The IELTS exam, the most popular English language proficiency test, already has 2 types of tests based on the purpose of writing the exam, IELTS Academic and General Training. With IELTS continually working to ease the experience for the test takers, there are modes of writing the exam, paper-based and computer-based.
For those who wish to go for the computer-based test, the Listening, Reading and Writing sections will have to be on a computer, while the Speaking test will be conducted via face-to-face with an examiner.
There is now the option of taking the IELTS on paper or on a computer. The computer-based test will more often than not, have more test dates available.
The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests will be completed on the same day. However, the Speaking test can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests.
If you choose to take computer-delivered IELTS, you will take the Listening, Reading and Writing test using a computer. All aspects of the test are identical to paper-based IELTS, including:
- Question types
- Question types
- Speaking test delivery
- TRF (test report forms)
- Results verification.
*In the computer-delivered Listening test, the timings will be slightly different from the paper-based test. This is because the paper-based test would require users to transfer their answers to an answer sheet and this step becomes redundant when answering directly on a computer.
The questioning pattern, content, format, level of difficulty and scoring remains the same as paper-based IELTS. You’ll be taking Listening, Reading, and Writing test on a computer with these 3 sections completed on the same day with no breaks in between them.
In the computer-delivered Listening test, the timings will be slightly different from the paper-based test. You’ll be given some time to read your questions before starting any part of the Listening test and two minutes to review your answers after finishing the Listening test. The timing of the Listening test is between 30 – 34 minutes.
However, the Speaking section can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. The Speaking test will remain face-to-face with a human examiner who can assess your language and comprehension skills in person.
Why having a human examiner for the Speaking Test is more comfortable that an artificial bot:
The human examiner will be able to,
- Repeat and rephrase a question for you
- Hear your accent
- Understand your strengths better than a computer
The total test time for the whole Computer-based test is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
While the TRF (Test Report Form) for a paper-based test takes around 13 days. For a computer-delivered test, the IELTS results get released around 5–7 days after the test date. The Test Report Forms (TRF) will be valid for two years since the result posting.