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What Is A Good IELTS Score & How To Ace The Test?

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. IELTS is one of the most important English proficiency tests. 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 of 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.

What Is A Good IELTS Score?

Parts Of The Test

  • Listening

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.

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  • Reading

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.

  • Writing

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.

  • Speaking

This is a one-to-one interview between the examiner and aspirant which is approximately 11 to 14 minutes long.

Recommended Read: How To Study In The UK Without IELTS

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.  

Also Read: Best Books For IELTS General Training

Section Wise Scores

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 the 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 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.


1. What is a good IELTS score?

A decent overall score you can achieve in the IELTS exam is a score of 6 and higher. A band of 6.0 is considered competent, 7.0 is good and 8.0 and 9.0 of a very good and expert user respectively.

2. Is a 7.5 overall in IELTS considered a good score?

Yes, a 7.5 overall score in IELTS is considered an above competent or good score. The IELTS exam tests your proficiency in spoken and written English.

3. What is a good IELTS score and how do you ace it?

You can aim for an 8.0 or 9.0 band in the IELTS exam which are very good test scores to achieve. To help ace the exam and give it your best shot, you will need strategic planning in the form of adequate practice, timed mock tests, revising your terminology and most importantly, putting whatever you have learnt into use to improve your command over the language and help understand its context better.

4. Is 6.5 a good score for IELTS?

An overall score of 6.5 is an above competent score for IELTS. You can set your aim for an overall score of 8.0 or 9.0 to help improve your performance in the practice tests.

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What Is A Good IELTS Score & How To Ace The Test?