offers hundreds of practice questions and video explanations. Go there now.

Sign up or log in to Magoosh IELTS Prep.

What is a good IELTS score?

Do you have a good IELTS score or an average IELTS score? What IELTS scores do you need to stand out? I’m here to tell you everything you need to know.

ielts score

Table of Contents

Click the links below to go to each section of our post on IELTS Scores.

What is an IELTS Band Score?

Before we take a look at “good” IELTS scores, let’s quickly recap how the IELTS is scored in the first place.

So what is an IELTS band score? How are these IELTS scores measured, and how do they compare to scores on other English assessments? Read below to find out how IELTS scores, measured on a 0-9 scale, are calculated. I’ll also show you how the Bands for IELTS scores correspond with TOEFL and CEFR levels.

IELTS Band Score Descriptions

The tables linked below give a description of every band score, for the whole test, for Speaking, and for Writing. The preview images show information on the level of English skill required for Bands 6, 7, 8, and 9. Click each image to go to the official IELTS band description tables.

IELTS Band Descriptions: The Whole Exam

ielts scores: ielts score band descriptors preview image-- magoosh
Click the image to go to the full table.
 

IELTS Band Descriptions: IELTS Speaking

ielts scores: ielts score band descriptors preview image (speaking)-- magoosh
Click the image to go to the full table.

 

IELTS Band Descriptions: IELTS Writing

ielts scores: what is a good IELTS score or average ielts score for IELTS Writing? (top band descriptors)--Magoosh
Click the image to go to the full table.
 
ielts up button

Bands for IELTS: How are They Calculated?

IELTS scores always range from 0 to 9 (“non-user” to “expert”). You can also get a score ending in .5, for example, 6.5, 7.5., 8.5. Each individual IELTS Skill gets a band score (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). You also get an overall band score for your whole test. This “composite” score is the average of your skill IELTS scores.

The IELTS has published band score descriptions for the test as a whole. The makers of the exam have also published separate band score descriptions just for IELTS Speaking and IELTS Writing. Let’s take a closer look.

IELTS Band Score Calculation: The Math of Section IELTS Scores and Average IELTS Score Per Section

Those rubrics should give you a basic idea of how the bands of IELTS scores are calculated. But now, let’s look at the finer details. Let me explain how points are added up and converted into band scores.
 

Reading and Listening IELTS Scores

The IELTS Listening and Reading sections each have 40 questions. Moreover, each of the 40 questions is worth exactly one point in the raw score. (The raw score of an exam is a score based directly on how many questions you answer correctly.)

So you would think that calculating the raw-to-band score conversion would be easy. Right? Sadly, no. Based on official info from the makers of the IELTS, this score conversion is a bit tricky.

For one thing, the percentage of answers that you get right will not be the same as the percentage of band points you get. For example, if you get 16 out of 40 questions correct in IELTS Listening, 40% of your answers are correct. However, you’ll get a band score of 5, which is 55.5% of the 9 possible band points.

But it’s even more complicated than that. The conversion of raw points to bands is different for IELTS Academic Reading and IELTS General Training Reading. For instance, the makers of the IELTS indicate that 30/40 on Academic Reading is Band 7, while 30/40 in general training Reading earns a Band 6.

Now here’s where it gets really confusing: the IELTS test makers’ official charts don’t even cover every Listening and Reading band. The official conversion chart only covers Bands 5-8 for IELTS Listening and IELTS Academic Reading. And the chart only covers bands 4-7 for IELTS General Training Reading. And there’s no mention of half bands. You can’t see the raw score for Bands 5.5, 6.5, etc… So it’s hard to tell exactly what you need in order to get a good IELTS score that’s not a whole number.

For the official chart, go to the IELTS.org score conversion page and look at the second chart.

Now, there are many unofficial charts that show score conversions for other bands. But be careful—all of the other IELTS score conversion tables are unofficial and may not match current IELTS scoring methods. They may or may not truly show you if you have a good IELTS score.

My personal favorite unofficial chart is the one from Wikipedia’s article on the IELTS. It more or less matches the data from IELTS.org. And it is based on the unofficial online IELTS Band Score Calculator. Although this service is not sponsored by the makers of the test, I’ve found it’s pretty reliable. Many students of mine have also use this table to predict if they will get a good IELTS score.

So, here is the table from the Wikipedia article (again, taken from ielts.calculator.free.fr):

average IELTS score conversion rates: Reading and Listening, raw score to band--Magoosh

IELTS Writing and Speaking Scores

IELTS Writing and Speaking scores are based on Writing and Speaking rubrics. Trained IELTS scorers use the rubrics to directly calculate a band score; no raw scores are calculated beforehand.

So, what are the exact rubrics IELTS scorers use? Well, those rubrics aren’t publicly available. But the standards for the rubrics aren’t exactly a secret. They’re based on the official IELTS Band Descriptions for IELTS Writing and IELTS Speaking.
 

Whole Test IELTS Scores: Bringing it All Together for an Average IELTS Score

As I’ve mentioned before, your composite score for the whole test is the average of all four IELTS section band scores. In other words, your ability to get a good IELTS score on the whole test depends on your running average from each part of the test.

The question then, is this: If your average IELTS score isn’t a whole band or half band, how do you round the number? According to IELTS.org, you round up to the nearest band if your average is X.25 or higher, and you round down to the nearest band if your average is X.25 or lower.

To show you how this works, let’s say that you get the following skills bands on the IELTS: 4.5 Listening, 6.5 Reading, 7 Writing and 5.5 Speaking. To get the average, add these together and divide by 4:

4.5 + 6.5 + 7 + 5.5 = 23.5
23.5/4 = 5.875

This rounds up to an IELTS band 6.

On the other hand, suppose another student got these higher section IELTS scores:

7 + 7 + 7.5 + 7 = 28.5
28.5/4 = 7.125

This would round down to an whole test average IELTS score of 7. (And by many standards, that’s a pretty good IELTS score!)

Improve that score slightly with 7 + 7 + 7.5 + 7.5, and you get 29/4, which equals 7.25, which rounds up to IELTS Band 7.5.

You get the idea. But if you want to see a few more examples, look at the first table in this IELTS.org score conversion article.

How is the IELTS IDP Score Calculated?

A lot of Magoosh students have wondered if IDP IELTS scores are calculated differently than other IELTS scores.

In a word, no. IDP Education is merely a third party organisation that administers the IELTS. They do not design or give a different version of the exam. Instead, it’s the same IELTS with the same scoring system, as described above.

ielts up button

The Bigger Picture: What do the IELTS Score Bands Mean?

Now you know how the IELTS Bands are calculated. But what do these bands mean? What do they say about your IELTS score, and whether you have an average IELTS score, a good IELTS score, or a bad one?

It can help to know what the IELTS bands correspond to. Below is a table comparing IELTS scores with equivalent TOEFL scores. In the right-hand column, you can also see how IELTS bands compare to the English levels in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

CEFR levels are often used for immigration. CEFR is also sometimes used for benchmarks in English education courses. CEFR levels start at A1 and A2 (basic English ability and high basic English ability). The next level up is B1 and B2 (independent and high independent English use). And the highest levels of English proficiency in CEFR are C1 and C2 (proficient English use and advanced proficient English use).

IELTS
score
TOEFL
score
range
CEFR
level
9118-120C2
8.5115-117C2
8110-114C1
7.5102-109C1
794-101C1
6.573-93B2
660-78B2
5.546-59B2
535-45B1
4.532-34B1
0 to 40-31A2 (IELTS Band 4)
A1 (anything below
IELTS Band 4)

ielts up button

Numbers aside…What is a good IELTS score?

With all of this information in mind, it can still be hard to know what a good score is—leaving a lot of test-takers to ask “What is a good IELTS score?”

Regardless of why you’re taking the IELTS, the better question to ask is probably, “What is an acceptable IELTS Score?”

The IELTS score is used by a vast number of institutions and organizations to figure out whether or not your English is ‘good enough’ for eligibility—immigration, admissions, hiring, etc. If you are taking the IELTS for immigration, what they’re looking for will depend on kind of visa you need (e.g. work, business, for investors, for students, etc.). If you’re taking the IELTS as an international student, both the government and the institution may have a say about what is acceptable.

<!–[if lte IE 8]>

<![endif]–>Get a higher IELTS score? Start your online IELTS prep today hbspt.cta.load(2977058, ‘9ee22fb9-5991-430e-a38c-9db1713153f9’, {});

IELTS Score Scale and Skill Level

First of all, how does your IELTS score relate to your “skill level” in English? To answer that question, let’s re-visit the British Council’s official descriptions of the different bands:

IELTS Band ScoreSkill Level
9Expert
8Very good
7Good
6Competent
5Modest
4Limited
3Extremely limited
2Intermittent
1Non-user

According to the British Council, if you score a 9 on the exam, you’re an “expert” in English; if you score an 8, you’re “very good” at English; and so on.

Here’s a rough idea of what IELTS scores and skill levels some organizations hope to see on your applications:

ielts up button

Good IELTS Scores for Top Universities

Since score requirements vary from university to university, let’s look at requirements from a few top schools.

Oxford University

As of the 2017-2018 school year, Oxford requires an overall score of 7.0 for undergraduates, with at least 7.0 in each of the four components. So an above average IELTS score for a competitive edge would need to be at least 7.5. For graduate students, IELTS requirements vary a lot, depending on the programme.

A good IELTS score for Oxford university: What is the average IELTS score they accept?-- Magoosh

Photo by Bill Tyne

Cambridge University

As of 2017-2018, Cambridge requires an overall score of 7.5 for undergraduates. Across various departments, on average, IELTS score usually must also be 7.0 or above in each element. Graduate-level students can check their department-specific requirements by contacting the programme they want to apply to.

ielts scores: what is the average ielts score accepted by cambridge?---magoosh

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

According to 2017 data, MIT does not accept IELTS scores at the undergraduate level; instead undergraduate applicants are asked to take the TOEFL. For graduate students, the current requirement is usually 7.0. With that said, some departments require a higher score or have a preferred average IELTS score—be sure to check the requirements listed on your department’s website.

good ielts score? average ielts score? do you have the ielts scores you need to get into MIT?

ielts up button

What’s a good IELTS score in Australia?

To the Australian government, a good IELTS score can fall into various categories. Your scores will tell them whether your skills are good enough to be determined functional, vocational, competent, proficient, or superior. Each visa type has a different minimal requirement. Here is how the overall IELTS scores measure up:

    Functional: An overall average IELTS score of 4.5
    Vocational: A minimum of 5.0 in each category (Listening, Reading, Writing, & Speaking)
    Competent: A minimum of 6.0 in each category
    Proficient: A minimum of 7.0 in each category
    Superior: A minimum of 8.0 in each category (By any measures, this is a good IELTS score!)

BONUS! Eligibility for migration into Australia is determined on a point system. If your English is proficient or superior, you will extra earn points (10 and 20, respectively) that strengthen your application.

Some examples of international student requirements:

  • According to data the university published in late 2017, undergraduate and graduate applicants at the University of Sydney face different requirements, depending on the degree path that they apply for. Less demanding undergraduate degrees at Sydney require an IELTS score of at least 6.5, with at least a 6.0 in each category. However, certain undergraduate and graduate programs have much higher IELTS requirements.
  • For the 2017-2018 school year, the University of Melbourne recommends an IELTS of 7 for undergrad admissions. For graduate studies, IELTS requirements are different from department to department. Some of Melbourne’s graduate degree programmmes require an IELTS of 6.5, while others may require an IELTS 7 or higher.
  • According to recent data, the University of Adelaide’s requirements are dependent on level (i.e. graduate or undergraduate), department, and programme. Some programmes ask for as little as a 6.0 and allow for band scores of 5.5 in Reading and Listening. Other programmes, both graduate and undergraduate, have higher IELTS requirements. To find out what a good IELTS score is for you at Adelaide, you’ll need to look on the University of Adelaide’s Website and do some research.

What’s a good IELTS score in Canada?

In Canada, as in Australia, the requirements for IELTS section scores and composite average IELTS score depends on the kind of visa you’re applying for. For example, here, you’ll find that the skilled worker visa has different requirements for each applicant type. The IELTS scores here are listed in CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) which is used to represent English and French language skills throughout the country. You must use a calculator tool to convert your IELTS scores for immigration requirements.

Some examples of international student requirements:

  • University of Alberta: According to Alberta’s data for the 2017-2018 school year, successful applicants need an IELTS of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any individual section of the test. Recent data indicates that grad students also need to have a 6.5, although they can have as little as a 5.0 in an individual IELTS section.
  • Queen’s University: As of late 2017, Queen’s University states that undergraduate students should have a minimum overall score of 6.5 on the IELTS (an average IELTS score of 6.5 across the four exam sections). Queen’s also indicates that graduate student need a minimum of 7.0.

What’s a good IELTS score in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, individual schools decide where an IELTS score is good enough. And IELTS requirements for work visas depend on the kind of work that’s being offered. For example, per 2018 data, the University of Auckland requires at least a 6.0 IELTS score for undergraduate admission (with a minimum of 5.5 for each category) and an overall 6.5 for post-graduate work (with a minimum of 6.0 in each category). Note that this is the minimum, and that some undergraduate and graduate programmes in Auckland have higher requirements. An immigration official may verify that you meet the requirements when processing your application for the work and/or student visa.

For all other visas, the IELTS score requirements vary. Here are some examples:

    Investors: 3.0 overall score or higher
    Entrepreneurs: 4.0 overall score or higher
    Parents Category:  4.0 in at least two categories (listening, reading, writing, and/or speaking)
    Skilled Migrants: an overall average of at least 6.5

To see IELTS score requirements for other types of immigration to New Zealand, search the New Zealand government’s official immigration website.

What’s a good IELTS score in the UK?

For work visas, the requirements are based on the tier you’re applying for and how long you’ll be staying. These are quite varied, but in tiers 1 and 2, for example, those requesting permission to stay must demonstrate a B1 or B2 minimum, respectively. These requirements are described in the format of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework (A1 – C2). See IELTS equivalents here, or in the first chart in this article.

Schools and other organizations can “sponsor” your immigration, and it would be up to them to determine acceptable IELTS scores.

Examples of international student requirements:

  • University of Birmingham: According to this university’s recently published standards, a good IELTS score can be quite different, depending on the undergrad or grad programme. The easiest programmes to get into require just a 6.0, with at least a 5.5 in any individual IELTS section. In contrast, Birmingham’s most competitive degree programmes ask for a band 7 on the IELTS, and a 7.0 in each of the four IELTS sections.
  • University of Westminster: Per this school’s posted 2017-2018 requirements, graduate students need a minimum of 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 for all bands; undergraduates should have a 6.0 or higher.

What’s a good IELTS score in the USA?

Surprisingly, the U.S. government is the only one on this list without minimum English requirements for visa applicants. If you are heading to the U.S. for your studies, however, you can expect to have to demonstrate your English skills before being admitted. Minimum scores for the Academic IELTS vary for each institution and are often different for undergraduate and post-graduate applicants. Here are some examples:

  • At the University of South California, PhD applicants must have a 7.0 average or higher (with no less than 6.0 in each category), while Master’s students should have a minimum overall score of 6.5 (and no less than 6.0 in each category.) All undergraduate applicants must have a overall average of 7.0 or higher.
  • For 2018 and beyond, UC Berkeley’s undergraduate students must have a minimum of 6.5 overall, while graduate students must have at least a 7.0 average.
  • While New York University does not have any minimum IELTS requirements, they do require that you submit your English proficiency scores. In the information they’ve posted for the 2017-2018 school year, NYU notes that most international students admitted do not score less than the equivalent of a 7.5 overall average score.

So, what does this all mean for you? Well, first it means you should find reliable, high-quality IELTS prep to help you along the way (hello, Magoosh!). If you’re planning to apply to top-ranked universities, you should likely strive to achieve at least a 7.0. But if you’re not applying to the world’s top schools, a “good” score will likely be lower for you. Be sure to check those requirements on each university’s website.

If you’re still wondering about whether or not you’ve got a good IELTS score (rather than acceptable) learn more about what the band number means by the IELTS folks who’ve assigned them here: IELTS Scores: Understand How They Are Calculated and What They Mean.

ielts up button

What to Do If Your IELTS Score Isn’t Good Enough

So what happens if you don’t meet the standards of your dream school? Or what if your IELTS isn’t good enough for the job you want? What if the country you’re trying to immigrate to wants a higher score? When your IELTS score is unacceptable, what do you do next?

You have a number of options. We’ll explore them below.

Bad IELTS Score? Resit the test.

An IELTS retake is an obvious choice. And the IELTS makes it very easy to retake the exam. Unlike many other standardised tests, the IELTS does not place any limits on how frequently you can take the exam. More are there rules on how long you need to wait before you resit. As the official IELTS website states, if you decide to resit the test, “you can register for another IELTS test as soon as you feel ready to do so.”

However, this most obvious option may not be your only option. In fact, it may not even be your best option. Let’s look at a few more possible courses of action.

Options if You Have a Bad IELTS Score for School.

Talk to the Uni You Applied To.

If your IELTS score falls short of your school’s requirements, there’s a chance that the uni you applied to may still accept you. School admissions offices are sometimes willing to be flexible about your IELTS scores. This is especially true if you have a strong professional or academic background.

Sometimes your school may also be willing to extend you conditional acceptance. This allows you to study with them on the condition that you take some additional English classes. (We have a post on conditional acceptance on our TOEFL blog that is also relevant to applicants with low IELTS scores.)

Apply to a different university with easier IELTS requirements.

Even if your target school isn’t flexible on their IELTS requirement, there are many other schools out there. And IELTS requirements can actually vary a good deal at different schools. If your IELTS score gets rejected at one campus, it can’t hurt to look for other unis that find your score perfectly acceptable. A “bad” IELTS score may not be bad in the eyes of every admissions office.

Consider an alternative to the IELTS, such as the TOEFL.

Most IELTS-accepting schools will also accept scores from other English proficiency exams. The most common alternative to the IELTS is the TOEFL. Now, there’s no clear answer to which test is “easier,” objectively. But there are certainly some test-takers who personally find the TOEFL easier than the IELTS. It could be worth your while to look into the TOEFL as your next option. (Magoosh offers a good video lesson on the differences between the TOEFL and IELTS.)

Other exams may be available to you as well. A number of unis accept the Eiken, an English proficiency exam you can take in Japan. Many native Japanese speakers find the Eiken easier than the IELTS, especially since portions of the testing instruction are administered in Japanese. The TOEIC can sometimes be an option as well. And if you are taking the IELTS for work purposes, employers are often open to other Cambridge English certificates.

Is your IELTS score too low for immigration or work?

A Few Things to Consider:

Immigration IELTS requirements are harder to work around, compared to university regulations. The law is the law, right? So if you don’t have a good IELTS score by immigration standards, shouldn’t you simply resit the exam?

Well…maybe. But even with immigration and work visas, if your IELTS score is a little too low, you may have a few different options.

Apply for a Different Level of Visa

Maybe you don’t have the IELTS score the exact visa you were wanted. But you could still have a chance at a different visa class, one with lower IELTS requirements.

To give one example of this, New Zealand requires an IELTS of 6.5 for their Skilled Migrant Visa. Suppose you can’t quite reach that score, but you have a spouse that can get a 6.5. In that case, your spouse could apply for a skilled migrant visa, and you could initially apply as your spouse’s dependent. That only requires an IELTS score of 5.0. Alternatively, you could possibly apply for a New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa. This visa has flexible, varied IELTS requirements. It all depends on your skills and the job offer you get.

And that’s just one example of how New Zealand can be flexible on IELTS scores. There are other ways to score lower and still go to New Zealand. Other countries also have similarly varied IELTS requirements. You can find alternative IELTS visa requirements in any IELTS-accepting nation.

Take a Different English Exam

I’ve already told you about alternative exams for university applications. Immigration offices also offer a few other English exams beyond the IELTS. Most famously, Australia recently began accepting the TOEFL for immigration. Similarly, most U.S. states will accept the TOEFL for medical professionals instead of the IELTS. In another North American example, Canadian immigration accepts scores from either IELTS or CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) for skilled migration.

Once more, these are just a few examples. If your IELTS score is a little low, always see if you can take a different exam. Often, you can!

Really bad IELTS score?

Keep working on your English.

If you tested into IELTS Band 5, you almost certainly need better English for university study. And at Band 4 or below, your English proficiency is likely too low for most immigration visas. If you scored in these lower IELTS Bands, you aren’t really ready for an IELTS retake. Moreover, and you likely won’t find an alternate school or different test that works for you. In this case, you’ll really need to improve your English skills before you can move forward.

ielts up button

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your IELTS Score

So, we’ve talked about a lot of alternatives to resitting the IELTS. But what if that’s what you want to do, or need to do? If the IELTS is the only test for you, you have just one option: improve your IELTS score.

As I mentioned above, sometimes the best way to improve your IELTS score is to work on your general English skills first. But there are many other things you can do to get yourself into a higher IELTS band.

Below, I’ve made a list of the top 10 things you should do if you want to improve your IELTS score.

#1: Practice English as Much as Possible

Don’t just confine English study to an IELTS prep bubble. Even when you’re not in an IELTS practise session, you should look for ways to expose yourself to English. Read English websites, magazines, newspapers, and books. Watch English TV shows. Listen to English radio and podcasts. Talk to others in English, such as foreigners in your home country, or local people if you already live in an an English speaking community.

#2: Learn All About the Test

Make sure you know everything about the test: timing, format, types of passages and audio tracks, the interview questions you’ll get in IELTS speaking, the different IELTS Writing tasks, and so on.

#3: Get Feedback on Your IELTS Writing and Speaking

You can self-score your IELTS Reading and Listening, but IELTS Writing and Speaking don’t come with an answer key. Always find another person for feedback on your English speech and writing as you practice for the IELTS. This person could be a classmate, teacher, family member, or friend. Just find someone whose judgement you trust.

#4: Find good vocabulary word lists

You can’t memorize every vocabulary word that might appear on the IELTS, but there are certain words you’re pretty likely to see. Those words are ones you should commit to memory. Perhaps the best official list of IELTS vocabulary is Cambridge’s Vocabulary for IELTS book. Other unofficial sources, such as IELTS Liz or Magoosh’s own IELTS vocabulary flashcards.

#5: Practice Understanding Vocabulary in Context

For the most common IELTS vocabulary words, there are IELTS word lists. For everything else, there is “vocabulary in context.” This is the skill of guessing at or recognizing the meaning of words based on the language that surrounds them. This is absolutely essential to improving and getting a truly good IELTS score. The English language has around a million words and you will always encounter some words on the IELTS that you don’t know. But the IELTS will always give you clues to the meaning of any important words. Learn to read and listen for these clues.

#6: Keep Your Note-Taking Under Control

Note-taking is very helpful on the IELTS… but only if done intelligently and in moderation. If you take notes too heavily in IELTS Listening, you may find you are so busy copying down what you hear that you don’t take the time to actually understand what you hear. Similarly, in IELTS Reading, there’s a fine line between brief helpful notes and overly-long, distracting notes. Keep your notes minimal; focus them only on the very most important key words and ideas.

#7: Learn to Pre-write

Prewriting is the act of making notes and an outline before you write or speak in English. On the IELTS, this is a valuable skill for both IELTS Speaking and IELTS Writing. In the IELTS Speaking interview, you’ll be given a “topic card.” After a minute of preparatory prewriting, you’ll give a short speech on the topic. And in IELTS Writing, making notes and an outline for each essay will greatly improve your essay score. Insufficiently planned writing is the biggest reason that otherwise skilled IELTS test-takers get poor IELTS scores in the Writing section.

#8: Practice Visual Literacy

The IELTS tests a language skill you may not have heard of before: visual literacy. Visual literacy is the ability to read informational graphics such as charts, tables, and diagrams. Charts, tables, and diagrams come up in IELTS Reading, Listening, and Writing. Take some time to practice reading these kinds of infographics in English and familiarise yourself with IELTS visual literacy tasks.

#9: Practice Test Skills, not Just Language Skills

While the IELTS is a measure of your English language ability, it’s also a standardized test. That means you should focus on test-specific skills as well as language skills during your IELTS prep. Keep track of your pacing and develop techniques that help you finish tasks within the testing time limit. Understand the different question types and the best ways to approach them. Know and anticipate the unique structure of the test. Then, for a top score, blend good English language ability with these testing skills.

#10: Take Care of Yourself on Test Day (and the Day Before)

More often than not, if a student of mine gets a much lower score than they expected, the reasons are physical. They were too tired on test day. They got hungry and lightheaded during the exam. They had a cold or a fever. Do all that you can to be in top physical condition by test day. Rest well and eat well the day before the test and the morning of. And don’t worry too much about studying in the 24 hours before the test. One more day of study won’t make much of a difference. But being alert, healthy, and calm in the examination centre makes a huge difference.

The Takeaway

There are several ways to know if you have a good IELTS score (versus an average IELTS score or a bad one). Understanding the IELTS Bands and how they’re calculated is key. Make sure you also know what IELTS scores are required of you. And above all, be ready to improve your IELTS score—and your general English skills—if need be.

ielts up button
 

Note: This post was updated in August 2017. Thank you to Trisha Alcisto for contributing content! Also, all information on university IELTS requirements comes directly from the school’s admissions web pages. See the bibliography below for the current links to this information. Links and statistics will be updated as needed.

Bibliography for University IELTS Requirements

Oxford University:
Cambridge University:
MIT:
University of Sydney:
University of Melbourne:
University of Adelaide:
University of Alberta:
Queen’s University:
University of Auckland:
Birmingham
Westminster:
USC:
Berkeley:
NYU:

By the way, sign up for our 1-week free trial to try out Magoosh IELTS prep!Most Popular Resources   * IELTS Lessons  <https://ielts.magoosh.com/lessons/?utm_source=ieltsblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=popular&utm_term=endofpost&utm_content=lessons><noscript><img class=

6 Responses to What is a good IELTS score?

  1. Sandra August 11, 2017 at 3:56 am #

    Good day.

    I would like do just dubble check if we will be exepted into australia with our ielts score. We are going over on a skilled visa, my husbands he received a 6 and i received a 6.5 please tell me more

    Kind regards

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 14, 2017 at 10:52 am #

      Hi Sandra,

      Please get in touch with the relevant immigration authority to get this information. Countries’ immigration requirements vary depending on a lot of factors, and we are not experts in this area. Good luck! 🙂

  2. Sunayana September 1, 2017 at 2:27 am #

    Hello, i recently got my ielts result. As i haad attain my Test on 19th August, i Secure Each bands 6 and obviously overall 6. As i had recenlty got my result, almost 70% in +2 level, so please could you tell me whether My test maarks are good or not?? Scoring Same each bands is good or not in comparison with other Bands?

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 7, 2017 at 11:18 am #

      For the purposes of getting into university, a Band 6 in each section is a pretty good score. This will get you into many different universities overseas, although more competitive schools may want to see a band 6.5, or higher than a 6 in some of the individual sections.

  3. Nana September 8, 2017 at 4:55 am #

    Hi,

    I recently received my ielts results and I had L-7.0, R-6.0, W-5.5, S- 7.0 and an overall score of 6.5. I was disappointed with the score for the writing though. Please do you think this is good enough for a graduate university admission? Thank you.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 8, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

      Hi Nana,

      It is hard to say, because there are so many different requirements at different universities. Have you done any research into the requirements for schools you want to attend? This is the best way to find out if your scores are good enough for what you want. 🙂


Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply