What Is The Difference Between The IDP And British Council IELTS Exam?

There are so many factors to consider when deciding on whether or not to take the international English language testing IELTS exam and how to begin tackling the wide array of skills and strategies need to ace the exam. One of the factors that often puzzle test-takers is who to book their test with, the IDP or British council. The reason for this confusion stems from an alarming amount of misinformation floating around the web regarding these two institutions. In this article, we will provide you with the key facts about the IDP and the British Council IELTS Exams. The information mentioned below is useful for both international and Singaporean students.

What is the IELTS exam?

The IELTS exam is an international English language proficiency test that assesses a students ability to perform well in 4 particular areas i.e listening, reading, writing and speaking. It gives an accurate indication of whether an IELTS candidate will be able to cope with the required level of English when moving to an English speaking country like the UK, Australia, Canada or New Zealand, for work or study purposes. Once you have completed your test, the IELTS examiners will award you with a band score, ranging from 1 – 9. Each Band represents a particular level of language proficiency, with 9 being the closest to the level of a native speaker of English. The exam is jointly hosted by the IDP and the Britsih Council in over 130 countries, including Singapore.

What Is The British Council?

The British Council is an international organisation that is tasked with the responsibility to strengthen the cultural relations and educational opportunities between the UK and over 100 other countries. They are actively involved in promoting the English language on a global level.

What Is IDP?

International Development Program or IDP is an educational organisation that helps students study in English Speaking countries like New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, UK, Australia and the USA. They provide a wide variety of international education services.

The Differences Between The IELTS Test Offered By The British Council And IDP

The IELTS exam content is prepared by Cambridge ESOL and the IELTS Test is jointly hosted by the British Council and IDP Education Australia.

Whether to take the IELTS Exam with the British Council or IDP IELTS is a question that often confuses and stumps students. The bottom line is that there are very few differences between the two organizations’ ability to host the exams.

The services and types of IELTS Tests offered are exactly the same and irrelevant of whether you book with IDP or the British Council. This includes identical levels of test difficulty and marking methods for both the paper-based and computer-delivered test.

There is currently no difference between the two organizations regarding the fee of any of the IELTS exams.

You can easily book your test either in person, at one of these organization’s official test centres or by visiting their website(s). The IELTS Exam is held on 48 fixed test dates and you have the ability to choose a test date and location that best suits you. Once you have completed the registration process, you will be emailed a booking payment update.

Common Myths About The IDP And British Council IELTS Exams

IDP is more lenient in marking.

The IELTS exam is set by Cambridge ESOL and both the IDP and British Council have to follow exactly the same marking criteria.

The people who mark your exam papers are different.

The examiners who check the IELTS exam are trained in exactly the same way. They all follow exactly the same marking criteria and are evaluated often to make sure that they adhere to the correct standards

You need to register with IDP only if you are planning to go to Australia while the British Council is for the U.K and U.S.

The IDP and the British Council IELTS exam can both be used for entry to exactly the same English speaking countries. Your IELTS score will be valid in all of these countries.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.