Experience all-new options of computer-delivered IELTS

Education Desk Published: 9 September 2019, 01:15 PM
Experience all-new options of computer-delivered IELTS

The term IELTS holds a special significance to students from all around the world with English as not their mother tongue. International English Language Testing System, an elaboration of the term, is a popular test that people must take to show English Language competence when applying to higher education or visa and citizenship purposes in a number of countries. In 2018 alone, around 3.5 million people took the IELTS exam. 

The test is divided into four parts - listening, reading, writing, and speaking; and candidates are scored on a banded system from 1 (non-user) through to 9 (expert user). IELTS has always been a paper-based test, but now the candidates can also take computer-delivered IELTS tests. 

All the aspects of the computer-delivered test are identical with the paper-based test, including question types, content, timings, and scoring. In the computer-delivered test, candidates will take the listening, reading, and writing components on a computer. On the other hand, the speaking test will still be face-to-face. A face-to-face method is the most effective way for the IELTS examiner to assess the speaking skills and it prompts a more lifelike performance. 

Since its launch in December 2018, many candidates have already taken computer-delivered IELTS with the British Council. Sarah Zubair, one of the candidates, has shared her experience about this new method. Sarah Zubair said, “There are many pros of delivering IELTS via a computer. There was a timer on the top of the screen which made it easier to keep track of how much time I was spending on each task. One of the best parts of the exam was that you get a scope to rewrite your answers.” The following information states the various kinds of experiences you might encounter while giving the computer-delivered test. 

Easier to edit
Using the computer has made it easier for candidates to edit their writings. Now, people can easily structure and organise their essays. 

Word count
The computer will automatically count the number of words in your essay. This has made the test a little bit less stressful as now you don’t have to worry about wasting your precious time by counting how many words you have written in the essay.

Less crowded test centres 
Computer-delivered IELTS centres are typically less crowded and more organised. While this won’t directly impact your score, however, some people might prefer less crowded centre as it limits the amount of stress they usually experience on the exam day.

Handwriting isn’t a factor
If you worry that your messy handwriting could make it difficult for an IELTS examiner to understand what you are writing, then the computer-delivered test is an ideal solution for you. 

No page flipping
For the reading section, the screen will be divided into two parts - the text and the questions. This means that you don’t have to keep flipping the pages as you do in a paper-based test. 

Candidates have found that it is easier to concentrate on the test while wearing a headphone as it will block most of the noise around you. The headphone act as an earmuff in a way. 

Faster results
On a computer-delivered IELTS, you can get your result within 4-5 days, whereas it takes about 13 days to receive results for the paper-based test. 

Now, it is very important to realise that the difference between computer-delivered IELTS and paper-based IELTS won’t ever improve or impact your ability or score. This will only affect your experience on the day of your test. Both methods of the IELTS are the same; it is just the experience that is different.  

Regarding the test, Sarah Zubair has also added, “My advice to all who intend to sit for the IELTS is to remember to be calm and use your abilities to your best. A minimal amount of preparation is more than enough. All you need to know is how to deliver your modules clearly, concisely, and cohesively.”