Setting IELTS entry scores

Setting IELTS entry scores

When deciding on the most appropriate IELTS scores for entry to your organisation, you should consider the following:

  • the demands placed on language ability in your working context
  • the type of applicants you are likely to attract
  • the type and level of language skills required – giving presentations, carrying out research, teaching and so on.

This will help you to set your overall IELTS band score, and individual scores for the four components – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

Guidance for educational institutions

The table below gives guidance on acceptable IELTS band score requirements for different programmes. However, it should be noted that many diverse variables can affect student performance, of which language ability is but one.

Band ScoreLinguistically demanding academic coursesLinguistically less demanding academic coursesLinguistically demanding training coursesLinguistically less demanding training courses
7.5  –  9AcceptableAcceptableAcceptableAcceptable
7Probably acceptableAcceptableAcceptableAcceptable
6.5English study neededProbably acceptableAcceptableAcceptable
6English study neededEnglish study neededProbably acceptableAcceptable
5.5English study neededEnglish study neededEnglish study neededProbably acceptable

IELTS Scores Guide

The IELTS Scores Guide is an essential tool for anyone who needs to understand how IELTS scores relate to language ability, including course designers, teachers and employers. It includes:

  • videos of spoken performances at different points on the 9-band scale, with comments from examiners
  • sample writing tasks provided by test takers at different points on the 9-band scale, with comments from examiners
  • sample questions and answers from Listening and Reading tests
  • a supporting booklet, that includes an overview of the test format and the IELTS assessment criteria
  • surveys to help you set your own score requirements
  • information on how to set up a score-setting committee.

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