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IELTS scale

IELTS results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest).

The IELTS Scale is as follows:

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.