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IELTS Scores: What Do They Mean?

IELTS Scores: What Do They Mean?

Many people know that they will receive an overall IELTS score after taking the four tests in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Many people know that the score will be a number between 0 and 9, with 9 demonstrating the top proficiency and 0 showing the lowest.

Many people also know that generally an IELTS score of 7 or above is deemed to be a ‘good’ score.

But what does each number actually mean about your level of English? Read on below to find out.

0 = Did Not Attempt the Test

This is quite self-explanatory. If you receive a score of 0, it is because you were unable to answer any of the questions in the test papers.

1 = Non-User

A non-user is deemed to be someone who possesses no ability to use the language, except for a few words.

2 = Intermittent User

An intermittent user is somebody who has a lot of difficulty with the English language when both using and understanding it.

3 = Extremely Limited User

An extremely limited user is someone who can only use and understand the general language in situations which are very familiar to them. This can cause frequent breakdowns of communication.

4 = Limited User

A limited user is someone who demonstrates a basic competence when communicating in the context of familiar situations and can only use basic language. There will be frequent problems with understanding and expression.

5 = Modest User

A modest user is someone who demonstrates partial command of the English language. This person can understand and express meaning in most situations but will be prone to making mistakes. This person shows competence communicating in areas that are familiar to them.

6 = Competent User

A competent user is someone who shows an effective command of the English language. There will be some inaccuracies in understanding and mistakes in expression. This user both understands and uses more complex language, especially when speaking in more familiar situations.

7 = Good User

A good user is someone who has operational command of the English language. There will be occasional inaccuracies in understanding and mistakes in expression. Complex language is used and understood well, and the user is able to provide detailed reasoning.

8 = Very Good User

A very good user is someone who has fully operational command of the English language. Inaccuracies in understanding and mistakes in expression will be infrequent, although there may be some misunderstandings in unfamiliar situations. This user is able to provide complex detailed arguments.

9 = Expert User

An expert user is someone who has full command and control of the English language. This user’s English is appropriate, fluent and accurate, and the user shows complete understanding.

Did You Know?

In the IELTS General path, the country with the top average score is South Africa, with an overall average of 7.6! The country with the lowest average is the United Arab Emirates, with an overall average of 4.6.

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