Last Updated: 14th June 2020
What is a computer-delivered IELTS:
When you register for an IELTS test (either Academic or General Training) you can choose to take the test on paper, or on a computer. The IELTS test that is conducted on a computer rather than the conventional pencil-paper, is known as a computer-delivered IELTS. You take your Listening, Reading and Writing tests on a computer, and Speaking test with an expert examiner. To take your IELTS test on a computer, you should register for a computer-delivered IELTS.
The speaking test is still conducted by a human examiner:
When you choose to take a computer-delivered IELTS test, you will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests using a computer. The Speaking test will remain face-to-face with an expert human examiner. Face-to-face speaking test with a human examiner is the most effective way of assessing someone speaking skills and prompts a more lifelike performance, and that is why it is not computerised by the IELTS authority even if you take your IELTS on a computer.
Q. Are there any differences between the computer-delivered and paper-based IELTS test?
There is virtually no difference between the computer-delivered IELTS and paper-based IELTS test since the questions and contents of both tests are the same. And since the questions and contents are the same in both types of tests, the level of difficulty for both the computer-delivered test and the paper-based test is also the same.
Having said that, however, one could also argue that the comfort level of the candidate could be the difference since some candidates could be more computer savvy than others, and therefore would be more interested in taking the computer-delivered test. But, again, as far as the questions, contents, level of difficulty and scoring are concerned, there is no difference between the two forms of tests whatsoever.
Q. Is the computer-delivered IELTS test easier than the traditional IELTS test?
No, the computer-delivered IELTS test is not easier or more difficult than the traditional paper-based IELTS test since the contents, questions and scoring in both forms of tests are the same. Of course, some people may be more comfortable in using a computer than others, but that’s not enough to suggest that a computer savvy person will have a computer-delivered IELTS easier than the traditional IELTS test.
Q. Is the cost of taking a computer-delivered test higher?
No, the cost of taking a computer-delivered test is not higher than the paper-based IELTS test. In fact, the costs of taking both the computer-delivered IELTS test and paper-based test are the same.
Image Source: www.ieltsessentials.com
Computer-delivered IELTS is virtually the same as the traditional paper-based IELTS and does not require any additional skills or preparation time to take the test. It is the same IELTS with more choices. Computer-delivered IELTS is available for both IELTS Academic and General Training.
It is interesting to note that, when you choose to take the computer-delivered IELTS test, you will have more choices of test dates and venues to select from. The testing authority maintains the same standard and your test result has the same value.
Booking or registering for the computer-delivered IELTS test has become incredibly easier. You can pick the date and time of the test that suits you the most. Pick any day of the week including Friday or Sunday and you can take the test in the evening after your class or office as well.
While in the past, a candidate had to wait for weeks, and sometimes even months, to take the test, with the introduction of the computer-delivered IELTS, you can register for the test within a couple of days, if not hours, and have the result within less than a week. So, computer-delivered IELTS means greater flexibility.
If you have been preparing for the IELTS test, be rest assured that the computer-delivered test has the same content, same test format and the same marking guidelines. Your results are delivered using the same format and it will be available within 5 t o7 days from the date of the test.
If you decide to take the computer-delivered IELTS you will be sitting in a small and quiet computer lab and the test centre staff will be ready to help you when you need them. You will have the latest technology to take the test on the computer and all these facilities come with no additional cost, which means you will pay the same amount that you would be paying to take the paper-based IELTS test.
The Speaking test is still face-to-face and conducted by a human examiner in a private and quiet room. You no longer need at least two days to complete the test as you will be taking the Speaking test on the same day. You can even choose the date of your Speaking test. You have the flexibility of choosing whether to take the Speaking test before or after the remaining sections as well.
If you are interested to know about the disadvantages of computer-delivered IELTS tests before deciding to take the test, you can browse:
Disadvantages of Computer-delivered IELTS
Well, if you are not afraid of using a computer and feel more comfortable typing rather than writing, this test is for you.
Key features of a computer-delivered IELTS that you should know:
# 1. Exam structure, question types, marking scheme and exam timing are identical both for the computer-delivered and paper-based
# 2. You can take an IELTS test on paper or on a computer at one of the official test centres in your country. But please specify which one you want to take while you register for the test.
# 3. You can take a computer-delivered IELTS test if you feel comfortable writing on a computer rather than paper. Besides, when you take a computer-delivered IELTS test you get your results within 5 to 7 days.
# 4. In the computer-delivered Listening test, the timing is slightly different from the paper-based test. This is because the paper-based test requires candidates to transfer answers to an answer sheet. This step becomes redundant when answering directly on a computer.
# 5. You do not need advanced computer skills to take IELTS on a computer. With your moderate typing speed and basic computer skills, you can flexibly take a computer-delivered IELTS test.
All other aspects of the test are exactly the same, whether it is taken on paper or on a computer, including:
- Question types
- Speaking test delivery
- Test Report Form
- Results Verification
Where can I get more details about computer-delivered IELTS?
You can get comprehensive details about computer-delivered IELTS from the Computer-delivered IELTS FAQ section of this website. Moreover, authoritative IELTS websites offer useful resources on computer-delivered IELTS which are worth looking at. Following are a few links of such authoritative resources:
IELTS Essential – https://www.ieltsessentials.com/about/computer-delivered-ielts
IELTS.ORG – https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/computer-delivered-ielts
Where can I get practice tests for the computer-delivered IELTS:
You can get resources for computer-delivered IELTS from many online sources. But here are our favourite ones: