The IELTS test is available in two formats: computer-based and paper-based. You might be wondering what the distinctions are and which one you should choose. In this blog, we answer the most frequently asked questions concerning the two exam formats so you can make the best decision possible.
We also give advice on how to prepare for either the computer-delivered test or the paper-based test using our Free IELTS Preparation tools once you’ve chosen your decision. Are you interested in learning more? Continue reading!
Is there a Difference Between a Computer-Delivered Test and a Paper-Based Test?
Both yes and no! The computer-based IELTS exam differs from the paper-based IELTS test in various respects, although many aspects of both test formats are the same.
What Distinguishes the Computer-Delivered Test from the Paper-Based Test?
To begin, the computer-delivered test is completed on a computer rather than with a pen and paper. This is the primary distinction between the two exam formats.
In a computer-delivered test, you read and answer questions on a screen and finish the test using a keyboard and mouse. To take the exam on a computer, you do not need any specific technical expertise, and there is personnel available at the test centre to assist you with any technical questions you may have. However, you are unlikely to have many questions because taking the test on a computer is quite user-friendly!
You can mark material and take notes on the screen during the Listening, Reading, and Writing sessions. Watch these helpful IELTS computer-delivered test video instructions to learn more about how the computer-delivered exam format works.
Instead of writing on a piece of paper, you type your replies throughout the writing exercises. It’s helpful to know that there’s a word counter on the screen so you can keep track of how far you’ve gotten in the work.
Your Results: Computer-Delivered vs. Paper-Based
The time it takes to obtain your results is one of the major differences between the exam types. The results of computer-delivered IELTS tests are accessible 3 to 5 days following the test date, whereas paper-based IELTS test results take 13 days.
Test Frequency: Computer-Delivered vs. Paper-Based
The frequency of the tests is another distinction between the two forms. IELTS examinations on paper are offered four times a month (3 Saturdays and 1 Thursday). Computer-based examinations are more widely available, with some test centres offering sessions up to three times a day, seven days a week, giving you more options for when you can take the test. Visit our IELTS registration page to look for exam dates and places.
What is the Difference Between a Computer-Delivered Test and a Paper-Based Test?
Format of the Examination
Both test types have the same material. Furthermore, both the computer and paper assessments have a face-to-face speaking test (either in person or over a video call). Both forms of the exam are administered at a secure approved British Council test centre, providing you with the ideal atmosphere in which to perform at your best.
Is the Computer-Based Test More Difficult Than the Paper-Based Test?
This is a frequently asked question! The computer-delivered IELTS exam is not easier (or more difficult) than the paper-based IELTS test because the material is the same.
Is it Necessary for me to Have my Own Computer to Take the Computer-Delivered Test?
No, because the computer-delivered test is taken at an approved testing centre, you will not require your own computer. You will be provided with a computer and headphones (for the listening test). There will be separators between you and the other test takers so that you may finish your test in peace and without interruptions.
So, Should I Take the Computer-Assisted Exam or the Paper-Based Exam?
This decision will be based on how you like to take an English language competency exam. Do you prefer typing your responses or writing them down on a piece of paper? It is preferable to take the test with which you are most familiar. It’s a good idea to try out both computer-delivered and paper-based practise examinations to discover which one you prefer.
One reminder: if you need your findings sooner, the computer-delivered test may be a better alternative, as it takes 3 to 5 days to receive them.
Is There Anything Special I Should Do to Prepare for The Computer-Assisted Test?
Because the substance of both exams is the same, you may use any of our IELTS preparation materials to familiarise yourself with the test structure. Take IELTS practice exams in both forms to get a feel for the different types of assessments.
I’m All Set to Take My Exam. How Can I Identify Test Dates That Are Available?
If you’re ready to take your exam, go to our registration page to see when the next IELTS Test is Scheduled. Icons for computer-delivered testing and paper-based testing will be displayed at each test centre. Both forms of the test are available at many of our test centres. There are over 100 IELTS test venues in Canada, spread over 50 cities, so you’re sure to find one near you! Best wishes!