IELTS Cutoff 2021

Updated by: Nidhi bahl on Aug. 20, 2021, 11:36 a.m.

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IELTS Cut-offs

Scored on a scale of 1 to 9, IELTS cutoffs for leading foreign universities such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Oxford, among others, ranges between 7 and 8. Usually, universities that accept IELTS scores pre-set the overall and sectional IELTS cutoff for different courses when evaluating an applicant's English language proficiency. In fact, the university-wise minimum IELTS score requirement is considered as the IELTS cutoff. 

The conducting body of IELTS does not define the cutoff for the IELTS test. It only releases IELTS scores in the form of a 'Test Report Form' (TRF). The report contains the scores obtained by candidates in all four sections of IELTS in a band score ranging between 1-9 in each section. However, the cutoff for IELTS is determined by the respective university as per their requirements.

Institutions, government organisations and employers across the world accept IELTS scores to analyse the proficiency level of a prospective candidate. Some of the leading international universities include the University of Dayton, Auburn University, Arizona State University, Stanford University, University of Leeds, and more.

Want to Apply to Leading Universities Accepting IELTS Scores?

Also Read:

IELTS or TOEFL? Which Exam Should You Take? IELTS Academic vs IELTS General: What’s the Difference?
Study Abroad Entrance Exams Minimum IELTS Score for Admission in Top B-Schools Abroad
Average IELTS Scores at Popular US Universities

What is a Good IELTS Score?

While there is no specific cutoff for IELTS scores, different universities set their own minimum band score requirement for IELTS to accept students for admission in various courses. The minimum score required in IELTS also varies between different courses. Top universities have higher IELTS requirements than other educational institutes. Generally, an overall IELTS  band score and sectional score above 7.0 is required for admission at top universities. IELTS score ranging between 6.0 to 7.0 is apt for admissions at most universities abroad.   

 Candidates who want to understand what a good IELTS score is, can check the following table for reference:

Band Score

Language Skill Level

9.0 - 8.1


8.0 - 7.1

Very good

7.0 - 6.1


6.0 - 5.1


5.0 - 4.1


4.0 - 3.1 

Below Average

3.0 - 2.1


2.0 - 1.1

Did not Attempt the Question

1.0 - 0

Did not Attempt the Paper

From the above table, aspirants can figure out that a score above 5.0 out of 9.0 can be considered a good IELTS score. Most institutes accept IELTS scores above 5.0.


1. What is the IELTS cutoff?

IELTS Cutoff is nothing but the minimum IELTS score acceptable by specific institutes for admissions. The conducting body does not define the IELTS cutoff. 

2. What is the minimum IELTS score needed for admissions at a good institution abroad?

IELTS score running between 6.0 to 9.0 is considered a decent score for admissions at a good institution abroad. 

3. Who determines the IELTS cutoff? 

IELTS cutoff is determined by individual institutions for admission in a specific course. 

4. When is the IELTS cutoff released?

IELTS Cutoff is not released by the conducting body. However, the minimum IELTS score acceptable by a specific institution for admissions is usually pre-defined by the concerned department. 

5. How is IELTS cut off calculated? 

The overall IELTS score acceptable at an institution is the average of all the sections. Each institution and the respective department has its own standard and need based on which they define the IELTS cutoff.  

Admission 2021

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