IELTS On Paper VS IELTS On Computer

Old VS New: IELTS On Paper VS IELTS On Computer

October 01, 2021

In 2017, IELTS introduced a computer-based IELTS test which was first available in Australia. Some 4 years back, IELTS decided to walk with the trend and become progressive with the current technology. It is safe to say, it was highly appreciated and later available all across the globe!

English remains the same. The test remains the same. The only difference is first IELTS was on paper and now IELTS can be given on Computer as well! (Great for people who love computers)

Choose Your Test!

Curious to Know the Differences between Computer-based IELTS and Paper-based IELTS?

What is the difference between Computer-Based IELTS and Paper-Based IELTS?

If you have always been a paper-based IELTS person, then this may come as a change for you. But, don't worry, it is surely a positive change. All you need to know is that the test which is given using paper can now be given using a computer. Also, the Listening module in Computer-based IELTS is a bit shorter (10 minutes) compared to Paper-based IELTS. Let us see few more differences between the two, that will help you understand better.

Test Location

Let us start with the test centre. The Computer-based test is new and improvised. Thus, the rooms are less crowded, the seating is more comfortable, and the small room size means lesser candidates. Unlike Paper IELTS, where the rooms are huge and hold a higher capacity of candidates.

The Most Obvious - Paper and Computer

Yes, it is obvious. Still, let us clear any doubts. Each answer will be given on a sheet of paper with the use of a pencil in a Paper-based IELTS. While in the Computer-based IELTS, the test is conducted on the computer and the answers are recorded on the computer itself using a keyboard. This is the foremost difference between the two.

Headphones Quality

Most headphones in the Paper IELTS are quite old and thus, the quality has deteriorated. On the other hand, Computer-delivered IELTS is new and thus, the gadgets are newer and advanced. Moreover, most Computer-based IELTS test centres also provide noise cancellation headphones, so you can easily concentrate on the recording and rest of the test.

One Module is Shorter

In the Computer-based IELTS test, the Listening module is shorter by 10 minutes. By all aspects, the actual Listening time is of 30 minutes, and candidates get extra 10 minutes to transfer the answers on the answer sheet. But, in a Computer-delivered test, candidates enter the answers directly on the computer and thus, extra time is not required. However, an extra 2 minutes are given to review the answers.

One Module is Easier

Now, before going any further. Let me tell you, easier does not mean the test format or question is easier. It means, it is easier as it will help you. Writing test displays the word count at the bottom of the screen in a Computer-based IELTS test. This makes it easier! You need not worry about counting the words after the test, you can solely concentrate on the content. While in Paper-based IELTS, you have to count or guess the words after writing the task. This makes the process a bit time-consuming and lengthy.

One Module is Quicker

The Speaking Test is conducted on the same day as the rest of the modules in a Computer-based IELTS test. Thus, all the modules get completed on the same day. While in a Paper test, the Speaking module is conducted within a week of the test day.

difference between Computer-Based IELTS and Paper-Based IELTS

Computer-based IELTS Practice

Candidates must take practice tests on the computer before appearing for the test. Why? Because it takes time to learn any new method. It is recommended that you take Computer-based IELTS Practice so that you get accustomed to the keyboard, practice a few tests, and then book a test.


Computer-based IELTS surely comes in as wonders in such tough times. Utilize this opportunity to give the IELTS test and fulfil your overseas dreams. We have discussed the difference and similarities between both the test types. All you need to do is make a decision. Start preparing and go for it.

All the best!