November 8, 2023
Differences between Computer-Delivered and Paper-Based IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized exam that assesses your English language proficiency. 

No matter if you choose to take the computer-delivered or paper-based version of the test, they can have a significant impact on your experience. 

Here are the top 10 differences between computer-delivered and paper-based IELTS to help you make an informed decision.

FactorsComputer-Delivered IELTSPaper-Based IELTS
Test FormatThe entire test is conducted on a computer, including the writing and speaking sections.Test components, such as listening and reading, are conducted on paper.
Typing SkillsRequires basic typing skills for the writing section, making it beneficial for those comfortable with a keyboard.Handwriting skills are essential for all sections, which can be challenging for some test-takers.
Speaking TestThe speaking test is recorded and conducted via a computer with a headset and microphone.The speaking test is conducted in person with the presence of an examiner.
Results and FeedbackResults for the computer-delivered IELTS are usually available in 3-5 days, along with detailed feedback on each section.Results and feedback are typically available within 13 days, and feedback is less detailed than the computer-delivered version.
Listening SectionIn the computer-delivered version, listening questions are presented via headphones, allowing for a controlled audio environment.In the paper-based version, test-takers listen to audio recordings through speakers, which may make it more challenging to concentrate.
Question ReviewThe computer version allows test-takers to review and change answers during the test.In the paper-based version, once a section is completed, you cannot go back to review or change answers.
Test AvailabilityComputer-delivered IELTS is available more frequently and provides multiple test sessions per day.Paper-based IELTS is offered on specific dates and may have limited availability, especially in remote areas.
Environment ControlTest-takers can control their test environment, including screen brightness and volume.The test environment, such as lighting and seating, may vary depending on the test center.
Test NavigationComputer-delivered IELTS provides a user-friendlyinterface that allows easy navigation betweensections and questions.In the paper-based version, you need to flip pages in the test booklet, which can be less convenient.
Cancellation Policy The computer-delivered IELTS may offer more flexibility in rescheduling or cancelling tests.The paper-based version might have stricter cancellation policies and fees for changes.

The Final Note 

These differences between computer-delivered and paper-based IELTS can significantly impact your test-taking experience. 

Therefore, it is important to consider your personal preferences, strengths and comfort when choosing between the two formats. 

Whether you choose the computer-delivered or paper-based IELTS version, it assesses your english language proficiency accurately. Your choice mainly depends upon your individual testing needs and capabilities


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