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How IELTS Works
IELTS is designed to test English at all levels. This means that anyone can take the test. There is no such thing as a pass or fail with IELTS. Everyone gets a score to reflect their level of English language ability. Results are reported as band scores, on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest) as shown below.
- IELTS Band Scores
- 9 Expert User
- 8 Very good user
- 7 Good user
- 6 Competent user
- 5 Modest user
- 4 Limited user
- 3 Extremely limited user
- 2 Intermittent user
- 1 Non user
- 0 Did not attempt the test
Candidates receive an overall band score as well as individual scores for each test component (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking).
There are two modules - Academic and General Training. Both are graded using exactly the same criteria, so there is no difference in the level of English.
The Academic module is for candidates wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, or seeking professional registration. The General Training module is for candidates wishing to migrate to an English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level.
Every institution has its own entrance requirements. Contact the institution you are applying to for more information about which module to take and the minimum score they require. You can also find this information on our online database.
"Proving my English language ability with IELTS has really opened doors for me… I can
go anywhere now."
Aekthada Chivakanit, Thailand; graduated from University of Nottingham (UK).