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Advantages and Disadvantages of the Online Based IELTS test.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of the Online Based IELTS test. This is known as CD IELTS (computer-delivered IELTS) or CBT (computer-based test) around the world.

Is the computer-based IELTS test different?

No. It is the same test but you put your answers on the computer rather than on to paper.

Are there any differences between Computer and Paper IELTS?

Just one difference. In the listening of the paper-based test, you have 10 mins at the end of the test to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. In the computer-based test, this is not the case. You will type your answers directly into the computer and at the end of the test, you get only 2 mins to check your answers.

For reading, writing, and speaking, the timing is the same. Every other aspect of the test is the same regardless of whether it is on computer or paper.

Why take CD IELTS?

The aim of offering CD IELTS is for people who are more accustomed to typing than to writing. If you prefer to type and can type at speed, this is the best way to take IELTS. If you are poor or very slow at typing, you should stick with the paper-based test.

Information about the IELTS test

Do I get transfer time for IELTS reading? Can I take a watch into the test? Do I need to leave an empty line between paragraphs for writing? All these questions are answered on the Test Info FAQ page. Click on the TEST INFORMATION button on the RED MENU BAR.

Pros & Cons of computer IELTS

  • Easy to write/type your answers if you are good at typing
  • Screens provided are a good size which is useful for reading
  • Less crowded – fewer people take it at one time (at the moment)
  • Quick results (one candidate got his results in 5 days)
  • Slot availability
Cons – 
  • You need to be very good at typing. If you are not a good typist, you should consider the paper-based test instead.
  • Screens will get locked exactly at the mentioned time so we will not be able to make any last-minute changes.
  •  The timer will not display seconds in the last minute. so you don’t know when the screen will get locked.

General Advice:

  • Make sure you practise CBT sample tests before you try the real one. You can find one on the IDP website. Below is feedback on each module.
  • If your typing isn’t good, take the PBT (paper-based test).
Listening Pros and Cons:
  1. Con: Even though you are given a pen and paper, you need to type your answer directly into the computer. This means you need to be able to listen and type at the same time.
  2. Con: Some questions require you to type an answer others require you to drag words from one place to another and others require you to select boxes. You really need to get used to the different ways questions can be answered on the computer for IELTS listening.
  3. Con: Transfer time – you have only 2 mins to check answers, not 10 mins to transfer answers.
  4. Con: If you don’t know how to move from one section to the next, you might waste valuable time figuring it out.
  5. Pro: The tab key works to move from one part to another.
  6. Note: One candidate had an example conversation played at the start of the listening test, another did not. So be aware of this.
  7. Advice: Please get familiar with the Page look and feel on CBT exam for each question type. You can get a sample for each question type in the IDP website.
Reading Pros and Cons:
  1.  Pro: The best thing with CBT is that you can have passage on the left-hand side and questions on the right-hand side. It is really easy and convenient to read and answers the questions.
  2. Pro: You can increase the font size.
  3. Pro: You can highlight the text as needed. Right-click and select highlight. In the PBT, it is not easy to highlight because you can’t use a highlighter pen in the test.
  4. Pro: Another advantage for the reading exam: you can copy/paste from the text using CTRL+C and CTRL+V which reduces the chances of typos.
  5. Con: You cannot use a search function to look for words.
  6. Advice: Get used to scrolling up and down long articles to get used to reading passages and navigating passages on a screen.
Writing Pros and Cons:
  1. Pro: You do not need to count your words. The computer will show the word count.
  2. Pro: It is easier to edit your writing. You can cut, copy and paste.
  3. Con: The major disadvantage with CBT is we unintentionally make typo errors. Though we know how to spell a word we make mistakes when we type. It is not always possible to identify all the spelling mistakes when proofreading.
  • Con: There will be a lot of people typing for one hour all at the same time. This means it can be very noisy which some people find distracting.
  • Con: Your typing speed needs to be adequate.
  • Note: You will be given a pen and paper. You can use it to plan your essay.

Speaking Test: This hasn’t changed. It is still a face to face conversation with the examiner.

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