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The difference between IELTS, the British Council and IDP

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Today I’d like to clarify how IELTS, British Council and IDP are related, because many students and future immigrants were asking me this question “What is the difference between IELTS, IDP and the British Council and who has the easiest exams?”.

IELTS was invented by the University of Cambridge, British Council and IDP all together. It so happens that in certain countries the British Council is in charge of IELTS exams and in other countries IDP runs IELTS exams, and then there are countries where both the British Council and IDP offer IELTS exams, which people find confusing and are not sure where to go.

The most important thing for you to know is that the IETS exams are the same worldwide, it doesn’t matter who supervises the test, the British council or IDP. We have seen many times that in two different countries people have got the same questions and topics.

As to scoring, there are two parts of the IELTS exam that are clerically marked – it means that your Answer Sheet is being checked by people who have clear instructions what answers are to be considered correct and incorrect. These two parts are the Reading and Listening tests and for those it doesn’t matter who does the grading.

As for the other two parts, namely Writing and Speaking, it is not that simple. In some countries people are telling me that the exams at IDP are easier than at the British Council, but since the exams are the same, it can only mean one thing – the staff, the examiners who do the grading of Writing and Speaking are giving more favorable marks, compared to staff elsewhere. This is the only explanation I can think of.

What do you think? Leave a comment, let me know.

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