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IELTS on computer – Myth vs. Truth

by IDP IELTS India 25 Jan, 2021

With IELTS (International English Language Testing System) being the most popular English language proficiency test in the world, it is bound to have some myths around it. Also, now that IELTS is available in both – paper-based and as computer-delivered formats, the confusion has only risen among the candidates. Since both formats have their own set of benefits, there is no one better than the other. It is only a matter of preference that a candidate decides to opt for either paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS.

That said, there is nothing to worry as we’ve listed down the most common myths around the same and busted them for you!

1. Myth: The test format is different for paper-based IELTS and computer-delivered IELTS

Truth: Both the test formats are absolutely same including the content, scoring, level of difficulty, and sections such as Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The only difference is that IELTS on computer takes place via a computer and a keyboard while in paper-based IELTS is taken in the traditional style using pen and paper.

Recently, to help study abroad aspirants during the COVID situation, IELTS also came up with a temporary test called IELTS Indicator.

2. Myth: All four sections of IELTS can be completed on computer

Truth: In computer-delivered IELTS, only Listening, Reading, and Writing sections can be taken on computer, while the Speaking test will still take place face-to-face with a real, certified examiner.

Recently, IDP IELTS India has started offering facility of Video Call Speaking Tests at some of its test centres on pilot basis. That means you can take your Speaking test at an IELTS test centre, via a high-definition video call with a certified examiner.

3. Myth: IELTS on computer is easier than paper-based IELTS (or vice versa)

Truth: Both the formats have the same type of questions, difficulty level and content. Thus, it would wrong to assume that any of the test formats is easier/difficult than their counterpart. It all depends on which format you are more comfortable with.

4. Myth: You can take IELTS on computer anywhere or anytime

Truth: IELTS on computer indeed offers more flexibility in terms of test dates (available upto 7 days a week and 3 times a day*), but you’ll have to take the test at the designated computer-delivered IELTS test centre. Plus, you need to book the date and time slot of your choice beforehand.

5. Myth: Listening and Reading sections in IELTS on computer will have MCQs (multiple choice questions)

Truth: There is no change in type of questions asked, difficulty level or content in either of the test formats. Both will have a similar type of questions like:

  • Multiple choice
  • Matching
  • Diagram labelling
  • Form completion
  • Note completion
  • Table completion
  • Flow chart completion
  • Summary completion
  • Sentence completion
  • Short answer questions

6. Myth: The result for IELTS on computer comes together with paper-based IELTS

Truth: The result of IELTS on computer is not synced with paper-based IELTS. The result for IELTS on computer can be expected within 3-5 days after your test date while in paper-based IELTS, the results are announced after 14 days.

IELTS also offers IELTS Progress Check that is the only official online practice test that gives you personalised feedback and indicative band scores from an official IELTS marker.

7. Myth: Candidates have to bring their own system for IELTS on computer

Truth: No, you don’t have to bring your own systems. IDP has set up state-of-the-art test centres across the world for IELTS on computer testing. Just visit your chosen centre on your scheduled date and take the test in our secure environment.

8. Myth: Paper-based IELTS is cheaper than computer-delivered IELTS

Truth: Truth: Both the test formats have the same registration test fee