Average Score in IELTS


You need to clear the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam if you wish to join an English speaking country for job or study. The US, the UK, Australia and Canada are some of the countries where it is applicable. It is used for immigration purposes also. If English is your second language then you need to appear for this exam. The test scores vary on a scale of 0 to 9 and the average score is around 6 or 6.5. Let us know more about the score pattern and the average test score.

Score Pattern

IELTS comes in two modules i.e. Academic module and General Training module. The academic module is applicable for students who wish to take the test for graduation or post graduation in English speaking countries. The general training module is applicable for job seekers or immigrants to these countries. Both these modules have different levels of difficulties. Both these modules have four sections. These are reading, writing, speaking and listening. The reading and writing sections are different for both these modules. The rest are same for both. The distribution of questions and time allotted for every section is as follows:

Listening Test – 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes

Reading Test – 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes

Writing Test- – 2 pieces of writing, 60 minutes

Speaking Test – interview, 3 parts, 15 minutes

Every section of IELTS is scored separately on a scale of 0 to 9. 0 means that the section was not attempted, 1 indicates that the test taker is a non user of English and 9 indicates that the test taker is an expert in English. The scores can be in half bands. The scores of all the sections are averaged for the overall score. The overall test score and the scores of reading and listening sections are reported in half bands. The scores of writing and speaking sections are reported in whole bands. This is in accordance with the admission procedures of universities.

The scores are not directly proportional to your right answers. It is a range of correct answers that correspond to a particular score on a band. For example in a listening or a reading section where you need to solve 40 questions, if you are able to get 16 to 22 answers right then you may get a score of 5 and if you get 23 to 29 answers right then you may get a score of 6. This range reduces as you go high on a score band i.e. to get a score of 9 you can at the most miss one right answer.

Significance of an Average IELTS Score

IELTS is an international exam jointly administered by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia. University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) is a renowned international body for organizing such academic examinations. The test is conducted throughout the year at around 300 test centers in 120 countries. It is taken by over three lakh candidates every year. This shows how important this exam is. The standards of scoring are also stringent. Each band of score indicates a particular level of English. For example, a score of 9 is a perfect score. It indicates that you are an expert user with full operational command over English. A candidate with a score of 9 has complete understanding of syntax and grammar of English. He is fluent and possesses a rich vocabulary. Similarly, the score of 7 is an indication that a candidate is a good user of English despite some inaccuracies. The overall scores are reported on a half band format. That means there is a variation in your performance level at every half band. This also shows that there are thousands of candidates at every half band. This makes the competition further tough. You may just disqualify for some university if you lag behind because of half a point.

An average score is around 6. It may vary from 5.5 to 6.5. The score of 6 indicates that you are a competent user of English. You may be inaccurate at times in understanding and use of the complex language. However, in familiar conditions you can understand this complex language fairly well. Many universities consider the average mark as the minimum level one must posses to sail through the academics. An average score also shows that you may not encounter much problem in your studies or at work just because of a language barrier. Some of the universities also have conditions on the average score in every section of the exam. They may want you to possess at least average marks in every section. Some of the universities or work places may have their own standards for an average test score. Therefore, one must aim for achieving scores more than mediocre scores. You may find more information about scores online from the web sites of the universities or organizations which you wish to join.