Download PDF File - Score Processing, Results and Interpretation.pdf

All IELTS marking takes place at the test centre by trained markers and examiners. Markers
are trained to understand the IELTS marking policy and are required to demonstrate that
they are marking to standard before they are allowed to mark Listening and Reading
papers. Markers are re-tested every two years to ensure that their marking remains up to
standard. Systematic monitoring and double marking of a proportion of answer sheets is
carried out at each administration.

Examiners for the Writing and Speaking modules are recruited and trained in line with
agreed standards. They are required to demonstrate that they are marking to standard
every two years in addition to on-going monitoring of their performance.
Candidates receive scores on a Band Scale from 1 to 9. A score is reported for each skill
module of the test. The four individual module scores are averaged and rounded to produce
an Overall Band Score. Overall Band Scores and Listening and Reading scores are
presented as whole or half bands; Writing and Speaking band scores are reported in whole
bands only.

Overall Band Score

Candidates receive a Test Report Form setting out their Overall Band Score and their scores
on each of the four modules: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Each of the module
scores is equally weighted. The Overall Band Score is calculated by taking the mean of the
total of the four individual module scores.

Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest whole or half band. For the avoidance of
doubt, the following rounding convention applies; if the average across the four skills ends in
.25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next
whole band.

Thus, a candidate achieving 6.5 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading, 5.0 for Writing and 7.0 for
Speaking would be awarded an Overall Band Score of 6.5 (25 ÷ 4 = 6.25 = Band 6.5).
Likewise, a candidate achieving 4.0 for Listening, 3.5 for Reading, 4.0 for Writing and 4.0 for
Speaking would be awarded an Overall Band Score of 4.0 (15.5 ÷ 4 = 3.875 = Band 4.0).
On the other hand, a candidate achieving 6.5 for Listening, 6.0 for Reading, 6.0 for Writing
and 6.0 for Speaking would be awarded Band 6 (24.5 ÷ 4 = 6.125 = Band 6).
For more information on how IELTS test material is produced, see The Question Paper
Production Process.

Listening and Reading

IELTS Listening and Reading papers contain 40 items and each correct item is awarded one
mark; the maximum raw score a candidate can achieve on a paper is 40. Band scores
ranging from Band 1 to Band 9 are awarded to candidates on the basis of their raw scores.

Although all IELTS test materials are pretested and trialled before being released as live
tests, there are inevitably minor differences in the difficulty level across tests. In order to
equate different test versions, the band score boundaries are set so that all candidates’
results relate to the same scale of achievement. This means, for example, that the Band 6
boundary may be set at a slightly different raw score across versions.

The tables below indicate the mean raw scores achieved by candidates at various levels in
each of the Listening, Academic Reading and General Training Reading modules and they
provide an indication of the number of marks required to achieve a particular band score.

Score Processing Results And Interpretation Table AVC

The Academic and General Training papers are graded to the same scale. The distinction
between the two modules is one of genre or discourse type. Academic papers may contain
source texts featuring more difficult vocabulary or greater complexity of style. It is usual that,
to secure a given band score, a greater number of questions must be answered correctly on
a General Training Reading paper.

Writing and Speaking

When marking the Writing and Speaking modules, examiners use detailed performance
descriptors which describe written and spoken performance at each of the nine IELTS
bands.

Writing 

Examiners award a band score for each of four criterion areas: Task Achievement (for Task
1), Task Response (for Task 2), Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource and
Grammatical Range and Accuracy. The four criteria are equally weighted. (See Writing
Band Descriptors Task 1 and Writing Band Descriptors Task 2.)

Speaking

Examiners award a band score for each of four criterion areas: Fluency and Coherence,
Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation. (See Speaking
Band Descriptors). The four criteria are equally weighted.

Versions of the band descriptors for Writing and Speaking have been developed to help
stakeholders better understand the level of performance required to attain a particular band
score in each of the criterion areas. IELTS examiners undergo intensive face to face training
and standardisation to ensure that they can apply the descriptors in a valid and reliable
manner.

IELTS Quick Links

An Introduction to IELTS

Setting Standards

Marking and Interpreting Scores

Listening

Academic Reading

General Training Reading

Academic Writing

General Training Writing

Speaking

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