IELTS Band Scales
This exam tests your ability to use English. Score in each of the subtest and an overall (average) score is recorded as levels of ability, called Bands. Highest : 9 bands for each of the four language macro skills – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The above information is listed on the Test Report Form. The nine bands of language ability are described in general terms as follows:
Band 9 Expert User
Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
Band 8 Very Good User
Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
Band 7 Good User
Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
Band 6 Competent User
Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
Band 5 Modest User
Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
Band 4 Limited User
Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.
Band 3 Extremently Limited User
Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
Band 2 Intermittent User
No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
Band 1 Non User
Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.