Many people who sit for the IELTS exam do so as a requirement of either their visa application process or in order to secure admission at a university which requires an IELTS score. IELTS scores are usually a requirement of institutions like these in order to prove that a candidate has the necessary English language skills to cope in an environment where English is the main medium of communication and instruction.
What Are the Band Scores And Which Score Do You Need?
The IELTS exam results are graded from 1 – 9, with 1 being the lowest score you can get and 9 the highest. Each component of the test – Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening – is given an individual score, so your overall exam result will be made up of a score for each component and an overall band score. The overall band score is the average of the four individual scores.
The band score you need depends greatly on the reason for which you are taking the exam. In some cases both the individual scores and the overall band score are important.
Universities generally require a score of 6 or 7. Please note that they may also require a minimum score for each section. For example, a university might require an overall IELTS band score of 6.5 with no component less than 5.5.
Why Would You Need To Combine Your IELTS Scores?
Unfortunately, some IELTS test takers find themselves in the unusual position of only meeting some of their individual component score requirements, despite taking the exam multiple times. Let’s say you need scores of 7,7,6,7 in order to gain admission to a particular university. On your first attempt, you score 7,7,5,7 meaning you missed out on your writing score by just 1 band. On your second attempt, you score 7,6,6,7. Now you have met the writing score criteria but lost out on the reading band requirement by one full band. As unfortunate as this situation might be, students cannot combine their two scores. Be it IELTS General Training or IELTS Academic, there is no combine rule that applies, you must get the required score in a single attempt. Neither the British council nor IDP education Australia has implanted such a rule in place at the moment.
However, there are some other valid options you could consider opting for:
Request A Remark Of Your Exam
If you have not scored well enough then you have a few options, the first of which is getting your test remarked. This can be done for another additional fee at the British Council or IDP education, depending on who you booked you booked your test with. However, it is important to note that the changes in scores will not be very drastic, maybe the difference between a half-band or so. Therefore the option of remarking should only be considered in genuine cases where you have just barely missed your required IELTS score.
Retake the Exam
There is no limit to the number of times a candidate can sit for the IELTS exam. Candidates are allowed to take the times as many times as they need to, and score for your most recent test will be considered as valid. It is important to note that you have to pay the full amount each time you take the exam, so make sure that you are sufficiently prepared. Taking the exam many times can become quite costly!
Use this retest as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Try to improve your preparation for the next time you take the test, especially in the test section you scored most poorly in.