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Several prospective immigrants and international students struggle to get past the 'English barrier' in their pursuit to move to countries such as Australia, where English is the first language. Some desperate ones may be forking out upto $22,000, just to cross this one hurdle.
By
Shamsher Kainth

4 Nov 2015 - 12:07 AM  UPDATED 4 Nov 2015 - 12:07 AM

An investigation by SBS Punjabi radio now reveals that there are 'operators' in India who promise the desired IELTS score in exchange of money.

During the course of this investigation, SBS Punjabi Radio came across an agent in Chandigarh. This correspondent, posing as someone who desperately needed to pass IELTS test, spoke to him. Following the initial reference check, the agent readily agreed to arrange for a 7 band score for Rs. 1,000,000, or approximately, AUD 22,000, half of which before and remaining half after the 'job is done'.

Listen to the exclusive report in Punjabi HERE

"Rs. 7- 7.5 Lakh if you want 6 bands, for seven bands it will be Rs. 1,000,000. The price has now come down, we used to charge much more earlier," said the agent. 

"Rs. 7- 7.5 Lakh if you want 6 bands, for seven bands it will be Rs. 1,000,000. The price has now come down, we used to charge much more earlier," said the agent. 

When asked if there were any risks involved, the agent said it was a 'foolproof' job. He said he had already helped many people, including some in Australia.

When asked how it would be done, he told this correspondent to transfer Rs. 25,000 ($550) to book two test spots, one for the actual candidate and another one for someone else. 

On pressing further, he revealed that he works in cahoots with the staff at the IELTS test centre. 

"The camera will be on you. The other seat ... I can't tell you everything over the phone. But, I will be with you at the test centre, and you will yourself see how I distribute cash among the staff. Everything happens with their complicity."

"The camera will be on you. The other seat ... I can't tell you everything over the phone. But, I will be with you at the test centre, and you will yourself see how I distribute cash among the staff. Everything happens with their complicity."

The agent also said that he had done this for someone based in Melbourne who required 7 bands in all four modules of IELTS, for Rs. 1,600,000 ($35,000 approx.). SBS Punjabi Radio is not revealing the identity of this person. 

It's not just IELTS, another English language test, PTE, which is accepted in several countries including Australia, can also be allegedly manipulated. 

Another agent who operates IELTS and PTE coaching academy in India, told SBS Punjabi Radio that desired score could be arranged in the test. However, he could arrange it if the candidate could sit for a test in a particular test centre in Dubai.