Skip to content

How the Overall IELTS Band Score is calculated

How To Calculate Your Overall IELTS Band Score

Last Updated: February 24, 2023

I am getting asked this question very often, which is why we created an IELTS Overall Score Calculator you can use.

For those who need to understand the process in detail – here is how the IELTS test centre calculates your overall band score:

Total score = (Listening score + Reading score + Writing score + Speaking score) / 4

For example, if you’ve received Listening 6, Reading 7, Writing 8, Speaking 7, your total score will be (6+7+8+7) / 4 = 7.

Your score can be either a whole band or a band and a half – for example 7 or 7.5. No other fractions are allowed, for example no 7.25 or 7.75.

So what do they do in such cases, when the total score is neither whole nor half band?

There is a rule: if it ends with .25, round up to the nearest half score, and if it ends with .75, round up to the nearest whole band score.

To demonstrate, if you’ve received Listening 6, Reading 7, Writing 8, Speaking 6, your overall score will be (6+7+8+6)/4 = 6.75 – the rule says round up – which means you get 7.

Another example: if your scores were Listening 6 Reading 7 Writing 8 Speaking 8, the overall score will be (6+7+8+8)/4 = 7.25 – the rule says round up to half score – which means you get 7.5.

However, if you’ve received Listening 6, Reading 6.5, Writing 6, Speaking 6, your overall score will be (6+6.5+6+6)/4 = 6.125 – the rule says round down to the nearest whole band score – which means you get 6.

Similarly, if you received Listening 6.5, Reading 6.5, Writing 6.5, Speaking 7, your overall score will be (6.5+6.5+6.5+7)/4 = 6.625 – the rule says round down to the nearest half band score – which means you get 6.5.

It’s not too difficult – just remember to apply the rule of rounding.

104 thoughts on “How the Overall IELTS Band Score is calculated”

  1. Hi Nafii, if you have reasons to believe that your writing and speaking deserve Band 6, and your EOR comes back with a Band 6 for both of these skills, your overall score will go up to 6 as well.

  2. I got L-7.5,R-6.5, W-6.0 while S-5.5 which was totally unexpected. I expected speaking bands to be 6.5 or higher. I need an honest suggestion. What should I do? Go for EOR or should re- appear?

  3. Hi Atya, when you say you expected 6.5 for speaking, was it because your tutor estimated your speaking level to be IELTS 6.5, or some other reason? You need an experienced person to assess your speaking to tell you what score you would get in the test and WHY – the reason why is just as important as the score. Some things are easy to fix and you can get a higher score in your next test, other things such as pronunciation may take longer to improve, so it won’t help if you take another test straight away. You can get a speaking assessment on our website, and we will provide you with a detailed report listing all the issues and you will also get suggestions how to raise your score by a whole Band.

  4. Pls answer me.
    Overall band is 5.5, I scored reading 4.0, L 5.5, s 6.5 and writing 6.0. My question is what may I hve scored on Reading that will make me get 4.0. Can I get visa if I applied for skill work in uk

  5. Harmanpreet kaur

    L = 5.5
    S= 5.5
    W= 3.5
    R= 2.5
    Total = 17÷4
    = 4.25
    How much overall band score i had obtained?

  6. Hello. Pls if I have a S-6, L-8, R-6, and W-3 in General Training, I know my total band score will be 5.5 but my question is can I apply with it for a Care Assistant Job in the UK, Canada or Australia or should I resit because of the W-3?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *