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Follow These Guidelines to Score High in IELTS


Let’s face it, most of us will never need to worry about getting IELTS 8.0 or 8.5! But there are a tiny number of university courses and occupations that DO require IELTS
Band 8 as evidence of a person’s ability to handle ‘complex detailed argumentation’, some law degrees for example.
This article explains what is required to achieve IELTS Band 8 in all four modules of the test. Your module score, or ‘sub-score’, can be either 8.0 or 8.5 depending on whether you meet these minimum requirements, or exceed them slightly.
Your overall IELTS score will also be classified as either 8.0 or 8.5 based on the average of each of the four modules, e.g. Listening Band 9 + Reading Band 9 + Writing Band 8 + Speaking Band 8 = IELTS 8.5.

IELTS Listening Band 8

  • Get 35 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 8.0*
  • Get 37 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 8.5*
  • Spell answers correctly
  • Not write more than the maximum number of words for each question

IELTS Reading Band 8 (Academic Module)

  • Get 35 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 8.0*
  • Get 37 out of 40 answers correct for IELTS 8.5*
  • Spell answers correctly
  • Not write more than the maximum number of words for each question

IELTS Writing Band 8 (Academic Module)

  • Answer both questions fully
  • Use paragraphing skillfully to convey several key ideas
  • Use less-common vocabulary naturally with an awareness of collocation
  • Provide an overview and explain key points in Task 1
  • Indicate a clear position and develop it extensively in Task 2
  • Produce mostly error-free complex sentences

IELTS Speaking Band 8

  • Speak fluently and at length on any given topic with almost zero hesitation
  • Use a range of linking words accurately to develop ideas
  • Use higher-level and idiomatic vocabulary to convey precise meaning
  • Produce mostly error-free simple and complex sentences
  • Use pronunciation and intonation patterns similar to those of a native speaker
*The number of correct answers required to get IELTS 8.0 or 8.5 may vary slightly from test to test.
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