Test statistics​

IELTS is proud to offer transparent statistics on our testing system. The following data has been compiled from the scores achieved by various groups of test takers. It helps researchers and teachers understand the performance of the test and how test takers perform in particular countries or regions.

We have split the data into three key themes:

  • Demographic data
  • Test taker performance
  • Test performance

Demographic data

This data set allows you to compare the percentage of test takers achieving different scores split into their age, reason for taking the test, first language, and nationality.

Note: For nationality and first language, the tables show the top nationalities and languages listed alphabetically, not in order of the size of the candidature.

Test taker performance 

IELTS tests are assessed on a 9-band scale. Results are delivered as an overall score and as scores for each of the individual skills sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.   

Overall band scores for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training test takers in 2022 are shown here, together with scores for individual skills, according to a variety of classifications. These figures are broadly in line with statistics for previous years. 

Note: For nationality and first language, the tables show the top nationalities and languages listed alphabetically, not in order of the size of the candidature. 

Test performance 2022

Each year, multiple versions of each of the IELTS test sections are released for use by centres testing IELTS test takers. Reliability estimates for the tests used in 2022 are reported below.

Reliability of Listening and Reading sections

The reliability of Listening and Reading sections are reported using Cronbach's alpha, a reliability estimate that measures the internal consistency of the 40-item sections. For Listening sections used in 2022, alphas ranged between 0.90 and 0.93, with an average of 0.91; for Academic Reading, alphas ranged between 0.86 and 0.94, with an average value of 0.90; while for General Training Reading, alphas ranged between 0.90 and 0.94, with an average of 0.91.

On the basis of these reliability figures, an estimate of the standard error of measurement (SEM) may be calculated for these sections using the following formula:

SEM=SD*sqrt (1-r)

st is the standard deviation of the test

r is the reliability of the test

Table 1 Mean, standard deviation and standard error of measurement of Listening and Reading (2022)

MeanStandard deviationSEM
Academic Reading6.211.170.38
General Training Reading5.861.510.45

The SEM should be interpreted in terms of the final band scores reported for Listening and Reading sections (which are reported in half-bands).

Reliability of Writing and Speaking sections

For more information about the assessment criteria used for rating Writing and Speaking performance, read about IELTS scoring in detail.

Reliability of rating is assured through the face-to-face training and certification of examiners, who must all undergo a retraining and recertification process every two years. A Professional Support Network (PSN) manages and standardises the examiner cadre, including face-to-face examiner monitoring as well as distance monitoring (using recordings of the Speaking tests).

Cases where one of the examiner-rated sections has been awarded a score that is markedly different to the scores in the Listening and Reading sections are automatically re-marked. Comparison of original and 'jagged' re-ratings of 2022 performances showed an inter-rater reliability coefficient of 0.87 for Speaking and 0.92 for Writing.

The IELTS test contains four sections upon which an overall band score is awarded. So an estimate of composite reliability offers a useful measure for overall test reliability. Composite reliability estimates have been calculated following Feldt & Brennan (1989). To generate an appropriately cautious estimate, alpha values were used for the receptive skills, and inter-rater reliability coefficients for the examiner-rated scores. The composite reliability estimate for the Academic test was 0.97 and for the General Training test was 0.96, and produced a composite SEM of 0.17 for the Academic test and 0.21 for the General Training test.


  • Feldt, LS & Brennan, RL (1989) Reliability. In RL Linn (Ed), Educational measurement (3rd ed, 105–146). New York: Macmillan
  • Shaw, SD (2004) IELTS writing: revising assessment criteria and scales (Phase 3). Research Notes 16, 3–7
  • Taylor, L & Jones, N (2001) Revising the IELTS Speaking Test. Research Notes 4, 9–12