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What is IELTS on computer?

For more than 30 years, IELTS was an exclusively IELTS on Paper English proficiency test. But that all changed in 2017 when IELTS on computer was launched. With this option, test takers can sit the same IELTS Academic or General Training test at the test centre, but opt for a keyboard to type in their answers instead of writing them on the answer sheet using a pencil. IELTS on computer continues being a popular choice alongside IELTS on paper at our test centres.

What is IELTS Online?

Unlike IELTS on computer where you have to physically go to the test centre to sit your test, IELTS Online gives you the option to take the same test from the comfort of your home or in a private space. Currently, this option is only available for IELTS Academic.

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IELTS on computer vs IELTS Online: Understand the difference

Simply put, IELTS on computer is only available at IELTS test centres whereas IELTS Online can be taken from the convenience of your own home or private space. This means for IELTS on computer you have to book your test and make sure you are present at the test centre on the chosen date and time to take your test.

On the other hand, with IELTS Online you have flexibility to choose where to sit your test. All you need is a well-lit private room, a laptop or desktop computer with the right hardware and software and a stable internet connection. Scroll to the end of the table.

Feature

IELTS Online

IELTS on computer

IELTS on paper

Covers all four English skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking

Yes

Yes

Yes

Face-to-face Speaking test with an official IELTS Examiner

Yes (Online)

Yes

Yes

Available for IELTS Academic test

Yes

Yes

Yes

Available for IELTS General Training test

No

Yes

Yes

Available for UKVI (UK Visa & Immigration) and other migration purposes

No

Yes

Yes

Results within

6 days after the test

3-5 days after the test

13 days after the test

Safeguards results with multi-layered test security

Yes

Yes

Yes

Globally accepted

Yes (Academic only - not for migration)

Yes

Yes

Includes a Test Report Form for test takers

Yes (Electronic only)

Yes (Secure paper certificate by post)

Yes (Secure paper certificate by post)

Listening and Reading tests marked electronically

Yes

Yes

No

Writing and Speaking tests marked by official IELTS Examiners

Yes

Yes

Yes

Globally available

Yes (in phases)

Yes

Yes

Can be taken anywhere

Yes (in a private room with a stable internet connection)

No (must be taken in a test centre)

No (must be taken in a test centre)

Headphones allowed?

No

Yes

Depending on test centre

Support during your test

Chat and virtual support

Personal support

Personal support

Is there any difference in the test format?

The test format, scoring, and timing of the IELTS Online test is the same as IELTS Academic on paper and computer taken in a test centre. The Listening, Reading, and Writing tests are delivered in the same way as IELTS on computer. The Speaking test is conducted online via video call with an IELTS Examiner

IELTS on computer vs IELTS Online: Which one to book?

It all comes down to personal preference and acceptance. Some people thrive in traditional test centre settings where they feel the controlled environment enables them to concentrate and perform better. On the other hand, test takers who choose IELTS Online enjoy the comfort of not having to travel to the test centre and being able to create an environment that is more suitable for them. It is also important to check the acceptance of the test with the organisation you are taking the test for. Make sure you consider all factors before choosing which test to book to maximise your chances of a high band score that will enable you to achieve your goals.

Book IELTS on computer now

Book IELTS Online now