IELTS scores are evaluated as band scores from 1 being the lowest on the scale, to 9 being the highest. One is evaluated individually on each section. There are four sections, namely
Any examinee is scored individually on each section and they are also given an overall band score. The overall band score is basically nothing but the average of all the band scores achieved by the candidate in each section. If a person acquired a 9 band score, it signifies that he or she is an expert user and has complete operational command over the language. He or she is also accurate, fluent and appropriate with full understanding of the same.
Let us now look into each of the sections individually to understand the chances of scoring a 9 band score.
The listening IELTS exam comprises a total of 40 questions. Each question in this section is allotted one mark. The highest raw score which could be achieved from this section is 40. Later, the band score is awarded on the basis of this raw score ranging from 1 Band Score to 9 Band Score. According to experts, this is arguably the easiest section of the test. The preparation for this section must include the pattern of questions that might one encounter.
This section is similar to the listening section. This section also contains 40 questions which awards one mark to the examinee for each correct answer. The highest raw score gained from this section is similarly 40. The band score is also awarded accordingly ranging from as low as 1 to as high as 9. It is very important to keep in mind that the questions must be answered according to what the text says and not what an individual thinks about it. Also, understanding the pattern of the questions in this section is also very crucial.
While assessing the Speaking part of the test, the people take help of a detailed assessment which specifies the written and spoken performance at each of the 9 band scores. There are mainly four criteria in the speaking section. They are:
- Coherence and fluency
- Grammatical range
- Lexical resource and pronunciation
All these criteria are of equal importance and are marked accordingly. The biggest fear in this sector is whether the few seconds or minutes allotted for each answer in this round would be enough to give a logical answer. To practice for this part, one needs to look at the topics beforehand. Most of the questions are basically generic questions about the profession, family and hometown of the person. Also, communicating in English on a daily basis helps to score well in this round.
Similarly in the writing part of this exam, the examiners assess using a detailed assessment criteria which specify the marking system for writing and speaking part of all 9 different IELTS Bands. In this part too, there are four criteria which are, task achievement for task 1, task response for task 2, grammatical range and lexical resources and accuracy and range. The major concern for this part and any writing test for the matter is whether the test could be completed in the allotted time. The trick is to keep things simple. One might be urged to over analyse points and provide more points or expand approaching sophisticated ideas. However, this might result in losing valuable time. It is better to look at the sample essays and recognize the ideal structure about the construction of an essay. One should stick to one or two points regarding each topic.