The IELTS test consists of four separate sections – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The computer-based IELTS test is exactly the same test as paper-based IELTS, but instead of writing the answers on paper, the candidate must type them on a computer.
However, there are a few benefits of doing IELTS on a computer.
Firstly, the paper tests use a pencil whereas the computer test is typed. Secondly, the order of the test is different. The Listening test is shorter. Finally, the candidate gets headphones for the Listening test. The Speaking test remains unchanged.
- At the paper-based IELTS test, the candidate receives a pencil and an answer sheet. They will have to write answers on the answer sheet before time runs out.
- The paper-based IELTS begins with Writing, followed by Reading, and finally Listening. Sometimes the Speaking test takes place straight after this. However, other test centers may offer the Speaking test on a different day.
- For a paper-based IELTS Listening test, the candidate must write the answers in the question booklet while they listen to the recording. Additionally, the candidate gets 10 minutes at the end of the Listening section to transfer their answers to the answer sheet.
- The paper-based IELTS tests usually take place in a larger room such as a university or a hotel.
- With computer-delivered IELTS, the candidate must type the answers in the corresponding boxes on the computer screen. The candidate will receive a pencil or pen and paper to make notes. The candidate does not have to fast in typing. People with adequate typing skills are capable of taking the computer test.
- The computer-delivered IELTS test starts with Listening, followed by Reading and Writing. The Speaking test takes place on the same day, either before or after the computer test.
- In the computer test, the candidate must type the answers in their appropriate places on the screen. In addition, the candidate gets time between sections to check their answers but no extra time at the end.
- Computer-delivered IELTS tests take place in smaller, custom-built, brand-new rooms. Moreover, everything in the computer-delivered test room is designed for the candidate’s comfort.
Apart from a new test room, candidates doing computer-based IELTS will have their own computer, a quality screen and their own headphones for the Listening test. There is no microphone in the candidate’s way. Most computer-delivered test centres provide noise-cancelling headphones so that the candidate is able to focus on their own performance.