August 15, 2022
Paper or Computer-Delivered IELTS? Read this before you choose!
Paper or Computer-Delivered IETLS? Read this before you choose!

Before you get the wrong idea, I’m not pitting the Paper-based IELTS Test against the Computer-delivered IELTS here. First of all, the tests are identical in terms of content, test format, question types, and time allocated to each test part. Secondly, this does not mean they’re completely identical. The tests have some minor differences which seem insignificant but can prove to be critical in deciding your score.

You must make the right choice. Before you reach the end of this blog post, you will be equipped with the knowledge to do so.

The Speaking Test will be carried out face-to-face with a trained IELTS Examiner regardless of your choice.

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Thank your stars for this one. Can you recount the times you tried Audio-to-text or instructed Siri and ended up with horrible results? A trained IELTS Trainer will be assigned to you for this part of the test. They will begin their assessment with some routine small talk and inform you before they begin the test. What you say from there on and how you say it decides your speaking test score.

The Reading Test

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If you need to make notes while solving this section, I’d strongly advise you to opt for the Paper-based IELTS. You can’t make notes or underline or draw on a computer. Not to forget screen fatigue is a genuine cause of concern that might mess with your performance. However, if you’re tech-savvy and don’t mind solving this section without any notes — The Computer-based test is the one for you.

The Listening Test

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The biggest advantage of opting for the paper-based test is the allotment of extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. You do not get this option in the Computer-based test as you’re required to mark the answers instantly. If the thought of being on a strict time limit is anxiety-inducing, do not consider the Computer-based IELTS! Go with the Pen and paper test. Anxiety can derail your entire preparation. Those extra 10 minutes might just be what you need!

To Type or To Write…That is the question.

Do you write like a doctor?

If you write like a doctor, I will advise you to opt for the Computer-delivered test without a second thought. I’m sorry but ineligible handwriting will make you lose marks.

Handwriting matters.

Examiners probably go through hundreds of papers per day and if they don’t understand your handwriting, they’ll be unable to give you a good score through no fault of their own.

Now for those with legible handwriting, Writing Section is still easier in the Computer-delivered test. The automated word count is displayed as you complete your task, unlike the paper-based test where you have to physically count the words to ensure you don’t cross the word limit.

The Bottom line is that the suitability of the test formats depends on your preferences and individual strengths.

Ready to take the leap? If you’d like personalised IELTS advice, feel free to reach out to me!


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