have written a ten-sentence essay, and six or more sentences have no mistake, you might expect to receive a band 8.0 for your Grammatical Range and Accuracy. If at least a third of your sentences are correct – this could score a band 7.0.
This follows in the Speaking section as well.
Note, however, that it is more complex than this and you should be using a range of grammar structures and not just simple sentences.
Using An IELTS Score Calculator To Convert A Score From A Different Test
It could be the case that you’ve previously sat other types of English Language examinations for professional or immigration purposes. These can range from the Cambridge Advanced English Test (CAE) to the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
If this is the case, then you can use something known as The Common European Framework (CEFR). The CEFR is an international standard for describing language ability. It follows a 6-point scale, and all of the major English Language exams map their equivalent scores in line with the CEFR.
Because we recognise that the IELTS exam may not be the first time you have been assessed on your knowledge of the English Language, we’ve included below a helpful and handy IELTS Band Score Calculator which can use the CEFR to convert results from other accredited English Language tests into approximate IELTS scores.
Use the CEFR IELTS Score Calculator below as a rough guide to convert a CAE Score to an IELTS Score or to convert a TOEFL score to an IELTS score.
Getting An Accurate IELTS Band Score For IELTS Writing & IELTS Speaking
Well, the IELTS Gurus here at English With An Expert have just the right answers to those questions!
You, as a student, have a number of alternatives when it comes to preparing for the Writing and Speaking sections of the IELTS test, which our instructors can help you with.
Firstly you can use our IELTS Writing Correction Service. Here, an experienced IELTS tutor will take samples of your work and grade them against IELTS marking criteria. This will then be returned to you with an explanation of the errors committed and a band score prediction based on the abilities shown in your sample work.
Get Expert IELTS Tutoring & Lessons
Alternatively, you could look at the different online IELTS lesson packages that we offer. These lessons have helped thousands of aspiring students from all around the world achieve their ideal band score without having to resit the IELTS test over and over again.
These packages are the perfect solution for those who need help with the Speaking side of the exam in particular – as there are few other sure-fire ways of improving this often complex part of the test.
Here, you’ll get personal 1-to-1 IELTS lessons from our experienced Tutor, Andy Turner. He’ll help recognise your areas of weakness and using his expertise and knowledge, craft the perfect plan for setting you on the course for IELTS greatness!
Quick Tips On How You Can Improve Your IELTS Band Score
Improving your IELTS score is no easy task. Understanding the test’s structure, practising specific linguistic skills and developing good strategies for how you tackle the exam itself is very important. A deep dive into the IELTS format is the first crucial step; this includes becoming intimately familiar with the types of questions and tasks presented in each of the four sections. Equally important is mastering time management, a skill that can dramatically improve your test performance. Practising under timed conditions and learning to allocate time efficiently across questions will help you pace yourself and reduce the pressure during the actual exam.
If you’d like to learn about more key ways that you can prepare for the IELTS exam in your own time and have a good chance of scoring high, then you can visit our page dedicated to IELTS Preparation.
IELTS Band Score FAQs
How does the IELTS Band Score Calculator work?
Our IELTS Band Score Calculator uses the number of correct answers, also known as raw scores, to estimate the band score for the Reading and Listening sections of the IELTS test. For Academic Reading, General Reading, and Listening, the calculator lists the band scores next to the range of correct answers typically associated with each score, based on historical data and standard IELTS marking criteria.
How should I interpret the results from the Band Score Calculator?
The results from our IELTS band score calculator should be used as a guideline to assess your performance level in the IELTS Reading and Listening sections. They provide an estimate of the band score you could expect to receive based on the number of questions you answer correctly. This can help you identify areas where you need to improve and track your progress over time.
Does the difficulty level of a test affect my score?
Yes, the difficulty level of an IELTS test can affect the conversion of raw scores to band scores. The IELTS uses a statistical procedure known as equating to ensure that the scores are comparable across tests of varying difficulty. This means that on a more difficult test, you might achieve the same band score with fewer correct answers compared to an easier test.
What should I do if my estimated band score is lower than I expected?
If your estimated band score is lower than you expected, it’s recommended to review the areas where you lost points and focus your studies on those weaknesses. Practise more with sample tests, consider enrolling in a preparatory course, or seek feedback from a tutor. It’s also useful to develop a study plan that targets your specific areas for improvement.
Is there a difference in scoring between the Academic and General Training versions of IELTS?
While the scoring scale is the same for both Academic and General Training versions of the IELTS, the number of correct answers needed to achieve a particular band score may differ between the two, as seen in the calculator. This is because the content and difficulty level of the Reading sections are not identical in the Academic and General Training tests.
Can this IELTS score calculator be used for both the paper-based and computer-delivered IELTS tests?
Yes, this calculator can be used for both the paper-based and computer-delivered IELTS tests. The scoring criteria and conversion of raw scores to band scores are the same for both formats of the test. However, it’s essential to practise with the format you plan to take to become familiar with the test dynamics and time management.
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