IELTS band scores are reported on a 9-band scale ranging from Band 1 to Band 9.  Each part of the test is awarded a band score for performance. The Listening and Reading tests are marked in a different way to the Speaking and Writing tests. The Listening and Reading tests each have 40 questions and each correct answer receives 1 mark. The total score out of 40 is converted to the IELTS 9-band scale.  IELTS Speaking tests are evaluated by certified IELTS examiners in a face-to-face interview using a set of assessment criteria to award band scores for each of the four criteria, Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation.  IELTS Writing tests are evaluated in the same way with the examiner awarding band scores for each of the four criteria that best match the performance at each band level for Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2.  Understanding the assessment criteria can help you prepare for your test and how to better approach each test section. 

Ask IELTS

What is the difference between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training?

If you plan to study in higher education or seek professional registration in an English-speaking country, you might need to take an IELTS Academic.


The General Training test looks at your English-language capabilities in a work or social environment. If you plan to study in secondary education, enroll in vocational training, move abroad for work or migrate to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK or the USA, you might need to take an IELTS General Training.

Learn more