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We’re going to tell you about the scoring on IELTS (International English Testing Service) exams in this article. The scoring system may seem a little odd at first, but it is actually a good system once you know how it works. Also, we’ll tell you what range of scores are typically needed for entrance to a well-regarded English speaking university and for employment.

We are also going to be addressing how we at GlobalExam can help you to get ready for your upcoming IELTS exam and improve your score, so you will achieve the result that you need.

Start preparing for the IELTS test right away!

If you wish to learn more about the IELTS Indicator test have a click through.

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IELTS Test Results: How Does the Scoring System Work?

There are many English proficiency levels, and each one is different. You have the ILR, the CEFR scoring system, the ACTFL proficiency system, and so on. The IELTS uses a nine level bandwidth scoring system. Bandwidth 1 indicates that the person has virtually no English ability, while bandwidth 9 indicates a native-like level of English ability.

Both the IELTS Academic and General Training exam results use the same nine-band scale.

The Test Report Form (TRF) provides your Overall Band Score and band scores for each of the four exam sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

IELTS scoring and bandwidths

It is really important to understand how the scoring system works especially if you need to take the IELTS for a Canadian PR or any visa.

Overall Band Score

The Overall Band Score is the average of the four component scores; the score is rounded to the nearest whole or half band. The component scores are given equal weighting.

Test Taker A6.
Test Taker B4.
Test Taker C5.

When the average of the four components ends in .25, the Overall Band Score is rounded up to the next half band and when it ends in .75, the Overall Band Score is rounded up to the next whole band.
Note that the band scores are the same for the IELTS on paper and the IELTS on computer.

If you need to check the equivalence from IELTS band score to CLB or even the TOEFL score to IELTS, please refer to the linked articles.

Component Band Scores


The IELTS Listening section has 40 questions. Each correct answer is given one mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS nine-band scale.


The IELTS Reading section has 40 questions. Each correct answer is given one mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS nine-band scale.

Below is an average number of marks that you would need to receive the indicated band score in Academic Reading.

Band score
Raw score out of 40


IELTS examiners use a rubric with descriptors to assess a band score. Examiners are trained to follow the rubric carefully, and there is typically little variation between examiners. The criteria for assessment are

  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2): does the person answer the question and follow the instructions
  • Coherence and Cohesion: Is the writing well-organized and are appropriate signal devices used.
  • Lexical Resource: does the person use a wide range of vocabulary or only simple words.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: you don’t have to be error free, but you need to be able to use a variety of grammatical structures with minimal errors for a high score.

The 4 criteria are given equal weighting and your score on the task is the average.


The IELTS examiners must use the given rubric to assess an exam candidate. Two people will listen to your responses to ensure reliability in scoring.

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

The 4 criteria are given equal weighting, and your score on the task is the average.

IELTS Results: What Is the Test Report Form (TRF)?

TRF stands for the Test Report Form, which is a paper copy of the test score of your IELTS. This will allow you to check your result. The educational institutions you are applying for will need original copies of your TRF, and that’s why up to five additional copies will be sent to different universities or immigration officers that you are interested in. However, you have to include correct and relevant addresses when you book for your IELTS test.

When Will I Receive My IELTS Test Results?

You will receive your Test Report Form via courier within 13 calendar days after the paper-based test date, but for your computer-based test, it will only take 3 to 5 days calendar days. This is the official confirmation of your performance.

If you have taken the IELTS test for Life Skills, your results will be available within 7 days after the test date, and if you have taken the IELTS test for the UKVI (UK Visas), then your results will be available 13 days after the test date.

Can I Receive My IELTS Test Results by SMS, Mail or Post?

The IELTS results will not be provided through email or over the phone. As we mentioned earlier, your IELTS test results will be delivered to you by courier.

Keep in mind that it may take longer to be delivered, and in case of a failed delivery, you will be contacted for the corrected address to resend the TRF within the next 7 business days.

Can I Collect My Results From My Test Center or Institution?

You can collect your IELTS test results from the test center where you took your exam. You should submit your request by writing to them and providing a copy of your ID (that you used on test day). You can always contact the test centres for further assistance.

Can I Get Additional Copies of My IELTS Test Report Form?

In order to get additional copies of your TRF to be sent to another educational university, employer, etc., you will need to pay an extra administration fee and the courier fee because it will be sent to an international destination or via airmail.

This process is applicable on both computer-delivered and paper-based IELTS.

Can I Preview My IELTS Test Results Online?

Yes, you can preview your results on your test taker portal.

If you have taken the computer-delivered IELTS test, you will have access to preview your scores after 3 – 5 days. If you have taken the paper-based IELTS test, then you will have access to preview your scores after 13 calendar days from the test date.

The IELTS results remain online for 28 days.

Is It Possible to Request a Remark for Your IELTS Exam?

In case you weren’t satisfied with your IELTS scores, you can call for an Enquiry on Results (EOR). Meaning that you can apply to re-mark your test. You can go to the test center where you took your IELTS test and pick which test sections you need to be re-marked.

The fee for this service is usually 50% of the original exam price (Check with your test center), and in case your score is increased for any section, you will be refunded.

However, whether you have taken a paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS test, you should not apply for the re-marking later than six weeks after the test date.

The Enquiries on Results take 4 – 8 weeks to complete.

Depending on a few factors, your new results will be available in 2 – 21 days. If it has been more than 28 days, you need to contact your test center for further information.

ielts report and analysis papers

What Is the Minimum IELTS Band Score Required for Getting a Job?

English is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, and taking the IELTS test would help you get a job at big, international companies with ease, if you receive a score of 6 and above. The better your score, the more you enhance your chances to get the job you want.

However, it really depends on the company, country, and the type of work to know the exact score you need for the job. For example, an engineer who needs excellent technical skills, but spends little time writing reports or speaking would be fine with an overall band score of 6. On the other hand, if you will be working with the public and need to communicate often in writing, then you will need an overall band score of 7-8.

Which industries ask for IELTS?

Many of the registration bodies that accept IELTS represent the health care professions such as nursing. This includes industries such as medicine and pharmacy, where English language competence is of critical importance.

Other professional bodies in particular countries requiring an IELTS result include accounting, engineering, law and veterinary practice.

A wide range of other employers from sectors such as finance, government, construction, energy, aviation and tourism also require IELTS.

What IELTS Results Are Required for Prestigious Universities?

If you want to get into a prestigious university anywhere in the world, you have to prove that you are qualified. This means you do not only have to impress them with your school grades, but also with your IELTS score. The latter can lead you to get into some of the greatest universities in the world, including the University of Toronto, Harvard, MIT, and more.

The prestigious universities usually require an overall band score of 6.5-7.0 with a minimum score of 6 in each exam section. However, Harvard and MIT require a 7.0 score.

Keep in mind that departments at the same university may have different requirements. So, make sure to contact the university you are applying for to have the correct information.

Improve Your IELTS Test Results Online With GlobalExam

There is a great online platform waiting for you at GlobalExam. We are language test preparation experts who constantly strive to improve our materials and services. Our IELTS materials are relevant, current and informative.

What do we provide for your IELTS preparation?

We offer a great set of services and IELTS materials for you, allowing you to focus on the learning and preparation worry free:

  • Lots and lots of exercises, so you can get lots of practice
  • Mock exams that let you experience the real feel of an IELTS exam
  • Corrected exercises that will let you know what you did wrong and how to improve
  • Progress tracking with statistics that keep you informed of your progress and show you the areas that you need to work on
  • Choice of study paths that allow you to select a path which fits your needs; flexibility is one of our cornerstones

All of the above features are found on an easy-to-navigate, attractive platform that is run by great staff and it’s all at an affordable price. GlobalExam IELTS online preparation offers a free trial version as well, giving you an opportunity to try our website.

Everything is online, meaning that you can study at any time or any place that suits your schedule. Check us out and achieve the IELTS result you need.