The IELTS result is displayed after 13 days from the exam date. The provisional results are displayed at the respective websites of IDP and British Council which enables the students to know their scores before the actual TRF is received.
The timings of declaring the results for both the organizations vary but the format of the displayed result remains same. For IDP, login details such as passport number or date of birth are sufficient but for British Council, the reference number has to be logged in. these provisional results are only for reference, hence cannot be in used in place of the TRF for official documentation.
One personal copy of TRF is sent to the exam center or to the student, depending upon the details filled by the student before the exam. Otherwise five copies are generated for the TRF which are not directly given to the students, but sent to the universities or other institutions wherever required.
The content of the provisional result and TRF also differs a bit. While the provisional result will only be stating the band scores received in the exam, TRF will be an official document bearing the logos of IDP, British Council and the University of Cambridge along with the candidate’s photograph, candidate details, result and the center and validation stamps.
The preview of the provisional result might be removed from the website after a prescribed number of days. IDP often displays the result for 28 days and British Council for 40 days. In some areas both these organizations also have SMS facilities to inform the students of their result.