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A to Z about IELTS

‣ Band Scores & Descriptors                                                                                                                                         

Multi-level

IELTS is a multi-level exam. You get a score between 1 and 9 for each section. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.

IELTS Listening marking schemes

For the listening test, which contains 40 questions, the approximate band scores can be calculated using this table.

IELTS General Reading marking schemes

For the general reading test, which contains 40 questions, the approximate band scores can be calculated using this table.

 

IELTS Academic Reading marking schemes

For the academic reading test, which also contains 40 questions, but is more difficult, the approximate band scores can be calculated using this table.

 

IELTS Writing marking schemes

The two writing questions are marked out of 9 according to the following criteria:

  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2)

  • Coherence and Cohesion

  • Lexical Resource

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

IELTS Task 1 Band descriptors                     IELTS Task 2 Band descriptors

IELTS Speaking marking schemes

The speaking test is also marked out of 9 according to the following criteria:

  • Fluency and coherence

  • Lexical resource

  • Grammatical range and accuracy

  • Pronunciation

IELTS Speaking Band descriptors

Comparison of CEF levels and scores for the various exams

The following gives an approximate comparison between the different exams. The exams all use the Common European Framework (CEF) proficiency levels.

 A2

Cambridge English Key 120-139

PTE General Level 1

PTE Academic 30-42

IELTS 2-3

TOEIC Listening & Reading 225

TOEIC Speaking & Writing 160

 B1

Cambridge English Key 140-150

Cambridge English Preliminary (PET) 130-159

B1 Business Preliminary

IELTS 4-5

TOEFL iBT 42-71

TOEIC Listening & Reading 550

TOEIC Speaking & Writing 240

PTE General Level 2

PTE Academic 43-58

Trinity ISE I

 B2

Cambridge English First (FCE) 160-179

Cambridge English Preliminary (PET) 160-170

B2 Business Vantage

IELTS 5.5-6

TOEFL iBT 72-94

TOEIC Listening & Reading 785

TOEIC Speaking & Writing 310

Michigan ECCE

PTE General Level 3

PTE Academic 59-75

Trinity ISE II

 C1

Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 180-199

Cambridge English First (FCE) 180-190

C1 Business Higher

IELTS 6.5-7.5

TOEFL iBT 95-120

TOEIC Listening & Reading 945

TOEIC Speaking & Writing 360

PTE General Level 4

PTE Academic 76-85

 C2

Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)

Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 200-210

IELTS 8-9

Michigan ECPE

PTE General Level 5

PTE Academic 85+

 
 
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