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International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an international test of English language proficiency for non native speakers. IELTS is jointly owned by Cambridge English Language Assessment, British Council and IDP Education Pvt. Ltd. It is the world’s most popular English language test taken by more than 2 million people every year. It is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work in places where English is the language of communication. More the 9000 organization worldwide accept IELTS and taking IELTS helps people live, study and work around the world. The IELTS has got two versions; the academic version is those who wish to enroll in universities where as the general version is for immigration or non-academic purposes.

IELTS assessment criteria and score band

IELTS gives a true assessment of a candidate’s English language proficiency. Examiners uses detailed assessment criteria when they mark the test. A 9-band score is used to assess the language proficiency in four language components – listening, reading, writing and speaking. The listening and writing tests both contain 40 questions and each correct answer brings one mark. In writing and speaking the examiner uses a detailed performance descriptors in four categories:

  1. Task achievement
  2. Coherence and cohesion
  3. Lexical resources
  4. Grammatical range and accuracy

IELTS is scored on a band scale from 1 to 9 with each band corresponds to particular level of proficiency. A score band of 0 means the candidate did not attempt test where as a band of 9 shows that the candidate is an expert user.

Band score calculator

Candidates receive score on a band scale from 1 to 9 for each module. A band score is given to the candidate for each of the four skills. The four scores are averaged and rounded to produce the over all band score. Over all band score and scores for each sub-test is reported in whole bands or half bands. The maximum raw score a candidate can achieve on the listening or reading paper is 40. In reading and listening, band scores are given to the candidate on the basis of the raw score.

The band score and corresponding raw score for reading and listening is given as follows:

Band score (9) Raw Score (40)
5 16
6 23
7 30
8 35

When marking writing and speaking sub-tests, the examiners use a detailed performance descriptors describing written and spoken performance at each of the 9 bands. IELTS examiners undergo intensive training to ensure that they can apply the descriptors accurately.

TOEFL and IELTS- comparison and conversion

TOEFL and IELTS are two main English language tests accepted all over the world. Both are similar in the sense that they evaluate how well candidate combines the four language skills. However, they differ in many respects. For TOEFL the speaking test is recorded and sent to the examiner where as for IELTS, the candidate is required to answer the questions in an interview with the examiner. IELTS awards scores on a scale form 1 to 9, but TOEFL gives numerical SAT type grades, totaling all scores. IELTS involves memory recall and the face to face speaking section can be more challenging for some.

Conversion chart

TOEFL IELTS
0-31 0-4
32-34 4.5
35-45 5
46-59 5.5
60-78 6
79-93 6.5
94-101 7
102-109 7.5
110-114 8
115-117 8.5
118-120 9

British council and IELTS

The British Codicil is a pioneer in English language teaching and testing with more than 75 years of experience. It helps people gain English language qualifications in 90 counties, providing more than 500 test locations worldwide. It also provides access to a wide range of IELTS preparation and study resources. The advantages that British council offers:

  1. Expert support, Videos, books and online courses
  2. 30 hours of free online preparation
  3. Convenient dates and venues
  4. Easy online booking and flexible payment options
  5. Results in just 13 days