Advantages of Computer-Delivered IELTS Tests

November 7, 2018 by Lyla Hage

You may have heard some exciting news about the IELTS test: it's now being rolled out with a new computer-delivered option. This is very exciting news for IELTS test takers as there is now the option to take the IELTS test using a computer, rather than using paper. There are many advantages to this new option including:

Quicker Results

For some, a significant advantage of the computer-based IELTS test is that results will be available quicker than with the paper-based test. At the moment, it takes approximately 13 days to get results for the paper-based IELTS test. With the computer-based test, the results will typically be ready within 5-7 days. This is a significant difference and could be very important for some who take the IELTS test.

More Test Dates

With the computer-delivered tests, there is a good chance, depending on your test centre, that more test dates will be scheduled, especially in the coming year and beyond. This may be a significant benefit to some, as they may have more test dates to choose from. Check here to find out different locations for the computer-delivered IELTS. Also, be sure to check with your local IELTS test centre to confirm the available options for taking the test, as well as test dates and schedules, as these may vary depending on your location.

Man writing on paper in front of a computer

It’s the Same Test

More good news: The computer-based IELTS test will be the same as the paper-format one. The only difference is that instead of using a pencil to write your answers, you'll use a computer.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the computer-based format is for the reading, writing, and listening tests only. The speaking test will be done as it is now - face-to-face with a certified IELTS speaking examiner. This hasn't changed because it's been proven that the one-on-one interaction between the test taker and the IELTS examiner is more natural and authentic.

woman typing on computer

Bye Bye Messy Writing and Sore Hands

One thing I have often heard from my students who have taken the IELTS test is that they're worried about their handwriting and whether the IELTS examiner can read it. With the new computer-based test this is no longer a problem!

In addition, those taking the IELTS test won't have to worry about their hands getting sore or cramped from writing quite a lot in a relatively short period of time, for the reading, writing, and listening exams.

You Have a Choice

It's important to keep in mind that you have the choice of taking a computer-based test or a paper-based test. Some people may be worried about their typing ability, or about looking at a computer screen for too long. Some may be uncomfortable or inexperienced with technology. If so, there's still the option of taking a paper-based test. To help you decide which format of the IELTS test is best for you, check here for some things to consider.

Some Things Haven’t Changed

Keep in mind that although the method of delivery is different (computer vs. paper-based), the IELTS test is  the same test in many significant ways, including the level of difficulty, how it's scored, the content, the timing, the format of the questions, as well as the security around the test and on test day. These things all remain the same, regardless of which test you take and where you take it.

With changes to the delivery of the IELTS test, these are exciting times at IDP IELTS and for test takers. No matter what option you choose for your IELTS test, remember that you have a choice and that the most important aspects of the test will remain the same – the format, the questions, the timing and, perhaps most importantly, its continued acceptance by educational institutions and organizations around the world.

Good luck with your IELTS test – whichever option you choose!

Lyla is an English language instructor working with international students and immigrants in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lyla loves everything about her work, especially helping people reach their language and learning goals.

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