Candidates for the IELTS have a choice whether to take the Academic Training or the General Training test. In the Academic Training, candidates choose this because they need an IELTS score to present to the academic institutions they are applying for. In the General Training, candidates take this because they have a need for certification to be presented to companies they are applying for work or employment and as a requirement for immigration. Whether Academic or General Training, the candidates have to achieve the standard scores.
Like any other English competency examinations, there is no pass or fail remarks in the IELTS. Candidates are evaluated according to their performance using scores from 1 to 9. The results from these four language skills – reading, listening, speaking, writing – creates an Overall Band Score (OBS).
The IELTS Exam Results are interpreted from bands 1 to 9. Band 0 suggests that the candidate has not attempted to take the tests. There is no information regarding the candidate that has been provided. Band 1 is categorized as a non-user. It means that the candidate has almost no ability to use the language except for a few words. Band 2 is an intermittent user. The candidate has basic information but has great difficulty in understanding spoken and written English. Band 3 is an extremely limited user. The person can convey and understand the only general meaning in familiar situations. Band 4 is the basic competence. The person has frequent problems with the language and is not able to use complex language. Band 5 is a modest user, has partial command with the language and can handle basic communication in own field. Band 6 has effective command in the language with some inaccuracies and can use fairly complex language. Band 7 is a good user who has generally effective command with the language and handles complex language well. Band 8 is someone who has a fully operational command with the language and handles complex detailed argumentation well. Finally, the band 9 is an expert user; a very fluent English speaker.