One of the strangest things I have heard from students goes something like this:
”I’m going to book my test with IDP, the examiners give higher marks.”
”I’m doing my test with the BC because the examiners there help you more and are very friendly.”
Have you heard this before? It seems that most students have an opinion. One student will say that one is better than the other and then in the next class you will hear someone say the exact opposite. It is always someone’s friend’s cousin’s auntie did it there and she said blah blah blah……… However, no one has any real evidence that one is ‘better’ than the other.
I have worked at one of these schools and I have friends who are examiners at the other and I can tell you that your test experience will be exactly the same at both. Why? The examiners are all trained in the exact same way and use the exact same criteria to grade your performance. They are also checked by more senior examiners using the exact same criteria.
You could go to the BC in the morning and do your speaking test there and then do a second speaking test at IDP in the afternoon and your scores should be the same. If they are different, it is because you performed better in one of them, not because the examiners were better or worse.
So why do these rumours persist? It is simple. When people fail at something they like to look for someone to blame. It is very easy to say that it was the examiner’s fault, your teacher’s fault or the school’s fault, but it is very difficult to admit that maybe you just are not ready to get the score you need or maybe you didn’t work hard enough.
Blaming the British Council or IDP for not getting the score you need is like blaming the electricity company for your lights not working when you didn’t pay the bill. Your friend’s lights might be on- the electricity company provides the exact same service to both of you- but they paid their bill.
Good students don’t make excuses or blame other people, they work hard and get the scores they deserve.