The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).
IELTS is available in two test versions: Academic – for people applying for higher education or professional registration, and General Training for those migrating to Australia, Canada and the UK, or applying for secondary education, training programmers and work experience in an English-speaking environment. Both versions provide a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. This approach is widely supported by the institutions that recognize IELTS.
The IELTS General Training test is for those who are going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs. It is also a requirement for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.
|Band score||Skill level||Description|
|Band 9||Expert user||You have a full operational command of the language. Your use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and you show complete understanding.|
|Band 8||Very good user||You have a fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. You may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. You handle complex detailed argumentation well.|
|Band 7||Good user||You have an operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally you handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.|
|Band 6||Competent user||Generally you have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. You can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|Band 5||Modest user||You have a partial command of the language, and cope with overall meaning in most situations, although you are likely to make many mistakes. You should be able to handle basic communication in your own field.|
|Band 4||Limited user||Your basic competence is limited to familiar situations. You frequently show problems in understanding and expression. You are not able to use complex language.|
|Band 3||Extremely limited user||You convey and understand only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.|
|Band 2||Intermittent user||You have great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.|
|Band 1||Non-user||You have no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.|
|Band 0||Did not attempt the test||You did not answer the questions.|