Should I book IELTS at British Council or IDP?

The following three questions may arise in your mind when you are going to register for IELTS:

In this case, we can confirm you that there is no difference between the IELTS test at the British Council and in IDP. Because both IDP and British Council examiners, are following the same guidelines.

Who owns IELTS

Both IDP and the British Council are part owners of IELTS along with Cambridge English Language Assessment. This means they are all one company. Learn more about IELTS Test.

Test difficulty level

IDP and British Council conduct IELTS tests but they do not write them. All tests used at the BC and IDP are compiled by Cambridge English Language Assessment who is one of the joint owners of IELTS. This means you will get the same tests if you are at British Council or IDP.

Examiners and marking

All examiners for IELTS, both IDP and British Council examiners, are trained in the same way and following the same guidelines.

Listening and Reading answers are marked clerically. They are based on right or wrong answers. Each right answer gives one point and your score is calculated based on the number of right answers. So, this never differs between test centers.

Writing and Speaking are marked by an examiner. All IELTS examiners, for both IDP and BC, complete the same training course, follow the same marking criteria and also the same band score descriptors. Examiners are also checked regularly to ensure they are not marking too high or too low.


IDP is Australian and British Council is British but they both use a range of accents. In the listening test, you will get a range of accents (even American sometimes). In the speaking test, the examiner could come from any country and have any accent. You can use any accent you want in your speaking test: Australian, British or American.

How to choose a test center

  1. Choose a test center close to your home.
  2. The listening, reading and writing test is 2 hours and 40 mins. You will need to arrive at your test center feeling fresh and ready to concentrate. Choosing a test center near your home will help you do this.
  3. Check if the listening test uses speakers or head phones.
  4. Most students prefer to use head phones because they can concentrate better. You might want to check with your test center which they use.
  5. Available test dates in IDP or British Council.
  6. Decide which center offers you the test date you want. You should always take the test date when your IELTS skills and English language is strongest. Also make sure you frequently hit the score you want in practice tests before booking your real test.

How do I register for IELTS?

Related IELTS Resources

Take a practice test to find out what is your current weakness in terms of IELTS scale and allow more time to improve your weak spots. The following IELTS resources will help you to develop your skills faster:

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