IELTS band scores explained

You will receive a Test Report Form setting out your overall band score and your scores for each of the four parts of the test: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

Scores for each of the four parts are equally weighted. The overall band scores are calculated by taking the mean of the total of the scores of the four individual parts.

Overall band scores are reported to the nearest whole or half band. For the avoidance of doubt, the following rounding convention applies: if the average across the four skills ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.

Thus, a candidate achieving 6.5 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading, 5.0 for Writing and 7.0 for Speaking would be awarded an overall band score of 6.5 (25 ÷ 4 = 6.25 = Band 6.5).

Similarly, a candidate achieving 4.0 for Listening, 3.5 for Reading, 4.0 for Writing and 4.0 for Speaking would be awarded an overall band score of 4.0 (15.5 ÷ 4 = 3.875 = Band 4.0).

However, a candidate achieving 6.5 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading, 5.5 for Writing and 6.0 for Speaking would be awarded band 6 (24.5 ÷ 4 = 6.125 = Band 6).

For more information on how IELTS test material is produced, download the IELTS Question Paper Production Process.

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The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English test for study and migration. Last year, over 2 million candidates took the IELTS test to start their journeys into education and employment.

WHY TAKE THE EXAM?

1. Prove your language skils

Educational institutions, employers and government immigration agencies require proof of English language skills as part of their recruitment or admission procedures. Increasingly, these organisations are choosing IELTS.

2. Gain worldwide recognition for study, work and immigration

IELTS is jointly managed by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. Last year, over 2 million candidates used IELTSto open doors to the English-speaking world and beyond. IELTS is recognised by more than 8,000 organisations worldwide.

Cambridge English Advanced (CAE)

he demand for high-level English language skills is increasing all around the world. Passing Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) shows that you are a high achiever.

Why Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is a badge of excellence:

  • Accepted globally as proof of high achievement.
    More than 3,000 educational institutions, businesses and government departments around the world accept Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)as proof of high-level achievement.
    Find out more
  • A certificate with endless opportunities.
    Helps you develop the language skills you need for success, and can be used for your university and student visa applications in the UK and Australia.
  • It provides high-level English skills for academic and professional success.
    Preparing for Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) helps learners develop the skills to make the most of studying, working and living in English-speaking countries.

Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE)

Cambridge English: First, also known as First Certificate in English (FCE), is an upper-intermediate level qualification. It proves you can use everyday written and spoken English for work or study purposes.

WHY TAKE THE EXAM?

1.Show you’re ready for success in the real world.

Cambridge English: First is an upper-intermediate English language exam. You can use it to help you:

  • study in English at foundation or pathway level
  • work in an English-speaking environment
  • live independently in an English-speaking country.

2. Gain real life English skills for work and study.

Cambridge English: First shows you can use everyday written and spoken English for work and study purposes.

  • The exam uses real-life situations that are especially designed to help you:
    • communicate more effectively
    • learn the language skills you need to take the next step to success.

    What level is Cambridge English: First?

    Cambridge English: First is set at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Reaching this level means you can:

    • understand the main ideas of complex pieces of writing.
    • keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics, expressing opinions and presenting arguments
    • produce clear, detailed writing, expressing opinions and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of different points of view.

    Preparing for Cambridge English: First will give you these kinds of practical language skills.

Cambridge Preliminary English Test (PET)

Cambridge English: Preliminary, also known as Preliminary English Test (PET), is an intermediate level qualification. It shows you are able to use your English language skills for work, study and travel.

WHY TAKE THE TEST

Gain Real Life Language Skills

Cambridge English: Preliminary shows that you can use English to communicate with native speakers for everyday purposes.

The exam will help you improve your language skills so you can:

  • deal with everyday events
  • read simple textbooks or magazine articles
  • write letters on familiar subjects
  • take notes in a meeting.

What level is Cambridge English: Preliminary?

Cambridge English: Preliminary is set at Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Reaching this level means you can:

  • understand the main points of straightforward instructions or public announcements
  • deal with most of the situations you might meet when travelling as a tourist in an English-speaking country
  • ask simple questions and take part in factual conversations in a work environment
  • write letters/emails or make notes on familiar matters.
Preparing for Cambridge English: Preliminary will give you these kinds of practical language skills.

Cambridge Key English Test (KET)

Cambridge English: Key, also known as Key English Test (KET), is a basic level qualification that shows you can use English to communicate in simple situations. It shows you have made a good start in learning English.

WHY TAKE THE EXAM?

Prove you can communicate at a basic level English

Cambridge English: Key is a basic level qualification that shows you can use English to communicate in simple situations. You can use it to:

  • understand simple written English
  • communicate in familiar situations
  • understand short notices and simple spoken directions.

What level is Cambridge English: Key?

Cambridge English: Key is set at Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Reaching this level means you can:

  • understand and use basic phrases and expressions
  • introduce yourself and answer basic questions about your personal details
  • interact with English speakers who talk slowly and clearly
  • write short, simple notes.

Preparing for Cambridge English: Key will give you these kinds of practical language skills.

Cambridge Flyers

Cambridge English: Flyers, also known as Young Learners English: Flyers, is the next step of a child’s language learning journey, after taking Cambridge English: Movers. It is a great way to show children can deal with everyday written and spoken English at a basic level.

Cambridge English: Flyers is the highest level of three fun, motivating Cambridge English: Young Learners tests, aimed at children in primary and lower secondary education.

WHY TAKE THE TEST?

1. Improve Children’s English one step at a time

Cambridge English: Flyers is aimed at children in primary and lower secondary education and is designed to give them the confidence to improve even further in English.

Cambridge English: Flyers is the highest of the three Cambridge English: Young Learners tests. Once children have taken Cambridge English: Flyers, they can begin to aim for the next test:

These exams lead to certificates that are internationally accepted for study and work purposes.

2. Give Children the confidence they need in English

Cambridge English: Flyers is designed to motivate children and give them lots of confidence to use their English. The test:

  • is based on familiar topics and situations
  • develops the skills children need to communicate in English.

As children develop in confidence, they will be motivated to learn more Englishand use it at a more challenging level.

What level is Cambridge English: Flyers?

The Cambridge English: Flyers test is set at Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). At this level children can:

  • understand simple written English
  • communicate in familiar situations
  • understand short notices and simple spoken directions
  • understand and use basic phrases and expressions
  • introduce themselves and answer basic questions about their personal details
  • interact with English speakers who talk slowly and clearly
  • write short, simple notes

The test covers all four language skills – listening, speaking, and reading and writing.