Understanding your IELTS results

Do you have questions about how the IELTS test is scored? What does your IELTS results mean and what does it tell you about your level of English? How can you use your IELTS results for academic, immigration or work purposes? How can you improve your IELTS results?  If you want answers to any (or all) of these questions, then read on!

How is IELTS scored?

IELTS is scored on a 9-band scale (0 is the lowest and 9 is the highest). You cannot fail the IELTS test. It is designed to assess the English language abilities of those who speak English as a second language, not as a pass or fail test.

The only way you can obtain a Level 0 is if you do not attempt the test at all or answer any of the questions. Otherwise, you can score anywhere between 1 and 9, depending on the level of English you demonstrate in your test.

For the Reading & Listening sections of the test, your band is determined by your score out of 40 questions.  For the Listening & Speaking section, your score is determined by a trained examiner and based on a marking criteria.  Find out more about scores.

How are IELTS results presented?

You get a band score for each section of the test.  You then get an average of these scores as an overall band.  The results of your test are available on the test taker portal (13 days after your test date for IELTS on paper and 3 to 5 days for IELTS on computer).  Your test centre will then mail you a paper copy of your results.  Up to 5 copies of your results can be sent to academic institutions – you can contact your local test centre for more information about this.

What does your IELTS result tell you about your English ability?

Find out more about our descriptions of the IELTS scale and what each band means.

How can you use your IELTS results for academic, immigration or work purposes?

Your IELTS score is accepted by over 11,000 organizations worldwide and almost 800 in Canada. It is also recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenships Canada for application for their immigration programs.

When you register for your test, you can request to send IELTS results to up to five organisations for free.

If you need to send additional IELTS results to organisations after the test date, then please contact your test centre.

If your centre has closed, you can ask for your IELTS result to be sent to your nominated organisations (by filling in the Application for additional TRFs (from closed centres) form). This service is available for up to two years from the date of your test date.

Adding your IELTS score on LinkedIn

Your IELTS score is a trusted indication of your skills in English and you can show this to potential employers worldwide.

Add your IELTS Overall Band Score to your LinkedIn profile so that you can stand out from the pool of employees.

What are some other reasons you should add your IELTS score to your LinkedIn profile?

  • You can show employers you have taken the world’s most trusted English language test. Your results are an accurate demonstration of your ability to communicate in an English language environment.
  • By including your IELTS score to your profile, it will be posted on your LinkedIn feed so all the people you connect with can see your achievement.
  • With a complete LinkedIn profile you are more likely to be seen by recruiters.

Find out more about how to Add your IELTS score on Linkedin

What if I don’t agree with your results.  Can I get a remark?

If you are not satisfied with your result, you can request for your score(s) to be reviewed  through a service called an Enquiry on Results (EOR).

In this process:

  • Your test is re-marked by senior Examiners/Markers, who are not aware of the original marks awarded for each of the test section (Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking).
  • Your test centre is then notified of the re-mark result and if the mark has changed, they issue a new Test Report Form (TRF).

Contact your test centre to make this request within six weeks of the date shown on your TRF. You may ask to re-mark the whole test or any sections (Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking).

You must pay a fee for this service, which is fully refunded if your band score changes. Contact your test centre for more information about fees.

It can take between 2 to 21 days to get the results of the re-mark, depending on several factors including the number of sections requested for re-mark. If you have not received a response after 28 days, please contact your test centre.

How can I improve my IELTS result?

Practice, practice and then practice more! Visit our IELTS preparation course to get a host of free practice material.  Make sure you have done lots of practice where you feel comfortable to retake the test.

Best of luck!

Visit the IELTS Canada homepage to find out more.