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⁠What is the difference between computer and paper base IELTS exam?

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam is offered in two formats: Computer-Delivered IELTS and Paper-Based IELTS. Both formats assess your abilities in listening, reading, writing, and speaking in English, and both are equally recognised by universities, employers, and immigration authorities. The choice between them depends on your comfort level and personal preference. Here's a breakdown of the key differences:

Computer-Delivered IELTS

- Timing: The listening, reading, and writing sections are completed on a computer. The speaking test is conducted face-to-face with an examiner.
- Availability: Test dates are more frequent due to the ease of setup, offering more flexibility in scheduling.
- Results: Typically, results are available more quickly, often within 5-7 days after taking the test.
- Writing: Some candidates prefer typing over handwriting, finding it faster and more legible.
- Correction: Editing and correcting answers is generally easier on a computer, especially for the writing section.

Paper-Based IELTS

- Timing: All sections, including listening, reading, and writing, are completed on paper. The speaking test is also conducted face-to-face with an examiner.
- Availability: Test dates are scheduled and might be less frequent compared to the computer-delivered option.
- Results: Results are usually available 13 days after the test date.
- Writing: Candidates who are more comfortable with handwriting or prefer the tactile feedback of paper might opt for this version.
- Marking: For those who are adept at planning and writing drafts, paper-based tests allow easy note-taking and planning margins.

Which One to Choose?

- Comfort with Technology: If you're comfortable typing and navigating computers, the computer-delivered IELTS might suit you better. It can save time and help present cleaner writing.
- Handwriting vs. Typing: Consider your typing speed and handwriting legibility. If you type faster and more clearly than you write by hand, the computer-delivered option could be advantageous.
- Result Turnaround Time: If you're in a hurry to get your results, the computer-delivered test provides results faster.
- Test Availability: Depending on your location, one format might have more convenient dates than the other. Check availability and choose accordingly.

Ultimately, your choice should be based on which format you feel most comfortable with and can perform your best in. Familiarise yourself with the test format by practicing with both typed and handwritten responses to see which suits you better. No matter which format you choose, the key to success lies in thorough preparation.

Updated on: 25/03/2024

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