The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to help you work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language. This includes countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA.

Your ability to listen, read, write and speak in English will be assessed during the test.

IELTS is graded on a scale of 1 to 9.

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council; IDP IELTS; and Cambridge University Press & Assessment.

IELTS score scale

Here is a brief overview of the GRE:

Band score Skill level Description
9 Expert user The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.
8 Very good user 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.
7 Good user 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.
6 Competent user 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.
5 Modest user 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.
4 Limited user 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.
3 Extremely limited user The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
2 Intermittent user The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1 Non-user The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
0 Did not attempt the test The test taker did not answer the questions.


You can choose the right way to take an IELTS test

IELTS gives you a choice of how you take your test.

  • If you would like to handwrite your answers.
  • If using a computer is your preference then computer tests are ready for you.
  • If you would prefer to take your test at home or you can’t get to a test centre then you can take IELTS Online.

How to book your IELTS test?

You may either book your IELTS test online or visit your nearest IDP branch to book it offline. Here’s how:

  • Log on to IELTS India website.
  • Select the option ‘Register for Test.’
  • Select your preferred test – computer-delivered IELTS/ paper-based (IELTS, IELTS for UKVI or Life Skills).
  • Select your test type/module – Academic or General Training for IELTS, IELTS for UKVI, A1 and B1 for Life Skills (be extremely careful while choosing the module you wish to take).
  • Pick your preferred test location/city.
  • Select your desired date and time slot from the list of dates available.
  • Fill up the required details and complete your online application.

Remember, you will also have to upload a clear, scanned colour copy of your passport to complete the process.

Proceed to pay the test fee.

Once your test date is booked, you will receive an acknowledgment on your registered email/phone number.

For the Speaking test, you can book a slot online on your preferred date and time. If you fail to choose a slot within the stated time period, a time slot will be automatically allocated to you.  (Note – *applicable for Paper Based IELTS test takers)

‘IELTS for UKVI’ is a UK government approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).

IELTS Life Skills is for people who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

How soon can IELTS test be taken again?

There are “no limits to the number of times IELTS can be retaken”. You can resit for IELTS as soon as you feel you are prepared for it. Once you have evaluated yourself and understood the strategy that you must follow, you should be ready to retake the exam.

The exam happens every year, and 4 times a month.

IELTS has a validity of 2yrs

Calculating the overall band score

A score is given for each test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. These individual scores are then averaged and rounded to the nearest half band, to produce an overall band score.

Overall band score

The overall band score is the average of the four sections scores, rounded to the nearest whole or half band. The sections scores are weighted equally.

Some examples:

Listening Reading Writing Speaking Average of four components (total of the four
individual component scores divided by four)
Test Taker A 6.5 6.5 5.0 7.0 6.25 6.5
Test Taker B 4.0 3.5 4.0 4.0 3.875 4.0
Test Taker C 6.5 6.5 5.5 6.0 6.125 6.0

If the average of the four sections ends in .25, the overall band score is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, the overall band score is rounded up to the next whole band.

Section band scores


The IELTS Listening test contains 40 questions. Each correct answer is awarded one mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS nine-band scale. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.


The IELTS Reading test contains 40 questions. Each correct answer is awarded one mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS nine-band scale. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

The Academic and General Training Reading tests are graded on the same scale. The distinction between the two tests is one of genre or text type. However, Academic Reading tests may contain texts which feature more difficult vocabulary or greater complexity of style. It is usual that a greater number of questions must be answered correctly on a General Training Reading test to secure a given band score.

The tables below indicate the average number of marks required to achieve a particular band score in Listening, Academic Reading and General Training Reading. Note that the precise number of marks needed to achieve these band scores will vary slightly from test version to test version.


Band score Raw score out of 40
5 16
6 23
7 30
8 35

Academic Reading

Band score Raw score out of 40
5 15
6 23
7 30
8 35

General Training Reading

Band score Raw score out of 40
4 15
5 23
6 30
7 34
8 38

Check here IELTS requirements of various universities abroad

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