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You cannot fail the test. IELTS is designed to assess English language skills at all levels. You will receive IELTS scores based on each for the four skills on a scale of 1 - 9, and you will also be awarded an overall band score. You can score whole (e.g, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g, 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test. Your overall band score may be crucial if you intend to emigrate, apply for university or take up a job in an English-speaking country.

IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest half band. 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. Find out more about how to calculate IELTS scores and the 9-band system.

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Understand How To Calculate Your IELTS Scores

You can’t fail IELTS - the test assesses all levels of English.

The IELTS 9 - band scale. You will be given a score from 1 to 9 for each part of the test - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The average produces your overall band score. You can score whole (e.g, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g, 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test.

Band ScoreSkill LevelDescription
Band 9 Expert User You have a full operational command of the language. Your use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and you show complete understanding.
Band 8 Very Good User You have a fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. You may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. You handle complex detailed argumentation well.
Band 7 Good User You have an operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally you handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
Band 6 Competent User Generally you have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. You can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
Band 5 Modest User You have a partial command of the language, and cope with overall meaning in most situations, although you are likely to make many mistakes. You should be able to handle basic communication in your own field.
Band 4 Limited User Your basic competence is limited to familiar situations. You frequently show problems in understanding and expression. You are not able to use complex language.
Band 3 Extremely Limited User You convey and understand only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
Band 2 Intermittent User You have great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
Band 1 Non-user You have no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
Band 0 Did not attempt the test You did not answer the questions.

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