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  7. IELTS score: Calculation, equivalences and interpretation

IELTS score: Scores, interpretation and CEFR equivalents

Find out how the IELTS score is calculated to help you get the most out of your English language qualification.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most internationally recognised English language exams. It is recognised by over 10,000 organisations and taken by millions of people every year, and for good reason: it is an excellent way to prove your English language skills when applying for a job in a foreign country, obtaining a VISA or getting into a prestigious university. It is a comprehensive test in which you will be assessed on all aspects of your English language skills: listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, syntax and pronunciation.

In order to maximise your chances of passing the IELTS exam and achieving the highest possible score, it is essential to follow an English exam preparation programme and to be familiar with the scoring system.

Calculating your IELTS score

Once you have taken the IELTS exam, you will see your score on the certificate that will be sent to you within 13 days. This document contains :

  • 5 scores between 1 and 9 called "subscores" corresponding to each IELTS test (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking). Subscores are systematically rounded up to the nearest half point or point.
  • An overall band score which is the average of the scores for each part of the test.

IELTS: What does your score mean?

The IELTS score system is unique, so it is not easy to interpret your score without knowing what it means and the level of English it represents. To help you see your IELTS score more clearly, here is the language level to which each score corresponds:

Overall band score /9 Interpretation of the score
0 Candidate did not take the exam / did not answer the questions
1 "Non user": Cannot speak English
2 "Intermittent user": Expression and comprehension of the language are very difficult
3 "Extremely limited user" : Very limited level of English limited to very simple situations, makes a number of mistakes
4 "Limited user" : Limited level of English to basic topics
5 "Modest user" : Elementary level of English
6 "Competent user" : Correct level of English
7 "Good user" : Good level of English, can express himself in complex situations, some mistakes to be noticed
8 "Very good user" : Very good level of English
9 "Expert user" : Excellent level of English, mastery of complex grammatical structures

A2, B1, C2... : IELTS score and CEFR levels

The CEFR or Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is the most widely used scale for standardising English language levels. On your CV or at a job interview, in addition to mentioning your IELTS score, it will be useful to be able to specify your English skills on the CEFR scale. To find out what level of English your certification score corresponds to, here are the IELTS - CEFR equivalents.

Overall band score /9 à l’IELTS CEFR level
2 A1
3 A2
3.5 - 4.5 B1
5.5 - 6.5 B2
7.5 C1
8 - 9 C2

How to get a good IELTS score?

Taking the IELTS certification is a great initiative, but you need to get a good score to make it an asset for your future. There is no secret to passing the IELTS test: you need to prepare well. That's why we offer IELTS exam preparation programmes at our recognised English language training centres or from home. Whether you choose group or private tuition, the choice is yours!

Wall Street English Switzerland's group IELTS preparation programme is :

  • 12 weeks of English with a unique learning method with guaranteed results
  • A complete programme to prepare you for each test of the exam with oral and written expression and comprehension.
  • Weekly classes in small groups with a certified language teacher
  • Learning materials provided by the school

IELTS preparation sessions are held throughout the year, so you can join the programme at any time.

If you are unable to attend a group course or would prefer to be taught on a one-to-one basis, we also offer private preparation courses. We also offer private preparation courses to help you achieve a good IELTS test score in any situation.

You will be supervised by a qualified English teacher through a programme designed "à la carte" according to your needs and availability.

Whichever option you choose, IELTS preparation courses also open the door to a range of workshops and social classes to increase your chances of success at no extra cost. Would you like to know more about our English exam preparation programmes (IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge & Cambridge Pro) or about our English courses in general? Contact us for more information!

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