IELTS Ripping 0ff Australia


IELTS has come under fire for corruption with test results being “fixed” for a price. WA criminal Justice Commission has found that IELTS Staff had excepted bribes to change the results to increase the scores allocated to various students. Not only are SEEK ripping off Australians by overcharging for the cost of the exam, the administration of the system is also seriously flawed.

The Government must now act to restore confidence in the system and dramaticly reduce the cost of the exams. IELTS licencing monopoly must be removed from SEEK IELTS Australia and the education department must develop its own testing regime independent from private sources. One that includes a section on basic Occupational Health and Safety language.

Thousands of foreign Students studying in Australia are being ripped off.

One of the statutory requirements in seeking an education in Australia or recognition of English language skills is for students and applicants to sit a IELTS – English Language Exam.

IELTS is a British Council sponsored certification test. There are wide criticisms about the test and its application to Australia, even its assessment level. The test which is also used for Immigration covers no practical assessment of Occupational Health and Safety requirements or procedures.

The test cost $317.00 to sit in Australia.

If you travel to other countries the test is considerable less, nearly half of what is charge in Australia. In the United States the test costs $185. In the US TESOL is the standard English exam.

In Australia IELTS has a virtual/Legislative monopoly. Elsewhere in the world IELTS testing is undertaken by the British Council, again the cost of the exam is half that charged Australian students.

We wrote to International Development Program (IDP) trading as IELTS Australia Pty Ltd (a subsidiary of SEEK) seeking an explanation as to why Australian students are charged more than their US/UK counterparts

IDP replied

This email address is designed for general enquiries about how the IELTS test works and is used as an aid to help potential candidates with their questions.

We are not in a position to offer comment regarding the IELTS test fee in different countries around the world.

IELTS Further Assist

The email address we contacted was the one provided on the IDP IELTS web site. The unnamed respondent did not consider it appropriate to forward the address of the relevant person who could explain why Australian students are being charged nearly twice as students in the USA and why the cost charged by IDP is twice the cost charged by The British Council in other counties.

In the absence of any information justifying why Australians are being over charged we have decided to forward our concerns to the Ministers for Immigration and Education, Trade Unions and the ACCC

6 thoughts on “IELTS Ripping 0ff Australia

  1. IELTS Australia's reply:

    Sent: Tuesday, 31 May 2011 14:08
    Subject: Follow up to enquiry

    Thank you for your enquiry regards the cost of sitting the IELTS test.

    The recommended price of an IELTS test is a fair reflection of the cost to administer the test in each country. The costs of labour and venues vary significantly across the world. These factors are taken into account when developing the local price for an IELTS test.

    IELTS Australia

  2. How good and secure is the IELTS test?

    There are reports here in Melbourne that students are paying $5,000 to get a favourable result as was the case in Perth. How is it that a student can sit the exam within weeks and in one test receive 7 and the second test 5 for the same subject? Subjective in deed. It is time Australia develops its own English standard test and allow IELTS to compete along with TOEFL.

  3. IDP has confirmed that the process, management, conduct and the marking of tests is not subject to the FOI Act.

    Is there transparency, accountability and integrity in the IELTS ???????

  4. Your right. But it is still subject to other legislation and discovery and subpoena notoie. Action can be made in VCAT under consumer law and in any court.

    Just as are speed cameras,

    IELTS is there worst own enemy. The system is clearly flawed as the WA royal commission found out. It is not about testing English it is about ding the test. They can fail or bring below any stud3ent deliberately oi order to force the student into setting the test a second or more times. There is no means of independently verifying the results of the assessment and the information provided by IELTS is no help either. They should have to publish statistics for each exam and the exam paper itself following the exam.

    It costs twice as much to do the exam in Australia as it does in say England. The USA or other countries.

    If I receive a few more complaints and interest in a class action then I will refer it to a law firm. The subpoena is a very powerful tool.

    The other thing that can be done is the Federal Government can legislate to ensure best practice. If they do not comply with government regulations then the test is not certified. So public outrage and a petition to te3 Parliament might help also.

    Interested parties my like to contact Getup and see if they will come on board.

    The Federal Government MUST also remove IELTS' monopoly and open it up to other certified language assessment exams.

    Again I think it will take a public campaign to force then to become open., transparent and accountable

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