IDP Vs British Council 2024: Which IELTS Test Is Easier IDP or British Council?

When you’re thinking about going to study or work in another country, and you need to show that you’re good at English, two important options are IDP and the British Council.

I’ve been in the same boat, and I know how confusing it can be.

Numerous such individuals are unaware that they are unique.

Additionally, there is a widespread misconception that certification via IDP is only valid in Australia and that certification through the British Council is only valid in the United Kingdom.

Which is the better option for IELTS, IDP, or British Council? To be quite candid, there is no difference between taking the test through IDP or British Council.

Both have identical grading standards.

The exam is valid in Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, among other nations, regardless of whether the test is administered by the IDP or British Council. 

So, let’s dive into IDP and the British Council, understand what they offer, and see how they can make your dreams of studying or working abroad come true – just like they did for me.

What Is IDP?

IDP Education Limited is an international education organization that places students in Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and Canada.

IDP has over 100 locations in 31 countries and employs over 550 counselors. IDP Australia collaborates with the University of Cambridge’s ESOL Examinations and the British Council to provide IELTS assessments.

In 2018, over 3 million IELTS exams were administered globally, and over 10,000 organizations, including governments for immigration assessment, colleges for admissions, and employers and professional registration authorities, relied on IELTS.

IDP Vs British Council IDP

IELTS Australia Pty Ltd is responsible for the management of a network of over 200 IELTS test centers in over 35 countries.

There are more than 1000 IELTS test centers worldwide. Anyone interested in passing the IELTS as part of their application for a visa to study or work abroad should consult their preferred destination country’s government website (Immigration pages).

Each destination country designates certified IELTS test centers and often mentions the minimum grade necessary by the immigration office.

What Is British Council?

The British Council is a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom that promotes cultural and educational opportunities worldwide.

It operates in over 100 countries, fostering a greater understanding of the United Kingdom and the English language (and, in Argentina, the Welsh language); and encouraging cultural, scientific, technical, and educational cooperation with the United Kingdom.

The organization has been referred to as a soft power extension of the United Kingdom’s foreign strategy.

The British Council is a not-for-profit organization controlled by the Royal Charter. Additionally, it is a public company and a non-departmental executive body (NDPB) supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

Its headquarters are located in London’s Stratford district.

IDP Vs British Council British Council

Stevie Spring serves as chair and Scott McDonald as CEO.

In 2014–15, the British Council earned £ 973 million in total revenue, which was primarily comprised of £ 154.9 million in grant-in-aid from the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office; £ 637 million in revenue from fees and teaching and examinations services; and £ 164 million in revenue from contracts.

The British Council works in over 100 countries to increase awareness of the United Kingdom and the English language;

  • To foster cultural, scientific, technological, and educational understanding and cooperation;
  • To transform people’s lives through access to UK education, skills, qualifications, culture, and society;
  • To attract and engage people who matter to the United Kingdom’s future by introducing them to the country’s culture, educational opportunities, and diverse, modern, open society.

In 2014–15, the British Council spent £ 489 million on increasing English language proficiency; £ 238 million on fostering educational collaboration and advancing education; £ 155 million on developing capacity for social change; £ 80 million on fostering cultural, scientific, and technological cooperation; and £ 10 million on governance, tax, and trading expenses.

What Is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS /a.lts/) is a globally recognized standardized assessment of English language competency for non-native English speakers.

It was founded in 1989 and is jointly supervised by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English. IELTS is one of the most widely used English language assessments worldwide.

IELTS is approved by the majority of academic institutions in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Ireland, and New Zealand, as well as over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States and several professional organizations worldwide.

IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test (SELT) that has been authorized by the UKVI for visa applicants outside and within the UK.


It also satisfies the standards for immigration to Australia, where the TOEFL and Pearson Test of English Academic are approved, as well as New Zealand. IELTS, TEF, or CELPIP are all recognized by the Canadian immigration office.

There is no minimum passing score for the exam. Each test taker receives an IELTS result or Test Report Form with a score ranging from “band 1” (“non-user”) to “band 9” (“advanced user”), and each institution has a distinct cut-off point.

Additionally, a “band 0” score is assigned to individuals who did not try the exam. Institutions are recommended to disregard reports that are older than two years unless the user can demonstrate that they have worked to maintain their level.

 Major differences between the British Council and IDP

Here is the difference between the British Council and IDP

1. Fee and Format:

The exam cost is the same whether you register through British Council or IDP. There is no difference in pricing for IDP and British Council , regardless of whether they are Academic or General versions or whether they are pen-and-paper or computerized.

2. Availability of Test Date:

Choose a center depending on the available dates. You must take the exam with sufficient preparation and confidence. You should base your decision on that. Therefore, find a center that provides the date you choose.

3. Availability of Equipment:

The majority of test-takers choose to utilize headphones for the Listening exam to focus more effectively. Before making a trip to the test center, verify that the equipment is available.

4. Proximity:

The closest exam center to the residence must be picked. You may report well in advance and focus on other vital tasks rather than picking a test center (of your choice) that is too far away and ending up weary upon arrival.

5. Accents Used:

While the British Council is British and IDP is Australian, both are indifferent to IELTS. The examiner may originate from any nation and speak in any dialect. Similarly, the examinee may employ any accent.

6. IELTS Examiners:

Examiners for both the IDP and the British Council get the same training. The Listening and Reading assessments are graded based on right or incorrect responses.

You are graded based on the number of accurate responses. As a result, the examiner does not play a unique function in these instances.

In contrast, the examiner is a significant factor in the Writing and Speaking examinations. Examiners for the British Council and IDP both finish the same course and use the same scoring standards.

Additionally, they are monitored regularly for how they assess.

7. Nature of The Test:

The Cambridge English Language Assessment creates the test’s questions. Thus, whether you take the British Council or IDP exam does not make a difference.

Clearing a Few Misconceptions Regarding the British Council and IDP

Students are led astray by misconceptions. Choosing between the two IELTS test-conducting organizations exposes pupils to a variety of fallacies that they hold dear –

  • IDP registration is necessary just for travel to Australia, whereas the British Council registration is required for travel to the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Individuals who grade papers are unique.
  • IDP is very liberal with marking, but the British Council is quite demanding.

There is no such distinction in the marking of IELTS exams administered by IDP or the British Council and Cambridge English Language Assessment. In general, it corresponds to the IELTS exam administered by these two organizations.

The marking procedure for the IELTS test is the same in both exams conducting organizations since they both adhere to the same set of norms and instructions for exam checking.

There is no such leniency when it comes to the designation of IDPs or British Councils.

How To Choose Between British Council and IDP?

Now is the moment to bring the notion to a close. Thousands of students sit for the IELTS, some to pursue further education overseas or permanently relocating to another country.

However, many applicants are unsure which organization to choose while enrolling for the IELTS exam. Allow me to state unequivocally that there is no such distinction between the two groups.

Thus, you may pick from any of the IELTS testing firms, which will provide you with a list of possible dates and locations for the computer-delivered examinations.

  • Choose a test date that gives you confidence in your language abilities.
  • Select a testing center that provides headphones instead of the listening module’s speakers so that you may focus on the audio clip.
  • Choose a location for the center that is closer to your house. You may select any organization for the IELTS test; however, staying nearby helps you remain stress-free before the exam.

FAQs On IDP Vs British Council

Do the IDP listening examinations include recordings with a variety of accents or are they identical to those administered by the British Council?

Cambridge English Language Assessment, not IDP or the British Council, devised and collated the Listening exams and other IELTS modules. All IELTS examinations include a range of accents. As a result, applicants are expected to familiarize themselves with various accents before taking the exam.

Is there a difference in the cost of the IELTS exam whether it is scheduled via IDP or the British Council?

There is no difference in the IELTS exam cost regardless of whether you book via IDP or the British Council. However, the difference in exam costs will vary by nation. The amount you pay via any of these websites will be the same. However, the fee for taking the IELTS exam in India will be different from the fee for taking the test in the UAE.

Will the IELTS test be difficult if I register via British Council?

It is the same whether you register for the IELTS exam online via the IDP's official website or the British Council's website. There will be no change in the IELTS test's difficulty level.

Are there countries that prefer IDP or British Council?

It is a myth that nations favor candidates who have taken the IELTS test via IDP or the British Council. Consider Canada. It accepts both immigration and study visas in addition to its own internationally recognized language entry examinations.

What is the exam fee for both organizations?

Both exams conducting bodies charge the same cost, i.e. INR 14,000 in both organizations. Additionally, the charge is the same for both paper-based and computer-delivered IELTS examinations.

Is IDP IELTS valid in Canada for a student visa?

Yes, both the IDP and British Council IELTS are recognized in Canada for student visas and admittance to Canadian institutions and colleges, as well as for Canadian immigration. Therefore, there is no need to be perplexed by these two organizations; just schedule your exam.

Are the British Council and IDP the same?

Both organizations, IDP and British Council, are identical in terms of content and labeling. However, when it comes to infrastructure, there is little variation in the availability of IELTS centers. In India, there are more IDP IELTS test centers than British Council test centers. As a result, it has a greater number of testing locations and dates.

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Final Verdict: IDP Vs British Council 2024

Both these platforms are capable of taking you to great heights. All you have to do is work hard with them; the rest depends on you.

IDP and the British Council are good choices for taking English language tests like IELTS. IDP has many test centers worldwide, making it convenient for people in various places. The British Council is well-known for IELTS and has helpful study materials.

IDP is known for its global reach and widespread test center availability, making it convenient for test-takers in various locations. On the other hand, the British Council is closely associated with the IELTS test and is often seen as a reliable source for test preparation materials.

Your choice between them depends on where you are, what’s convenient, and what you prefer. Either way, both can help you succeed in your English language tests.

Also, here are a few FAQs that can help you find a little more clarity.

Kashish Babber
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Kashish is a B.Com graduate, who is currently follower her passion to learn and write about SEO and blogging. With every new Google algorithm update she dives in the details. She's always eager to learn and loves to explore every twist and turn of Google's algorithm updates, getting into the nitty-gritty to understand how they work. Her enthusiasm for these topics' can be seen through in her writing, making her insights both informative and engaging for anyone interested in the ever-evolving landscape of search engine optimization and the art of blogging.

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