In the latest Joint Video Exploration Team development, the quadtree plus binary tree (QTBT) block partitioning structure has been proposed for future video coding. Compared to the traditional quadtree structure of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard, QTBT provides more flexible patterns for splitting the blocks, which results in dramatically increased combinations of block partitions and high computational complexity. In view of this, a confidence interval based early termination (CIET) scheme is proposed for QTBT to identify the unnecessary partition modes in the sense of rate-distortion (RD) optimization. In particular, a RD model is established to predict the RD cost of each partition pattern without the full encoding process. Subsequently, the mode decision problem is casted into a probabilistic framework to select the final partition based on the confidence interval decision strategy. Experimental results show that the proposed CIET algorithm can speed up QTBT block partitioning structure by reducing 54.7% encoding time with only 1.12% increase in terms of bit rate. Moreover, the proposed scheme performs consistently well for the high resolution sequences, of which the video coding efficiency is crucial in real applications.