My IELTS overall band score is 8.5 and I am wondering what to call it, i.e. what's the name of the category for this score. Rounding rules of half scores in terms of categories is not explained in The IELTS 9-band scale and I have not found any other resources regarding this specific question either.

Possible options are:

  1. Rounding it up and calling it an "expert user". This makes more sense as there is no score or band above 9.0, so the "expert user" band could be interpreted as anything between 8.0 (exclusive) and 9.0 (inclusive).
  2. Rounding it down and thus calling it a "very good user".
  3. No rounding and calling it "expert / very good user".

Be as specific as you can. When asked for IELTS results, specify a decimal result of 8.5 wherever possible. If specifically asked for text description instead of a decimal result, be on the safe side and call it "very good user". For all my experience with IELTS, a result above band 7 is considered a pass for all purposes.

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