The International English Language Testing System or IELTS as it is recognized universally, is formed to evaluate the expertise and language skills of applicants across distinct areas of the English Language. IELTS score is acknowledged by most of the renowned academic and professional universities in several countries including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland, etc. It is also required in the Immigration and Visas proceeding by the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and many more countries. As a result, a good score in IELTS is important in handing over the proof that one has great command over the English language. Further, we’ll get into details that what is a good IELTS score?
IELTS Test structure
The IELTS exam is divided into two modules primarily :
Academic Module: It is used to sign up in universities and other well-known institutions for higher education
General Training Module: It is used for employment purposes, non-academic training, and immigration to foreign countries.
Qualifying scores of IELTS vary for distinct modules, which we have taken up in the latter part.
Except this, the test consists of four parts :
The listening section is divided into four subsections, with ten questions each. 40 Minutes is needed for this module. It incorporates discussions and conversations, cases ranging from a day to day situations to education, knowledge, and training based cases.
The reading section is divided into three subsections with words summing up from 2150 to 2750. This category is designed to test reading proficiency through passages on distinct themes. Furthermore, it has a contrasting structure for training and academics. For academics, it includes three lengthy passages. For training, it contains 5 to 6 passages which are quite short as compared to the academic passages. 60 minutes is the time you will be provided to attempt this section.
The writing part includes two tasks. The first one is 150 words write-up whereas the second one must be 250 words write-up. The time provided for each task is 20 minutes.
This is a one to one interview between the examiner and aspirant which is approximately 11 to 14 minutes long.
Calculation of the scores
All the scores given to the students are between 0 to 9. These scores are computed by averaging out the marks of the above-disclosed four sections. The scores of the IELTS test can be .5 as well, such as 7.5 or 8.5. For decimal figures except 0 or 5, the score is rounded up or down to the closest 0.5. For example, 6.1 can be rounded down to 6 whereas 7.75 can be rounded up to 8.
Each score that the student achieves has been given a particular explanation which is associated with a skill level. For instance, ‘9’ stands for an expert user whereas ‘0’ signifies no attempt. Scores ranging from 9 to 6 represent that candidate understands the basics of the language thoroughly, whereas 5 to 0 shows that one has restricted or zero knowledge about the language.
Scores in different sections
In listening and reading sections, with 40 questions each, a candidate can achieve a maximum of 40 marks in each section. The marks granted are known as raw scores which are then modified to the band score according to the directions given by the makers of IELTS.
Coming to Writing and Speaking sections, distinct band descriptions have been granted. Proper Grammar, Fluency and consistency, Lexical ability, and Pronunciation are the criteria for Speaking whereas Task accomplishment, interrelatedness along with right Grammar and Lexical resources are the band descriptions provided for Writing.
Good academic scores
A good academic score in the IELTS exam is needed for admission to different renowned foreign universities. Now, the question arises: what is a good IELTS score? Well, it varies from university to university and country to country. For example, in the USA, several best universities like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Yale acknowledge a very least score of 7.
It may be further increased to 7.5 for MIT and even to 8.5 if we come to Columbia University. However, many of the universities will contend if a candidate scores 7. In the UK, the range lies from 6.5 to 7.0, but King’s College London asks for 7.5. The best Australian and Canadian Universities need a score of generally 6.5. For non-native English countries including France, Germany, China, a score ranging from 6.0 to 7.5 will be considered as a good score depending upon the university, country, and most importantly the course requirements.
Good General Training Scores
For employment and immigration purposes, the score needed is comparatively lower. For instance, the minimum score needed in Australia is 4.5. In New Zealand, a work visa can be obtained at a score of 5.0. In Canada as well, a score of 4 will secure a business visa. Also, in the UK, the tier 1 entrepreneur visa can be handed over at 4.0.
If in case you are not able to pull off a good score in the IELTS exam, the score can undoubtedly be upgraded by taking the help of more sample papers, mastering in vocabulary, reading various articles, the practice of writing and most importantly getting familiar with the exam pattern. If you are able to master these areas, IELTS can open the doors of great opportunities for you in the future.