Understanding IELTS Writing Scores (0-9)

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In this article, we delve deeper into the IELTS writing scores, providing you with specific examples, statistics, and references to help you understand the nuances of the scoring system. We will also discuss the importance of the overall IELTS score and how universities and employers use it in their evaluation process.

What is a Good Writing Score in IELTS?

IELTS Writing Score📚 Study Opportunities🌏 Immigration Opportunities
5.5🔍 Limited❌ Unlikely
6.5✅ Many Programs🔍 Some Pathways
7.0✅ More Programs✅ Many Pathways
7.5+✅ Top-tier Programs✅ Most Pathways

A good IELTS writing score varies depending on an individual's goals and requirements. For instance, most universities and colleges worldwide require a minimum IELTS writing score of 6.5 or 7.0 for admission into undergraduate or graduate programs. Generally, if your writing score is above 6.5, you are above average, and have a good chance of being accepted by most institutions.

However, it's essential to differentiate between the writing score and the overall score. While a good writing score is crucial, universities and employers may also consider your overall IELTS score, which comprises listening, reading, speaking, and writing modules. They usually have minimum requirements for each component to ensure well-rounded language skills. Moreover, take into account that different faculties and courses within the same university may have different IELTS requirements.

Note: if you are interested on how exactly essay score is calculated, then check out this article

Average scores for IELTS writing

In 2022 the majority of test takers received a score of around band 6.0 for writing section of IELTS exam. In academic IELTS, writing section remains the most challenging for students, with score significantly lower than other components.

Mean Overall and Individual Band Scores Achieved by 2022 IELTS Test Takers by Gender (source)

GenderAcademicGeneral Training

Understanding Specific Writing Scores: Examples and Explanations

Is 6.5 IELTS writing good?

Yes, a 6.5 IELTS writing score is considered good. It demonstrates that you have a clear understanding of the main points and can convey your ideas effectively. With a 6.5 score, you are above average and meet the requirements for many undergraduate and graduate programs worldwide. The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), for example, requires an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6.0 for writing and speaking (source).

Is 5.5 in IELTS writing good?

No, a 5.5 IELTS writing score is below the average requirement for most universities and colleges. This score indicates that you have a modest understanding of the main points and can express your ideas, but with limited accuracy and coherence. You may need to improve your writing skills to meet the minimum requirements for higher education or professional opportunities. There are some exceptions, e.g., Torrens University Australia requires 6.0 with no band less than 5.5 for a Bachelor of Cybersecurity program (source).

Is 7 a good score in IELTS writing?

Yes, a 7.0 IELTS writing score is considered a good score. It shows that you have a strong command of the English language and can convey complex ideas with clarity and coherence. With a 7.0 score, you surpass the average requirements and have a better chance of being accepted into competitive academic programs or securing professional opportunities. For example, the University of Cambridge requires a minimum overall IELTS score of 7.5, with a minimum of 7 in each of the four components (source).

What does 7.5 in IELTS Writing mean?

A 7.5 IELTS writing score indicates that you have an excellent grasp of the English language and can produce well-structured, clear, and engaging content. This score may open doors to top-tier academic programs and professional opportunities, as it demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively in an English-speaking environment. For example, Harvard University generally requires an overall IELTS score of 7.5, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component for graduate programs (source).

Is IELTS 7 B2 or C1?

IELTS 7 is considered a C1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This level signifies that you have advanced English language skills and can communicate fluently and spontaneously with native speakers in most situations.

CEFR Correspondence for IELTS Scores

To provide a clearer understanding of the IELTS writing scores and their CEFR equivalents, here's a table showcasing the correspondence between IELTS scores and CEFR levels:

IELTS Scores and CEFR Levels Correspondence (source)

IELTS ScoreCEFR LevelDescription
0-3.5A1-A2Basic User
4.0-5.0B1Intermediate User
5.5-6.5B2Upper-Intermediate User
7.0-8.0C1Advanced User
8.5-9.0C2Proficient User

You can also see official detailed explanation of each IELTS band on the British Council website


Understanding what makes a good IELTS writing score is crucial for achieving your academic or professional goals. It's essential to know the minimum requirements for the institutions or employers you're targeting and strive to exceed those expectations. Keep in mind that the overall IELTS score and meeting minimum requirements for each component are also vital factors for acceptance into universities or securing job opportunities. Make sure to try our ielts essay checker to improve your writing skills and achieve a higher IELTS writing score.