The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is designed to evaluate the English proficiency of candidates. It assesses four primary skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Furthermore, it is of types: Academic and General. A good band score ensures admission to a top tier University, and hence, candidates must prepare for it well.
Candidates who wish to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate courses abroad must opt for Academic. On the other hand, those who want to study below degree level or aim to gain professional work experience can appear for the General Training. However, both Academic and General assess the same skills, and there is no change in the marking criteria.
Underlined below is the IELTS score validity for different countries.
Validity of IELTS Scores
The IELTS score is valid for two years from the day one receives the Test Report Form. One can check the scores through the official website. One may also receive an email notification for the same. However, its validity varies from country to country. For easier understanding of the students, some are underlined below:
France, U.S., UK: It is valid for two years in these countries. There has been no change in the extension period as of now.
Canada: The IELTS score is valid for two years.
IELTS has a score range of 1 to 9, each score signifying the level of competence. The highest band score is nine, and the lowest is 9. Furthermore, an average of four sections will decide the overall band score.
Underlined below is the IELTS band score:
|Description||Skill Level||Band Score|
|No information can be provided as the candidate did not attempt the test||Did not attempt the test||0|
|Unable to use the language. Only knows a few isolated words||Non-User||1|
|Experiences great difficulty in understanding spoken and written English||Intermittent User||2|
|Is only able to understand the general meaning in familiar circumstances. However, the candidate may experience frequent breakdowns while communicating||Extremely Limited User||3|
|Has a recurring problem in expressing. Unable to use complex sentences||Limited User||4|
|Has a partial stronghold over the language, although the candidates make errors||Modest||5|
|The candidate can understand complex language. However, it is limited to familiar situations only||Competent||6|
|Has an operational stronghold over the language||Good||7|
|Has full command over the language but makes occasional errors||Very good||8|
|Has full stronghold over the language with fluency and accuracy||Expert||9|
Raw Score in Reading and Listening
In both the Reading and Listening sections, there are forty questions. Each question is worth one mark. However, one must be conversant with the raw scores of these two sections and the band score they will receive.
|Score out of 40||Band Score|
Calculating Average Score
As mentioned above, an overall score is given after taking an average of the four sections. An example is shown below for easier understanding:
|Average of four sections||6.25|
IELTS Score Accepted by Countries
Candidates must be wary that different countries have a prerequisite band requirement. Hence, one must ensure that one caters to this requirement while applying. These are outlined below:
|7.0||United States of America|
The steps for registration of IELTS are given below:
Step 1: Visit the official website of IELTS
Step 2: Navigate to the tab ‘Register for IELTS’
Step 3: Choose from the available dates and preferred location
Step 4: Pay with debit or credit card
Step 5: Print the acknowledgement receipt
Candidates will be receiving their results within 13 days if they have opted for paper-based IELTS. On the other hand, candidates with good typing speed and who have appeared for computer-delivered tests will receive it within the next 3-5 days.
However, candidates must remember that there is nothing like passing or failing in IELTS. One can reappear for the test if one is unhappy with the marks. Besides, from the above list, it can be understood that Universities generally accept an overall score of 6 or 7. The IELTS score validity has also been highlighted.