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In 2017, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) introduced computer testing. This test was first introduced in Australia and is now accessible in many different countries around the globe. It’s crucial to understand the main differences seen between IELTS on a computer and the paper version. You are well aware that the IELTS can now be taken online. This seems to be an excellent test, and this statement is made by a person who really dislikes the paper-based variant of the IELTS exam.


But in theory, you should start considering this much, much earlier—before you even begin studying for the test—and here’s why. IELTS on a computer is distinctly diverse from paper-based tests in aspects of usability, and it entails certain distinct abilities that you might require a little time to hone.
The survey questions and the marking criteria remain constant. However, some inquiries are displayed altered on computers, changing how you must respond to them as well as how they appear. On the paper-based test, for illustration, you might produce the letter that correlates to the relevant heading in the response gap when linking headings to paragraphs. The original heading must be dragged into the response space on the computer-delivered IELTS.


For all the Academic and General Training assessments, you can take IELTS on a computer or on paper.



  • Each candidate needs their own set of headphones for the Listening part. Audio clarity and focus are both improved as a result.
  • The screen contains a countdown that will turn red when the candidate has 10 and 5 minutes left in the Reading and Writing assessments, accordingly.
  • The candidate has easy content editing options.
  • The applicant can use a right-click to mark text during the Hearing and Reading assessments.
  • You may easily change the listening intensity.
  • The candidate can check their status at the bottom of the screen and follow the questions they skipped using the Scroll bar, which is on the display.


  • Three hours of screen time could be exhausting.
  • Unlike in the paper-based version, the candidate won’t be given a further 10 minutes to upload their results following the Listening test. They will get two minutes at the conclusion and more time in between phases. Some candidates take this extra time to double-check their responses and grammar.
  • The applicant gets distracted at the center since they can hear individuals writing underneath them. Some locations do, however, provide quieter keyboards and noise-canceling headphones.
  • The applicant must continue to listen and type at the exact same time, which can be challenging for people who aren’t accustomed to it.
  • A candidate might lose time if they don’t know how computers work. They can skip to the subsequent problem by using the tab instead of the mouse repeatedly.



  • Phrases can be immediately highlighted, circled, and rehearsed by students before being written on the response sheet. Many candidates use this usual approach, which they cannot do if they take the computer-based IELTS test.
  • The applicant isn’t required to be accustomed to composing responses; this will not affect their efficiency.
  • For transmitting their responses to the answer sheet, the applicant will receive an additional 10 minutes at the conclusion of the Listening part. For many individuals, this is frequently advantageous.


  • Throughout writing, the applicant must keep track of words.
  • Performance cannot be tracked by the candidate, making it more difficult to alter or change responses.
  • If the penmanship is unclear, the candidate will run into problems.
  • There are hazards involved with transferring responses into the answer box.
  • Exam sites are typically overcrowded with more pupils, which causes attention to suffering.
  • It will take longer to see results.
  • inflexibility lack some circumstances.


Whereas the differences between computer-based and paper-based IELTS are relatively clear, it is crucial to make a sensible choice. If a candidate is proficient with computers, prefers to type, and values more privacy, it would be best to concentrate and easily change the word count and other aspects. The computer-based format is optimal in that situation. The paper-based IELTS exam approach, however, may be an option for a candidate who is accustomed to preparing and writing on paper, is concerned about their typing and computer skills, and needs an extra 10 minutes after the Listening part.


We appreciate JAK INSTITUTE providing a forum through which we may learn about this testing style. We can infer from the facts above that each exam format has its own strengths and weaknesses. Only the applicant’s skills will determine which he selected.

Second, we can see that computer-based testing is a more trustworthy way to demonstrate computer proficiency in the future. However, choosing a mode is entirely up to you.

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