You can choose to take IELTS on a computer for both the General Training and Academic tests. The test format, question types, time allocated to each test part and content is the same for both IELTS on computer test and the IELTS on paper test. The only difference is in your test day experience. If you choose to complete your IELTS test on a computer, you will do the Reading, Listening, and Writing parts of the test using a computer. All answers will be typed on the screen. You will also be able to write notes on a notes sheet during the Listening test.
The IELTS Speaking remains the same, with a face-to-face interview with an examiner.
Taking IELTS on a computer has many benefits. For example, your results arrive a lot faster. With IELTS on computer your results will be available within 3 to 5 days.
If you choose to take IELTS on computer, you will take the Listening, Reading and Writing test parts using a computer. However, IELTS on computer test is now available on selected test centers only.
If you choose to take the IELTS on paper, you will complete the Listening, Reading and Writing test parts on paper.
The Speaking test for both paper and computer are face to face with an examiner. This is the best way to measure your speaking skills as it takes a more realistic approach: a life-like conversation with an examiner.
Making notes while taking IELTS on computer
IELTS on computer provides a note-taking and highlight function. You can try these functions on the familiarisation tests that IDP provides here. You can also write notes on the login details sheet you receive at the beginning of the test.
The Listening, Reading, and Writing parts of the test are completed immediately after each other on the same day. In some test centres, you will sit the Speaking test on the same day, or up to 7 days before or after your test date.
If you take IELTS on computer, the Speaking test will be taken on the same day, either before, or after the other three parts of the test.
Is it difficult do it on computer
Some test takers find it more convenient to take the test on computer because of their familiarity in using the computer in their work or study. Ultimately, the option to take the test on computer or paper depends on the test takers’ preference.
If you’re familiar with the paper test, you might notice a few changes between the paper test and the computer test. The obvious change is the paper tests uses a pencil, while in the computer test you type. The order of the test is different and the Listening test is shorter. Also, you get headphones for the Listening test. What hasn’t changed is the Speaking test.
Pencil or keyboard?
The test takers give you a pencil and an answer sheet for IELTS on paper. You need to write your answers on the answer sheet before the time runs out. With IELTS on computer, you type your answers in the corresponding boxes on your screen. They will still give you a pencil or pen and paper to make notes – even if you do IELTS on computer. Are you concerned about not typing fast enough? There’s no need to worry: the computer test is designed for people with normal typing skills. If you can write an email, you can do the test on a computer.
The order of the test is different
The IELTS on paper starts with Writing, then Listening, and finally Reading. Most test centres may offer your Speaking test on a different day. In the IELTS test on computer, the Speaking test takes place on the same day, either before or after your computer test.
The Listening test is shorter
If you’ve done an IELTS test on paper before, you may remember that you need to write your answers in the question booklet while you listen to the recording. So, in the paper test, you get 10 minutes at the end of the Listening section to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. In the computer test, you type your answers in their appropriate places on the screen. You do get time between sections to check your answers, but no extra time at the end. Because you’ve already completed your answers, the 10 minutes is not needed. Besides, you won’t miss it.
The exam venue
Have you done a paper test before? If so, you might remember that IELTS on paper tests are usually conducted in a larger room. Sometimes at a university, or at a hotel which is centrally located. IELTS on computer tests are done in smaller, custom-built, brand-new rooms. Everything in the test room is designed for your comfort.
Why do IELTS on computer?
There are a few reasons why you should do IELTS on computer. Most importantly, you get your results back in 3-5 days. Also, you don’t have to wait to do your test. You can book your test today, and get your results next week. That’s great if you need to prove your English language score for migration or study. But, there are a few more reasons.
With IELTS on computer you get your results in 3-5 days. So, if you need your results urgently for a visa application or to study at a university, book IELTS on computer. Of course, your IELTS results are accepted by more than 11,000 organisations around the world.
More flexibility – do IELTS when you need it
You can do IELTS on computer up to 7 days a week and up to 3 times a day, academic or General Training. You can book your test today, and have your results next week! And, with IELTS, you don’t pay for a late booking. The IELTS test fee is the same.
Remember what we said before about custom-built, comfortable test rooms? Fewer people doing the test at the same time means less stress and a quicker experience. Imagine boarding an international flight with 200+ passengers, or a plane with 12 people on board. Which one is easier? With a maximum of 24 test-takers per session, our IELTS on computer test centres offer an atmosphere that is less stressful and noisy than in bigger venues.
The IELTS Speaking test is not on computer. You do it face-to-face, in a quiet room, with an experienced and friendly IELTS examiner. This allows for a real-world speaking experience. Besides, a real human understands your accent – you are not penalised for having an accent. Other English tests make you talk to a computer, and get this marked by a computer. As a result, even native English speakers can perform more poorly than expected. With IELTS, you talk to a real human. You can ask an examiner to clarify a question or repeat or rephrase a question.