IDP Vs British Council IELTS Exam. The Confusion!!!

Students are confused about whether to write an IDP IELTS exam or British Council IELTS exam. Many of them have the misconception that they have different checking criteria. Some believe the British Council to be fair in checking, while others think IDP offers the best exam results.

You know who’s right?


Both are the same. They mirror another. Whether you sit for the IELTS IDP exam or go for the British Council IELTS exam, you will be marked based on your English proficiency.

Also, check. Does the IELTS exam location matter?

If you are not ready and still giving your IELTS exam, you may be disappointed with the result. You will keep hopping from the British Council to IDP or even the location of your IELTS exam, but finally, you will give up without realizing what you are missing. 

You are missing the right mindset and preparation it requires to score your desired band in the IELTS exam.

We meet a lot of students with the same mindset and there’s how we start to work on. Firstly, the mindset needs to be transformed. Until the thoughts and vision are clear, the view will be blurred and Visa looks like a distant dream.

Don’t forget IELTS = VISA

Students need to understand what works in IELTS and what doesn’t. They should start their preparation by evaluating their weaknesses in the mind. This process acts as a guidebook to steer their efforts in the right direction.

Listening/ Reading –

This is the band score parameter of IELTS. If you are getting Listening & Reading scores that you need CONSISTENTLY… CONSISTENTLY means CONSISTENTLY, not once or twice. You should be less worried about your Listening and Reading Band. The trick is you have to prepare from the Official and authorized IELTS material or Cambridge IELTS books to have the real idea of the test difficulty. 

If you are getting the scores need for your Study Visa or Immigration purposes, chances are you might not get them in the exam as well. Don’t gamble with your hard-earned money. On the exam day, you will not magically manifest the powers to get you the score you desire. It needs patience and hard work to crack the IELTS exam if you are having difficulty in your English communication.

Below the band, calculator to see the real-time estimate of your scores.

Official IELTS Band Score of Listening and Reading Academic and Reading GT
IELTS Listening and Reading (Academic and General Training) Band Descriptor

Writing –

Regarded as the toughest module of all 4 and as a nightmare of most of the IELTS test takers, the average band score in writing around the world is 5.5 band. It’s not hard to score your desired band if you know or have an idea what IELTS examiners look in your writing test.

Writing is judged on the 4 parameters. They are worth to study. Most students, who are tired and have given many IELTS exam but are still stuck in their writing band score, should seriously consider working on those 4 parameters. They are designed and published on the IELTS website for the students.

Many General Training students do the same mistake. Their writing score is 7 minimum if they want to boost their CRS score for Canada Immigration or 7-8 band for Australia Immigration. They also ignore to study and keep on writing the exam and most often get stuck on 6.5 band.

Remember –

IELTS Writing TASK 1 = 3 Band

IELTS Writing TASK 2 = 6 Band

Most students do the mistake of focusing more on TASK 2 and almost forgetting to prepare Task 1. The Task, although, carries less band, but it’s equally or probably more important to get minimum 6 bad for Academic test takers and 7 for GT test takers.

Below are the 4 parameters for Task 1 and Task 2 that the examiner uses to evaluate your writing score.

Official Writing TASK 1 and TASK 2 band descriptors

IELTS Graphs/Letters Task -1 Band Descriptors about all 4 writing parameters in details for good band score

IELTS Essay Task -2 Band Descriptors about all 4 writing parameters in details for good band score

Each parameter is further marked on band 9.

For instance –

  1. Task Achievement – 9
  2. Coherence and Cohesion – 9
  3. Lexical Resource (Vocabulary) – 9
  4. Grammar Range and Accuracy – 9

The examiner totals all 4 band and divides by 4 and the scores then are calculated. 

The same goes for Task 2.

It’s, however, not clear how they calculate the ratio of both the module score that prints on your TRF (Test Report Form).

Below is a rough estimate.

IELTS Writing Score Calculator of Task -1 and Task -2
Source –

Example: If you get 5.5/9 in Task 1 and 6/9 in Task 2, you get 6 band overall in writing.

That’s a rough estimate.

Speaking –

Many IELTS test takers have glossophobia and their fear controls them when they walk into the speaking room. IELTS Speaking is a one-to-one interview and it’s designed to judge a candidate on 4 different parameters. Since you are planning to go to EFL (English as a First Language) country, you need to know about English speaking. 

It’s also designed on 4 different parameters. As usual, most of the IELTS students don’t give any attention to the parameter and keep on doing whatever they love to do. Sometimes, some students get good improvement, even without knowing, but that’s rare. Most students get stuck on their band score.

Below is the public version of the IELTS Speaking parameter. Its calculation is similar to writing. All the 4 parameters are judged on band 9 independently and then are divided by 4 to calculate your overall 7 speaking band score.

IELTS Speaking Band Descriptors about all 4 writing parameters in details for good band score

I hope this article has given you an idea of why IDP or British Council doesn’t matter. You need to have a good command of your English to have the desired band in your kitty.



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