Computer Based IELTS test: Advantages & Disadvantages?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,294 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in IELTS Test

The Computer Based (CB) and paper-based (PB) IELTS test ask exactly the same questions.  But are their any advantages of CB vs PB IELTS?

A lot of mis-information abounds in relation to CB and PB IELTS test.  Here are some advantages and disadvantages we could think of that may help you with your preparation:



If you type faster than you write  this would be an advantage.


The number of words you type are counted as you type, so you know the exact number.


You may find it easier to edit written mistakes.


You may hear the listening more clearly – everyone wears earphones.


You can make the text larger by clicking a button on the screen.


You can leave your headphones on for the whole test (which may improve your concentration)

If you are not a fast typist, you may not be able to type the necessary number of words.


In listening, you don’t get extra time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.


In the writing test, you are not given any warning as to the time.  You must pay strict attention to the timer on the screen (when the time runs out, the screen goes blank).


In reading, it might be difficult/you might not be used to highlighting points on a screen rather than using a pen.

NB: The CB IELTS test is not easier or more difficult than the PB IELTS test.  A study involving 153 IELTS test takers showed that whether or not they sat the CB or PB test, their Writing Task 2 scores remained the same!  The same result was also identified in another, different study involving 262 students.

Can you think of any other advantages or disadvantages?  Please list them below  B)

Sign In or Register to comment.