The Scoring System in the IELTS Test

How is the assessment system in the IELTS test? Both the IELTS academic and IELTS general training tests are measured and assessed in the same scale. The total scores are found by calculating the average of the 4 test components; listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The score for each component has the same value. Then, the total score is summed up into the closest level.

The Listening Score
In the IELTS listening, there are 40 questions and each of them has a score of 1. There are some categories of the score band. The highest band score is 9 which are given if the participants are able to answer 39-40 questions correctly. Meanwhile, the lowest band score is 4, given for them who are only able to answer 11-12 questions correctly. Sure, it means that the number of the correct answers plays a very important role for the total score. This way, you indeed need to put many efforts to give the correct answers as many as possible.

The Reading Score
Similar to the listening score, there are a total of 40 questions given for the reading section. Each of the questions has 1 score. There are also the bands of scores for the reading section. The highest band score is 9 which are given for them who can answer the questions correctly from 39 to 40. On the other hand, the lowest band score is only 2.5 given for them who can answer only 5-4 questions correctly.

The Writing Score
For the active skill for writing, there are some criteria used by the assessors to make a score. Those criteria are including the task achievement for both tasks 1 and IELTS writing task 2, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammatical accuracy. All the criteria have the same values and the final score is found from the average score of all the criteria.

The Speaking Score
Speaking and writing scores have the same criteria since both are basically very similar skills. The difference is only about how to express them; speaking is by directly uttering the sentences while writing is by writing it down in the paper. Therefore, the criteria used for the IELTS speaking test are the same as those for the writing test. They are the fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Those criteria have the same values and the final score is calculated from the average scores.

The Final Score
However, the final score is not found by calculating the averages of the total scores. There is the rounding system in the IELTS scoring as follows. For the reading and listening, if the score ends up with the point of 0.25, it turns into a half. Meanwhile, if the score ends up with the point of 0.75, it turns into the whole band or 1.
The similar thing is also for the writing and speaking skills anyway. However, the scoring of both skills tends to be more opened and flexible. Although there are the criteria of the scoring system, it still depends on the assessors whether your speaking and writing skills have been considered fluent or not.

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