Candidates receive a score, which is on a band scale from 1 to 9, for each module of the test as well as an overall score. Overall Band Scores and Listening and Reading Band Scores are reported in half bands; Writing and Speaking Band Scores are reported in whole Bands. There is no pass or fail mark.
Results are returned to the candidates within two weeks in the form of a Test Report Form (see next item), and the results are valid for two years.
Interpretation of IELTS Results
Each Band corresponds to a descriptive statement giving a summary of the English of a candidate classified at that level. Overall Band Scores can be reported in either whole or half Bands.
The nine bands and their descriptive statements are as follows:
IELTS 9 - Expert User Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
IELTS 8 - Very Good User Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
IELTS 7 - Good User Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
IELTS 6 - Competent User Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
IELTS 5 - Modest User Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
IELTS 4 - Limited User Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.
IELTS 3 - Extremely Limited User Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
IELTS 2 - Intermittent User No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
IELTS 1 - Non User Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
IELTS 0 - Did not attempt the IELTS test No assessable information provided.
The IELTS Handbook provides a written Interpretation of Results.
IELTS provides a profile of English language ability in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. A Band Score for each of the four modules as well as an overall score is recorded on the Test Report Form. This allows receiving institutions to clearly identify the candidates' strengths and weaknesses. These Band Scores are recorded on the Test Report Form along with details of the candidate's nationality, first language and date of birth. The Test Report Form indicates whether it is for an Academic or General Training candidate.
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