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In this lesson, we will focus on scoring and what you need to know about how the IELTS is scored. So let’s start with just an overview. After you take the exam, you will receive a score report. And on that report you will have an overall score, and a score for each of the four sections of the exam.
Your overall score is just really your average score from the scores you receive in listening, reading, writing, speaking. Okay, I’m gonna describe that a little more in detail later in this lesson. For now, just know that you’ll receive all those types of scores after you take the exams. And the scored will be reported in half point increments from 1 to 9.
So for example, you may receive a score of 6, or you may receive a score of 6.5, okay? But there will not be other decimal points to your score. There will not be 6.75 or 6.25, those don’t occur, it’s in half-point increments. All right, so your scores 1 to 9 are called band scores, all right?
So what is a band score? Well the easiest way to think about it is to look at how the IELTS defines what each band score means, okay? So we could look, starting with Band 1. A Band 1 is basically a non user of English. This person can not really understand English, can not speak, can not write.
This person basically has no skills in English. As you go through the band all the way up to 9. 9 is an expert user of English. So at each step along the way from 1 to 9 is a different level of English. And each level has its own set of characteristics or defining qualities that make a person that level or the next level.
If you want to see a more detailed description of each band level in general for your overall scores. Go to the link directly below and you can see a description from IELTS. All right, so how is band score calculated? Overall band scoreis just as I said before an average of your scores from all four sections of the exam.
So for example if this student gets a 6.5 in reading, 5.5 listening, 6 in writing, and a 7 in speaking. Then we would just add all of these up and divide by 4. When you do that you get 6.25, okay? So remember, scores are always in half-point increments. So this lucky student would have their score rounded up to the next half-point, 6.5.
Okay, so how our overall scores rounded? All right, so if you average your four scores and the number end in 0.25, it’s going to round up to the next half point. See? And if your score after it’s been averaged ends in 0.75, you’re very lucky because your score is going to go up to the next band, right?
A person who gets 6.75, we’ll have their score rounded up to 7. Unfortunately, if you’re score after it’s been averaged ends in a 1.125 or lower than point 25 that we have up here, when it’s going to round down, okay? It’s going to round down to the band score. So 6.125, average of all 4 sections would end up being an overall band score of 6. Okay, so what is a good score?
That is a common question among students. And the answer really does depend on whatever institution it is that you plan to apply to. Different institutions have different requirements. And you should definitely check to see what your band score should be for whatever you’re using your IELTS score for.
So check your specific institutions. That’s very, very important. Okay, but if we’re looking at colleges and universities, we can say a score of 5.5 to 7.5 is considered usually a good score. And most academic institutions will set their minimum scores somewhere in that range.
Okay, let’s talk about specific sections in the scoring involve in blue sections. So on reading and listening sections the scoring is very straight forward, okay? You’re going to be filling in support answers and multiple choice questions. And the types of questions you receive in that section are pretty direct and standardized. So both sections, reading and listening, each will always have 40 questions, all right?
And your band score for listening and reading will just be the score you received out of 40, okay? So for example, if you get 30 out of 40 correct in reading, all right? If you’re taking the general training exam, that means you’ll get a band score of 6, okay? For the Academic reading section getting 30 out of 40 means you get a band score of 7, okay?
They’re different exams and they each have their own grading criteria, okay? But just know that there, it is just a table they follow. And the number of correct you get out of 40 will be your band score for that section, all right? You can see the tables for academic and general training reading scores and listening scores if you follow the links below.
Writing is a little different and a little more complex. Writing is scored using what’s called a rubric, okay? A rubric is just a use different categories to analyse your writing. And each category has things that they’re looking for, that they will see. Did you do this well or did you not do this well? And if you didn’t, then they’re gonna move your score in that category down.
And if you did do it, well they’re gonna move your score in that category up. Okay, so you again, you can look up the rubric for writing. In general, we could describe the categories they’re looking for in the following ways. All right, the first thing they want in writing is that you share coherence and cohesion.
Coherence and cohesion are all about how you’re writing and your ideas really stick together and make logical sense together, okay? Coherence is all about how the ideas fit together, so one idea leads to the next, and it’s very easy to follow what you’re saying. And cohesion is about how you use words like pronouns, okay? Or transition words like, for example, for instance, things like that to hold your writing together.
Lexical resource is a fancy way of saying that you have a really good vocabulary. And you show your vocabulary knowledge in your writing. Grammatical range means that you use a variety of structures and you use them accurately when you write. Task achievement and task response are a little different. We’ll talk about both of these in the writing section in more detail, you writing lessons.
But basically task achievement is for task one responses in the writing section. And that just means that you fulfilled all of the requirements for the task, you followed the directions carefully and did everything they wanted you to do. Task response means it’s very similar but it means that you, excuse me, it’s for task two writing exercises. And it means that you wrote a good academic formal essay in the correct fashion.
Okay, again when we get to your writing lessons, we’re going to talk about each one of these with a lot more detail. These are the four categories that they’re judging you writing on. Speaking is very similar, okay? They also use a detailed rubric, and again, you can go click on the link below the video.
And you can go look at what the grading criteria are for speaking. The categories are similar to writing, they want fluency and coherence. Fluency means well, you’re able to speak how not really how quickly, but maybe you don’t have a lot of long pauses. And your ideas flow together easily and you don’t struggle to come up with sentences and words a lot.
Coherence means that your ideas stick together, just like the writing concept we just discussed. Lexical resource is the same as with writing how well can you use vocabulary, how much vocabulary? And also how accurately do you use the words that you use? Grammatical range and accuracy again, about how much variety and how varied your grammar structures are.
And whether you use them correctly or whether you have a lot of mistakes. Pronunciation basically how easy it is to understand you, okay? That you don’t have a lot of sounds that are really not very natural sounding in English or that cause confusion. They’re looking for individual sounds and stress patterns in sentences. Okay, so to summarize.
The first point, after taking your exam, you will receive a score report with your overall score and your sections scores. The overall score will just be your average score for the entire test. And scores are rounded up or down to the nearest half point. So remember how we do that depending on what your average score is and what decimal point is at the end.
Most colleges and universities are looking for band scores somewhere around 5.5 to 7.5. But you need to check with your institution to see what they require. Reading and listening, following score tables. And we have links below where you can see those scoring tables, 30 out of 40 will be a band scores, 6 general training, for example.
And writing and speaking you just need to learn the rubrics well. So you need to know what you need to be able to do for the band score you’re trying to achieve. If you’re trying to achieve a 7 band score in speaking or writing, go look at what is required for those and try to achieve those tests. We’ll talk about those a lot in our lessons coming up for each section of the exam.
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