With IELTS being continuously revolutionized, it is no wonder that today IELTS Paper-based test has advanced to being a Computer-based test. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the popular tests which assess the candidate’s proficiency in the English language who wish to study, work or settle abroad.

IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. There are two versions in IELTS-- General Training and Academic Writing which contains 4 modules Each-Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. IELTS is available on 48 fixed dates per year.

For almost 30 years, IELTS exam was conducted as a Paper-based test; today, still some people prefer the Paper-based test over the online test. The Computer-based test is currently available in:

  • Australia
  • China (Guangzhou)
  • Hong Kong
  • India (Delhi)
  • Korea (Seoul)
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan (Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore)
  • Philippines (Manila)
  • Russia (Moscow)
  • Saudi Arabia (Riyadh)
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka (Colombo)
  • Thailand (Bangkok)
  • Turkey (Istanbul, Ankara)
  • United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai)
  • Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City)

There are some distinguishable differences between the Computer-based test and the Pen & Paper version.

  • No matter whether the test is offline or online, you’ll have to appear for the examination at a pre-destined location allocated to you. The Paper-based test takes place at a larger venue encompassing 100+ students while the Computer-based version takes place at a smaller venue with one candidate per computer.
  • The Timing for both the test is precisely the same. The format of the tests also doesn’t change; what changes is the form of giving the test. Reading and Writing in a Paper-based test, happens on a paper while in the Computer-based test, you use a desktop computer to answer the questions.
  • In a Computer-based test, the Writing Task is easier as you can rewrite and edit the sentences quite merely; while in a Paper-based test, you draft the answer first then write the final version. Thus taking up extra time whereas the Computer-based test saves you more time to proofread it in the end. Also, in a Computer-based test, you have a countdown clock on your computer itself while in the Paper-based test, there will be a clock somewhere in the room and the supervisor will warn you about the time.
  • There is one more advantage to a Computer-based test, and that is- The result of the Computer-based test comes within 13 days from the test while the result of the Paper-based test takes up to 4-6 weeks.
  • Assessment in both the versions is also quite different. Your answers in the Computer-based test are saved in the computer automatically and is uploaded directly to the Cambridge server; while in the Paper-based test, the sheets are collected by the examiner which are then sent to the Cambridge marking facility.
  • In the Listening part of the test, an audio is played on a speaker in the Paper-based test where there can be an issue of the clarity of the audio. While in the Computer-based test, a pair of headphones is provided to each candidate who listens the audio through those headphones.
  • The Speaking test is similar in both of the exams as it is taken by the examiner personally on the same day or a different day.

So these were the major differences between the Paper-based test and the Computer-based test, but the context of difficulty is not based on these tests but your preparation. Both of these tests are entirely similar in the time format and the test format, so you need to be very well prepared in either case.

Computer-based test stands more favourable compared to the Paper-based test, so if you wish to ace the IELTS exam, make sure to visit our website to prepare better for IELTS Test preparation, and also receive beneficial materials, tips & strategies to score better, 20+ Free IELTS Practice Tests and many more.

You can also opt for Online IELTS Practice with IELTS Tutorials and choose either Group coaching or Personalised Coaching and customise your study session and NAIL the IELTS exam by studying for it from anywhere online.

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