The Absolute Pros & Cons of Taking a Computer Based IELTS Test in 2022


Paper-based IELTS tests (PBTs) and Computer Based IELTS tests (CBTs) are two methods of administering the IELTS test. In this post, we’ll discuss the advantages and drawbacks of the latter. It’s also known as a computer-delivered IELTS test or CD-IELTS.

Computer Based IELTS tests are becoming increasingly popular due to their ease of accessibility, cost savings, and convenience for students. But, there are both advantages and disadvantages to taking IELTS with a computer-based test.

This article will discuss everything from the advantages and disadvantages of CBTs, to practical advice on how to effectively prepare for Computer Based IELTS tests.

PROs of Computer Based IELTS tests

Writing Essays is Easier

Using a computer makes it easier for most test-takers to edit their writing, so they were able to structure and organize it far more straightforwardly. They found it much less stressful to write an essay because of this, and they were able to structure and organize it with much greater ease. 

Word Counter Available

Furthermore, the computer automatically counted the number of words in your essay, which is extremely helpful in both parts 1 and 2 of the Writing test, and limited the amount of stress on exam day.

More Peaceful Test Environment

In comparison to PBT test centers, computer based IELTS test centers typically aren’t as crowded nor as disorganized, as well as less noisy and more peaceful. While this won’t have a direct impact on your score, some aspirants find a more organized test center reduced the amount of stress they experienced on exam day.

No Messy Handwriting Issues

If you are messy with your handwriting, the computer-based test is a great option: it has no impact on your English. Your scores also remain unaffected, due to lack of human error.

No Flipping Pages in Reading

No flipping pages! When taking the IELTS Reading section of the exam, the screen will be split into two parts: narrative and question. This means you will no longer have to flip pages as you do with the paper-based test, which saves a lot of time and effort.

CONs of Computer Based IELTS Tests

Highlighting or Note-taking is tricky

While you can right-click to highlight text or make notes without difficulty, many students have a preference for pen and paper over screen highlighting and note-taking.

If this is a concern for you, you should contact your testing center to see if you can use a pen and paper on the day of your examination for your note-taking.

Screen Tiredness

Some people find looking at a screen for long periods of time tiring. There are various other factors that may play a part as well, for example, exhausted eyes and a sore head.

Typing Sounds

The sound of typing can be distracting. If you’re someone who needs silence to focus, you might struggle to concentrate when the sound of multiple other candidates typing surrounds you.

But do remember, there is other forms of commotion in PBT centers as well.

Practice Options

The ‘fewer’ practice options online for listening and reading was an earlier concern, but these days, with platforms like Kandor offering you full accessibility to such tests, it’s not really that big an issue any longer. In fact, you can take a look at a lot of Listening & Reading strategies.

Answers to some FAQs for Computer Based IELTS Tests

Is the Computer-based IELTS Test different from the Paper-based Test of IELTS?

To answer this question, you have to compare the two tests.

The content of both tests is the same, however, the way the questions are answered is different. In the CBT, you will have to enter the answers into the computer instead of writing them down.

In the PBT, you will have 10 minutes to finish recording the answers after which you will be permitted to transfer them to the answer sheet. In the CBT, you will have to input the answers directly while listening to the recording and will be given 2 minutes in the end to recheck them. The other three portions of the IELTS test are the same.

Is the Scoring scheme the same?

The scoring scheme for the CBT is exactly the same as the paper-based IELTS Test.

The only modification is the way in which the answers are entered.

Should you choose CBT over PBT for IELTS?

After analyzing the pros and cons of exams in different IELTS modules, take some time to consider the facts about which exam you like the most.

The CD- IELTS is made available so that people who are habitual of typing on computers can take advantage of it and can deliver the computer-based test. If your typing speed and computer usage are both good, it is a no-brainer! 

Working professionals should prefer CBT (or CD-IELTS) because they are more familiar with computers than the traditional pen-and-paper test. 

However, if you’re not good at typing or reading on the computer or want more control over highlighting, you must administer the pen-and-paper test.

Where can I practice for CD-IELTS?

While there are many practice platforms available today, like Gurully or IELTSOnlineTests, or even more manual check platforms like Leap Scholar, we firmly believe that Kandor is hands down the best platform for IELTS preparation, especially if you are opting for CD-IELTS. The reasons being –

  • CD-IELTS Simulated Test Environment, you get the feels of the exam at your home, with Instant Band Score and Detailed Sectional Feedback
  • It’s Free to use under Fair Usage Policy
  • The platform can connect you to experienced Trainers and Global Counsellors, to help in your immigration journey as well, not just for IELTS
  • The Android App has fully functioning tests, which is a game-changer, and something that is new in this industry

Do visit our blog for everything important related to the IELTS.

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