Paper-based vs. Computer-delivered IELTS (Part 1)
One test that can take you places is IELTS, the world’s most popular English language assessment tool for higher education and migration. There are several factors that make it so popular, one being worldwide availability – you get to choose from over 800 test centres dotted around the world.
Paper or Computer
The added appeal is that IELTS now comes in two forms, giving you the choice of taking it on paper or on computer. Whether you take paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS (CD IELTS), most aspects of the test are the same: content, question types, security measures, scoring, speaking test delivery, test report forms, results verification.
The only thing that is different is the test experience.
What’s the difference?
For a start, in the Listening section of the paper-based test you get 10 extra minutes at the end to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet, while in computer-delivered IELTS you don’t. Here, you need to type answers on to the computer as you listen to the audio extract in each part. Although you’ll have time between parts of the test to check answers, there is no extra transfer time at the end. This is because you’ll have already completed entering answers to all 40 questions by then.
Another feature of CD IELTS that test takers are likely to find useful is the display of word count in the Writing section. Unlike in the paper-based version, you won’t need to spend time forming a rough idea of how many words you’ve written in response to each Writing task. The word count for each response will be displayed at the bottom of your computer screen throughout; all you’ll need to do is ensure that you meet the word count set for each task.
And since we are on the subject of handy features, here are two more: IELTS on computer comes with tools that you can use to highlight text and make notes during the Listening and Reading sections. In the next part, you can read about how CD IELTS offers more flexibility – don’t miss it.