In this post, I’m going to cover three key areas: basic information; how IELTS on computer differs from IELTS on paper; and, most importantly, where you can get a free computer-delivered IELTS sample test to practise with.
1. What is IELTS on computer?
The British Council states that the computer IELTS is ‘exactly the same test as IELTS on paper, but instead of writing your answers on paper, you will type them on a computer… You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing sections on a computer, but the Speaking test will still be face-to-face with a trained IELTS Examiner.’
When you choose IELTS on computer, there are more test dates available. This can give you more flexibility in choosing a convenient time to take your test. You can also receive your results in three to five days after your test.
2. How is it different from IELTS on paper?
There are some minor differences. For example, in the paper-based IELTS Listening test, you have 10 minutes at the end to transfer your notes onto the answer paper. With the computer IELTS, you write your answers directly onto the screen as you go along. This means there is no extra time at the end.
The main difference, though, is that you are working in a different medium: screen rather than paper. You probably did most, if not all, of your school exams on paper. If that’s the case, you won’t be used to thinking and working on a computer in an exam setting. The change is inevitably going to be stressful unless you prepare properly for it and learn how to manage your stress. That’s why it’s important you get to know the different tools and functions available to you, like:
- the highlight tool
- making notes on screen
- the navigation bar
- copy and paste shortcuts
If you’re unsure about any of these, don’t worry! The easiest way to get familiar with them is through practice.
3. How can you practise for IELTS on computer?
The very best way to get used to the computer-delivered IELTS and improve your band score, is to work through its practice tests. Road to IELTS, British Council’s official IELTS preparation program, offers a free set of sample tests to help you get ready. Choose a module (Academic or General Training) and click into the Test Practice section. Then work through the tests until you are comfortable with all the functions.
There are other ways to prepare yourself for your IELTS test. Read this post about the three things you can do before your test to give yourself the best chance at success.