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

21 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

  5. They striked my answers it writing test!!! How can I trust or believe them if they had erased or deliberately reduced my IELTS Reading Score too !!! I got rest all above 6 band score.Now I got stop eating for 2 months and start walking instead of using public transport to save another $330 for the next exam. I feel it’s Ramdhan starts now for me although I am not Muslim being a Hindu all I believe is one God. I came to Australia through IDP so my passport details and and all other might have passed to the IDP IELTS Australia as I was counselled and sent to a Private institute where the marketers said so many lies and the institute gave all wrong documents always. I got that IDP Sydney Counsellor who denied to help me after she try to asking me study in same institute till I get My Advanced Diploma which is worthless and hopeless.

  6. Funny thing is we can only complain to IELTS idp and there is no body that can monitor them. So they monitor themselves! This is serious as Australian migration strongly depends on this and unlike New Zealand, Australian government does not offer other avenues. This is not a huge problem for Academic Module as they only need 6-6.5 to get into Universities and some can just take English courses.

    I have created a facebook group for this purpose for those who have evidently been disadvantaged by Melbourne test centres in speaking or writing modules. I suggest that students with similar problems join my group and we find out a legal solution to this and make petition. Once we reach a significant number of members, we can make a website:

    My suggestions for this problem:

    1- Letting students review their writing answers if they submit for re-evaluation. We pay an extra 176 dollars for review and they simply decide. This is not transparent. They told me this is for security measures. What security measures exactly!!!!

    2- Appointing ombudsman or city council members to monitor IELTS IDP

    3- Department of Immigration and Citizenship could use other tests such as TOEFL or certified English courses to measure our English. Only migrants that have an occupation in the health science group are currently allowed to do that by OET test.

    Thank you for your time.

  7. It is obviously unfair I give you 2 examples in my own case. First one is today: I finished my speaking test on Thursday and I am sure that I did very well. Today was the writing,reading,listening part and I nailed that too. After the test, they asked about 20 of us to see the help desk and we got informed that the speaking has to be repeated. Why? Because they had difficulty in recording our voice while conducting the speaking test on Thursday. They told us you must come on the given time on Tuesday to repeat the test, as this is the only time that our examiners are available.

    There is no such thing given to us on terms and conditions. Nothing on their website as well you can check. I was given a date for my first test and they told me no repeat or rescheduling. How come they can do it? I did not agree to any term or condition for repeat. This is their fault and on no ground they have the right to ask me to repeat.

    Example 2: I have done the test 4 times. 3 times in Australia and once in Iran when I visited for holiday purposes. On my first attempt in Iran, I got speaking 8.5 writing 7 reading 7.5 listening 8. I repeated my test in Australia NMIT test centre. My result was writing 6.5 listening 8 reading 6.5 speaking 8. I practiced very hard and attempted for the third time after 5 months in June 2012. Result Writing 6.5 reading 8 listening 8.5 speaking 7.5.

    I got very angry and contacted IELTS Melbourne. They mentioned that this is being unlucky and questions are different and I gotta redo the test to do better. I did that 8 of December 2012. Results came out to be reading 9 listening 9 speaking 7.5 writing 6.5. I sent a complaint and asked for a review which I have not received about writing. And today was my last attempt which I have to wait and see.

    I have talked to many Australian previous examiners and did an intensive course with RMIT and practiced with IELTS-blog website. All of them believe that 6.5 is too low for my level.

    My question is how come I receive the same mark every single time for writing but nothing else?

  8. I sat the test two years ago for the first time, and got 8 for reading and 7-8 for speaking, listening and writing. Due to the results expiring soon(just who the heck made the decision that the results should only be valid for 3 years?) I sat the test for the second time recently and got 6 for reading and 7-8 for the rest. I was pretty sure that reading wasn’t a problem when I did the test – if you can fully comprehend the articles, there shouldn’t be a chance that you’ll only get a little more than half of the answers correct! I find the testing system extremely flawed, and there have been strange variations in test scores that are just beyond logic. And it simply costs too much to sit the test too. A results review would take 8 weeks and it doesn’t come cheap either, let alone the lack of transparency.

  9. IELTS is just a joke.

    It is so subjective, so representing your luck rather than your English skills.

    I’ll tell you one joke.
    My English teach went to IELTS test with her students (maybe for fun?) and she was a native speaker born in England and graduated an university in London. She got 9 for all subject except writing. Her writing score was 6.5..

  10. Here is my Ielts story:

    6 years ago I sat IELTS test at Deakin University in Melbourne on holiday, without knowing what the test stood for, and no practice at all. Just sat it because my sister would like me to come to Australia. I managed to get 6.5, 7.5, 7.5 and 6 for writing. 3 years later, I decided to study at RMIT, I resat the IELTS test, and this time I got 6.5, 7.5, 5.5 and 6. Two years ago, I retook the test again, still without any preparation class or practice but I received 8, 8, 7.5 & 6. The fourth time was three months, attended the test like a zombie due to lack of sleep and I got 8, 8.5, 6.5 & 7. Yay, finally i got 7 in writing. This time, I enrolled in a preparation class for 5 weeks. Practising all the modules intensively. Had never ever done that much reading or writing in my life. And the result? 9, 7, 6.5, 6.5.
    I will resit again in two weeks time. If I fail again, I probably give up IELTS test and and life in Melbourne.

  11. I have done IELTS test for more than 10 times. It is really frustrating and stressful. I feel so terrible about myself wondering how can I be this terrible? I have studied English in school and have been studying in Australia for 5 years. The country is trying to help people reduce stress but guess what this is one of the reason people are sent to psych ward for suicidal attempts, depression and so on. I lost my job because I couldn’t renew my registration and I graduated as a registered nurse but im unable to practice for the same reason. I have asked for a remark with an outcome of zero. Emailed further assist, all they say is that results are final and they said their examiners and markers are professional and they go through so and so training. I don’t care what training you go through. I needed a 7 in each component and unlucky me I got a 6.5 in reading. How much does a person have to go through to get that 0.5 mark? And for that ridiculous 0.5 mark I have to redo the test where it could just be 1 mistake in that reading test? Where is the humanity? Are they all trained in an army to just kill kill and kill with no sympathy? On top of that, they are overcharging us for the fees! What if their children or grandchildren were going through the same thing? Will they sit and tell them ‘ its your luck, you just gotta work harder’? Policies are man made, humanity comes within. These people are so into their policy and procedures they lost their humanity. I have seen nurses and doctors who can only speak English just enough to function, trust me I have seen worst but THEY ARE PRACTICING IN THE MEDICAL FIELD! I believe Australia lost heaps of great people due to these requirements. Something has to be done, I am sick and tired with IELTS. I am looking forward for my OET test. Enough money wasted on them ridiculous people!

  12. Kesha. If you want send me an email and I will hook you up with an IELTS trainer who may be able to help you cross the line. The test is more about the test than it is about English. Interested persons should consider a class action lawsuit to force IELTS to drop their price and provide more information or detailed independent assessment of the test results. – All the best.

  13. The is a not only complete rip off student’s hard earned money but their precious time as well. I have appeared 7 times for this test in order to achieve 7 bands in each format. Listening and reading formats were the only formats in which my scores kept changing. While in writing and listening formats i never scored less than 7. This morning i received my most recent test result and i was taken aback knowing that i flunked for the first time in speaking format while i received 7.5, 7.5, 8 in reading , listening and writing formats respectively. Now the take away from this result is quite clear, this is being done intentionally. If this goes on like this , soon i will have to give up the hopes to pursue my career in Australia.

  14. I have taken the ielts test since I arrived in AU.I need a 7 in all bands in one sitting to work here.the first test i received a l-7.5 r-5.5 w-6.0 s-8.5 so i retook the test after doing a ielts course with a professor and scores were l-6.0 r-w-s stayed the same.I have ask for a re-mark and they want to charge $176.00 and stated they would send the test to Australia to be re-marked.Well I am not stupid,I took the test in Australia.The cost is wrong in AU $330.00 while US pays $195.00. If I can,t work until I get 7 in all bands,how do they expect people to pay for it?I have spoke English all my life so why am I so dump not to get 7,s?A lot of persons working in the medical field can,t speak English.How do they get the score they need?????I can not afford to keep taking the test and IELTS knows they have you where they want you.Just to keep taking money.If I was a refuge or criminal I would not have any problems working here.

  15. I dont have money to take again this test.. all money i had put in immigration, also AIS certified my dcouments for austrlian immigration but this enlgish really making me mad.. they are testing I am INTELLIGENT OR NOT. they are not testing my english. testing my IQ … i hate australia.. or give me chance to prove my self.. I earn and create more job opportunity in AUSTRALIA. anybody from govt of australia here. please help me to migrate to australia ..

  16. To most of the posters on this thread complaining about their scores.

    Reading the English in your comments it seems quite clear why you have been marked at competent English speakers, and not proficient.

    Quite frankly competent is a compliment to some of you…

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