The IELTS test assesses your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours.
There are two types of IELTS: Academic and General Training. Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test you take.
The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.
The Speaking section, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will advise.
The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
|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.|
Overall Band Score Example
|Listening||Reading||Writing||Speaking||Average of four components (total of the four individual component scores)||Band score|
|Test Taker A||6.5||6.5||5||7||6.25||6.5|
|Test Taker B||4||3.5||4||4||3.875||4|
|Test Taker C||6.5||6.5||5.5||6||6.125||6|