IELTS Score Band

Importance of Different Score Bands of IELTS

The IELTS is the International English Language Testing System that tests the competence of an individual in the English language. It is an internationally recognised test that is conducted in most parts of the world. The test measures the competence of an individual in four areas of English.

The IELTS Test Sections are:

1. Listening: Consists four sub- divisions

2. Reading: Consists three sub-divisions.

3. Writing: Consists of two sub-divisions or tasks.

4. Speaking: Consists of three sub-divisions.

All the four sections of the test have a different format. The test results are declared separately for each of these four sections along with an average score through the score band of the test. The test results are available thirteen days after the test in the Test Report Form, and they can be procured either by mail or by collection from the test centres. The test scores through band scale is the method of revealing the level of competence of the test taker through averages. The details of the test and the basic idea about its scores are available at the website

The meaning of the different bands in the IELTS score band is:


Level of Competence



Expert User

An individual who has excellent understanding of the English language and who is very fluent in it also


Very Good User

An individual who has excellent understanding of the English language and is very fluent in it but does tend to make a few mistakes here and there


Good User

An individual who has a very good understanding of the English language and is mostly very fluent and confident about the language


Competent User

An individual who can use and understand the language and has basic competence in understanding the language


Modest User

An individual who can use the language and can understand it also but makes quite a few mistakes


Limited User

An individual who can understand the language but is comfortable with it only in known situations and is not fluent in the language.


Extremely Limited User

An individual who can only understand a little of the language and is sure only in known situations. Not fluent in the language


Intermittent User

Not at all fluent in the language and does not understand the language very well. Can communicate in singular words only.


Non User

Unable to understand or use the language. Can use a few words of the language only. Proper communication not possible.


Did not attempt the test

An individual who had registered for the test but either did not take it or for any reason his test is not available to get scored

IELTS scoring:

  • Every section is marked separately and the scores for each of them is calculated.
  • The total score of every section is used to derive an average score.
  • The averages are used to determine the position of the individual on the scoring band.
  • The score band scale also has a half- band score to depict that the individual is better than the others in the same band.
  • Example, an individual can have a band score of 5.5 to depict that though he/she is a modest user right now but he/she is very close to being a competent user.
  • The scores of every section along with the overall band score is delivered to the candidate and that constitutes the test score.

The following link explains in great detail the different aspects of the IELTS and how the score band works: