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Studying overseas in an English-speaking country means taking your IELTS exam. However, between IDP and British Council, which do you choose?

Studying overseas in an English-speaking country means taking your IELTS exam. However, between IDP and British Council, which do you choose? Taking your IELTS test at IDP is the same as taking one at British Council. In addition, the marking scheme and standards are exactly the same. However, there are some differences that are notable that could better help you decide.

What Is IDP & British Council

IDP and British Council are co-owners of IELTS together with Cambridge English. These are international organisations that are committed to providing international English testing. Based in over 30 countries, IDP is one of the world’s leading international education organisations that connects students with learning opportunities across the world. Having helped over 500,000 students successfully study abroad, IDP is a provider of the IELTS test with more than 1,400 test locations across 56 countries. British Council, on the other hand, creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries, helping to build trust between them worldwide. They help support individuals to build skills, connections and gain confidence in partnership with the UK and British institutions.

Both IDP & British Council Are Official IELTS Providers

While both are unique brands in their own right with different businesses, the IELTS test provided will be in the same identical format. Whether it is the traditional IELTS paper-based test or computer-delivered, both IDP and British Council will be executing the examination in the standard IELTS format with no change or variation. Sure, while IDP is Australian and British Council is British, the test will still expose you to a range of accents, situations, topics and discussion points. Your examiner could come from any country, even the United States.There will also be no change in test difficulty level plus the markings for the tests will be done following the same guidelines and criteria of the different band scores. However, there are some differences that are notable that could better help you decide on your best provider.

IDP Or British Council: 4 Key Differences You Must Know

1. The Location Might Not Be The Same

Location matters. The entire speaking, listening, reading and writing test is 2 hours and 45 minutes long in total. This is a long examination duration which will sap your energy and concentration.

It is wise to consider a closer test centre near your home. This will allow you to get ample rest and more time to prepare for the test. You’ll feel much more energized, fresh and less stressed knowing that the location is very near you.

No more fears of a transportation breakdown or a traffic jam to trip you up!

2. The Availability Of Tests Might Be Different

Sometimes, scheduling your test can be a nightmare. You might be studying or perhaps working part-time and it might be very tough to find a time slot that works for you.

In this case, you would want to choose the provider that has the best time slots that suit your schedule. In addition, you’ll also want to make the distinction between the paper-based test and computer-delivered test slots.

If you have a preference for the computer-delivered test, you’ll want to check the availability of those. Plus, many students prefer to use headphones instead of speakers so that they can concentrate on the test better. Do check between the test providers which of their centres provides headphones.

3. Fees, Promotions & Gifts Might Not Be The Same

While the test is the same, sometimes the fees aren’t. IDP and British Council have different prices that you should check. Here are IDP’s pricings for your quick reference.

Besides the base pricing, IDP and British Council both provide different promotions and gifts that might appeal to different people. It could be a shopping voucher or a free ride to your IELTS test venue.

Whichever the case, you should consider this and choose the best promotional gift that you see the most value in. Weighing all these comprehensively will help you make the best decision.

4. Service Levels Are Different

When it comes to booking for your IELTS test and sitting for it, service levels matter. You want to feel comfortable and assured you are dealing with skilled and empathetic professionals.

You might have questions and you might have doubts and a good test provider will help guide you through the process. This can be understanding the right type of tests (Academic or General or UKVI) to select as well as where to gain additional resources to better prepare.

For example, at IELTS, we provide test preparation materials for test takers and prospective students to better prepare ahead of time.

To gain an accurate gauge of service levels, we encourage students to look through social reviews of both IDP and British Council. The most common ones are Google reviews and Facebook reviews.

Get Prepared & Book Your IELTS Test & Score With IDP Today

Still wondering which course provider you should choose? Or perhaps you need guidance to select between the paper-based or computer-delivered test.

Fret not, we are here to help. Our IELTS experts will help assist you to make the right choice.

In addition, you also check out our whole host of IELTS resources available to guide you through the formats and get you as ready as possible for the tests.

These include our IELTS Expert Seminar, our Preparation Course and tips from IELTS experts to get started!

And once you are ready, book your IELTS test with us today!

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Published on January 26, 2024

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