Understanding your results

IELTS is not a “pass” or “fail” test. It is a test that is used to measure English-language proficiency and is scored using a 9-band scale. IELTS test results are required for internationally educated individuals who wish to study, work, or live in Canada.

Public institutions and regulating bodies typically require an IELTS score from the Academic test for admissions to their institution or certification into a professional field.

National and provincial governments also require an IELTS score from the General test as part of the immigration process for various programs as proof of English-language ability.


IELTS 9-band Scale
IELTS is designed to assess English language skills across a wide range of levels. There is no such thing as a pass or fail in IELTS.
Results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). Download the PDF below for a full description of each band score.

The IELTS Band Score Scale

IELTS Assessment Criteria: Writing and Speaking
To understand the IELTS assessment criteria, please download the PDFs below.

IELTS Assessment Criteria: Writing
IELTS Assessment Criteria: Speaking

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