It is now possible to take IELTS on a computer, so no more finger-aching pencil written essays!
This short article explains the pros and cons of this development for students. First of all, the structure, difficulty, and timing of the test remain essentially the same. Obviously, the main difference is typing, using a mouse instead of a pencil, reading from the screen, and listening with headphones. These are the main differences and IELTS on a computer is almost as challenging as taking the paper-based test. However, there are some notable advantages to be aware of.
Firstly, most of us use computers in our day-to-day lives and this makes a computer-based exam more user-friendly.
Another advantage is that there is no chance of being penalized for poor handwriting. The listening reading and writing sections are all typed, multiple choice, or involve selecting/matching options. This will really help those students who find handwriting and challenge.
Computer-delivered IELTS is also normally conducted in much smaller rooms and facing a computer is less distracting than being in an open exam hall with sometimes hundreds of other students. The need to use headphones in all centers is another bonus for concentration as there will be less disturbance from background noise.
One of the main advantages is convenience with test results available in 5 to 7 days. This is approximately twice as fast as in the paper-based test.
I have come across a number of blogs written by students complaining about the lack of checking time at the end of the listening section. IELTS.org claim that there is plenty of time for this at the end of each question, but many students really benefited from the 10 minutes to transfer time for checking spelling and grammar.
In both the listening and the reading sections, it is no longer possible to underline keywords or sections of the passage. Students must instead right click and drag to highlight and this seems clunky and less convenient.
A Bonus for Writing
IELTS has always been particularly strict in the writing section and many students get stuck just below their target in the IELTS writing test. If this is the case for you, computerised IELTS might be just what the doctor ordered.
Students no longer need to count their words. This saves time and reduces stress levels as the test taker can see how many words they have written in real time.
There is now a lot more scope for editing and redrafting as students can cut, copy, and paste to restructure their letters and essays.
Time-consuming erasing is also a thing of the past with normal backspace and delete functions of your standard word-processing software.
These days, most of us can type faster than we can write with a pencil, so typing the test is probably one of the main benefits.
Finally, handwriting is no longer an issue in the computer-based test.
To book computerized IELTS in Dubai or Abu Dhabi please call IDP on the below number:02 622 8367/8