HOW IELTS IS SCORED  | MRK IELTS

HOW IELTS IS SCORED | MRK IELTS

IELTS results are reported on a 9-band scale 

IELTS results are designed to be simple and easy to understand. Results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). The IELTS band scale has remained consistent and has acquired currency around the world over the past three decades.

Band score: 9
Skill level: Expert user
Description:
The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.

Band score: 8
Skill level: Very good user
Description:
The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.

Band score: 7
Skill level: Good user
Description:
The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.

Band score: 6
Skill level: Competent user
Description:
The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

Band score: 5
Skill level: Modest user
Description:
The test taker has a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.

Band score: 4
Skill level: Limited user
Description:
The test taker’s basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.

Band score: 3
Skill level: Extremely limited user
Description:
The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.

Band score: 2
Skill level: Intermittent user
Description:
The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

Band score: 1
Skill level: Non-user
Description:
The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.

Band score: 0
Skill level: Did not attempt the test
Description:
The test taker did not answer the questions.

IELTS Speaking: Test Day Advice

IELTS Speaking: Test Day Advice

Speaking test advice

Follow this Speaking test advice and try to talk fluently.

The Speaking test is a face-to-face conversation with a certified examiner. It is as close to a real-life situation as a test can get.

The examiner will ask you about familiar topics such as home, work or studies in part 1. This should help you feel comfortable when speaking. Try and relax so that you can speak as naturally as possible.

Take time before the test to practise speaking with a partner, friend or teacher.

Make the most of your IELTS Speaking test:

  • try to talk as much as you can
  • talk as fluently as possible and be spontaneous
  • relax, be confident and enjoy using your English
  • develop your answers
  • speak more than the examiner
  • ask for clarification if necessary
  • do not learn prepared answers; the examiner is trained to spot this and will change the question
  • express your opinions; you will be assessed on your ability to communicate
  • the examiner’s questions tend to be fairly predictable; practise at home and record yourself
IELTS Reading: Test Day Advice

IELTS Reading: Test Day Advice

Reading test advice

Follow this Reading test advice, and make sure you understand how to respond to ‘completion’ type questions.

It is essential that you write your answers on the answer sheet. Nothing you write on the question paper will be marked.

You may write your answers on the question paper and transfer them to the answer sheet before the end of the test if you like. However, it is important to note that you will not be given extra time to do this.

You must write your answers in pencil 

Make the most of your IELTS Reading test:

  • look out for the title, headings and any special features such as capital letters, underlining, italics, figures, graphs and tables
  • make sure that you understand the questions and follow instructions carefully
  • pay attention to timing; do not spend too long on one passage or question
  • do not try and read every word; remember, you are reading for a purpose
  • if you do not know the answer to a question, attempt it but do not waste time; move quickly onto the next one
  • do not panic if you do not know anything about the subject of the text; all the answers can be found in the text
  • the word(s) you use must be taken from the Reading text; you must not change the form of the word(s) in the text
  • do not worry if there is a word that you do not understand – you may not need to use it
  • check your spelling
  • be careful to use singular and plural correctly
  • focus precisely on what you are asked to do in ‘completion’ type questions
  • if the question asks you to complete the note ‘in the…’ and the correct answer is ‘evening’, just use ‘evening’ as your answer; note that ‘in the evening’ would be incorrect
    pay attention to the word limit; for example, if you are asked to complete a sentence using no more than two words, if the correct answer is ‘silk shirt’, the answer ‘shirt made of silk’ would be incorrect
    attempt all questions; there are no penalties for incorrect answers, so you have nothing to lose
  • check your answers

 

IELTS Writing: Test Day Advice

IELTS Writing: Test Day Advice

Writing test advice

Follow this Writing test advice, and make sure you know how to manage your time.

Write your answers in pen or pencil. You may write entirely in capital letters if you wish.

You may make notes on the question paper, but nothing you write on the question paper will be marked.

Make the most of your IELTS Writing test:

  • analyse each task properly and spend some time making notes
  • highlight or underline key words in the tasks to make sure that you focus on what you have to do
  • plan your answers
  • use paragraphs clearly; put one idea in each paragraph
  • do not repeat ideas using different words
  • do not copy whole sentences from the question – you will receive no marks for this
  • keep to the topic; do not write about unrelated subjects
  • manage your time; remember, Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1
  • spend approximately 20 minutes on Task 1 and approximately 40 minutes on Task 2
  • pay attention to the number of words required for each task; you will lose marks if you do not write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2
  • learn to recognise how long 150 and 250 words look in your handwriting; you will not have time to count during the test
  • you must write your answers in full; answers written in note form or in bullet points will lose marks
  • pay attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation; you will lose marks for mistakes
IELTS Listening: Test Day Advice

IELTS Listening: Test Day Advice

Listening test advice

Follow this Listening test advice, and make sure you understand how to respond to ‘completion’ type questions.

You will be given time to read through the questions before you listen. You will hear each recording of the Listening test only once.

As you listen, write your answers on the question paper. At the end of the test, you will have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet in pencil. You may write your answers in lower case or capital letters.

It is essential that you transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Nothing you write on the question paper will be marked.

Make the most of your Listening test:

  • if you cannot hear the audio clearly, let a member of staff know straightaway
  • follow the instructions carefully; they may be different to practice or previous tests
  • listen for the specific information you want
  • try and anticipate what the speaker will say; this will require concentration
  • do not worry if there is a word you do not understand; you may not need to use it
  • if you do not know the answer to a question, attempt it but do not waste time; move quickly onto the next one
  • be careful with your spelling and grammar
  • do not panic if you think the topic is too difficult or the speaker is too fast; relax and tune in
  • read, write and listen at the same time
  • focus precisely on what you are asked to do in completion type questions
  • pay attention to the word limit; for example, if you are asked to complete a sentence using no more than two words, if the correct answer is ‘leather coat’, the answer ‘coat made of leather’ would be incorrect
  • if the question asks you to complete the note ‘in the…’ and the correct answer is ‘morning’, note that ‘in the morning’ would be incorrect; the correct answer is ‘morning’
  • attempt all questions; there are no penalties for incorrect answers
  • check your answers
IELTS test day advice

IELTS test day advice

Prepare for your test day; success starts with IELTS

You will find the IELTS test centre staff friendly, welcoming and highly professional. They will make sure that the test is delivered fairly and securely. Follow their instructions carefully.

The week before your test

Check the start time and location of your IELTS test the week before, and make sure you know how to get there on time.

Remember, the address of your IELTS test location may be different to that of the test centre where you booked your test.

Take the time to read full details of the ‘IELTS test terms and conditions’ for important information about your IELTS test day.

Your IELTS test day

You need to arrive in good time for your IELTS test. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test.

Switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices. You will be asked to place these with other personal belongings outside the test room.

The Listening, Reading and Writing tests take 2 hours 40 minutes and there are no breaks between each part of the test.

Make sure you are prepared and have something to eat and drink beforehand. You will not be allowed to take food into the test room; you will only be allowed to take a drink in a transparent bottle.

Your identity and photographs

The IELTS test location staff will check your identity when you arrive.

Make sure you have the right ID with you. If you arrive with the wrong ID, you will not be allowed to take the test.

You may also need two recent identical passport-sized photographs.

Test Day Photography

Some test locations will now also take a photograph of you on the test day – this photograph taken by the test centre will appear on your Test Report Form to provide increased identity security. Your test centre will let you know if it is going to do this. 

Check the details that you were given when you booked the test to make sure you take the right ID and photographs with you.

During the IELTS test

You will only be allowed to have a pen or pencil, an eraser and your ID on your desk.

If you need to go to the bathroom during the test, put your hand up to attract the attention of the invigilator. Do not disturb other candidates.

If you have any questions during the test, raise your hand to ask for help.

When you take the Listening test, check that you can hear the test properly. Raise your hand straightaway and let the invigilator know if you cannot hear the recording.

Please remember that you will have 10 minutes after the Listening section to fill in your answer sheet. You will not have 10 minutes after the Reading section, so please make sure that you write your answers on your Reading answer sheet as you complete each section.

At the end of the test

Stay in your seat until the invigilator gives you permission to leave the room.

If you think that there have been any issues that may have affected your performance, tell the invigilator straightaway.

If you want to make a complaint about your test day, you need to do this within one week of the test date.

Your invigilator will have a Test Day Incident Form. Please fill this in if you want to raise an issue or make a complaint.

Special arrangements

If you have asked for special arrangements as a result of a disability or other condition, adjustments will be made for you on the test day.

Test day tips

Understand the task

Follow instructions carefully during the test. Remember that the Writing parts of the test have specific word length requirements.

Allow enough time for each question

Some questions have suggested time limits for you to follow. Every test room will have a clock on the wall. Stay aware of the time during the test so that you can complete all the questions.

Stay calm enough to do your best

If you feel worried, take deep breaths to calm down. Focus on the questions and do not rush your answers. This will help you to do your best.