IELTS Band Scores and Other Tests

Recognized by over 3000 institutions and schools internationally, IELTS is the most popular English proficiency test in the world. However, IELTS candidates and other requesting institutions may be more familiar with other major language proficiency tests. In these cases, it’s good to know how a particular IELTS result can be translated into some of the other major assessment frameworks.

Let’s take a look at three.


The Common European Framework (CEFR) is a helpful way to measure ability is any language but is distinct in not being tied directly to test results. The CEFR scale describes language ability across three categories: Basic User, Independent User, and Proficient User, with upper and lower levels within each category.

Because of the nature of the CEFR as a guide, rather than a precise measurement, IELTS Band Scores are not directly equivalent but can be compared on a spectrum.


The results of the IELTS Academic Module can be compared to TOEFL iBT exam scores. Again, given scores are not directly equivalent but do provide a helpful guide when comparing results.

Cambridge Exams

Cambridge English exams use the Cambridge English Scale and are closely related to the CEFR framework. While IELTS Band Scores cannot be directly related to the CEFR levels, they can be more closely compared with the Cambridge English Scale scores.

This table shows compares results between IELTS, Cambridge Exams, and CEFR:

Bringing it all together

Past and future IELTS candidates can have confidence in what their IELTS Band Score says about their English proficiency. These comparison tables and score equivalents allow candidates to talk about their proficiency in any context.

Interested in IELTS Preparation Classes? ILSC offers the IELTS Mastery Program and IELTS Mastery: 6.5 and also has general IELTS preparation and evening classes to get you ready for your test.



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