If you seek to pursue your dream course in an English speaking country including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK, then you will need to take and ace the IELTS Academic test!

The IELTS test assesses your English-language proficiency and skills comprehensively across four essential areas. These are the listening, reading, writing and speaking skillsets.

In total, the test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes and requires test takers to complete the Listening, Reading and Writing tests on the same day itself.

While in the past, students could only take the test in the traditional paper and pen format, things have progressed and you can now take the IELTS on computer version of the Academic test.

In this article, we will go through exactly what to expect in the IELTS on computer test, what might be different and key things you should know.

What to expect from the IELTS on computer test

1. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests will be done using a computer

Unlike the traditional test, you will be doing three of the four components on a computer. 

This means that the text that you read will be on the computer while answering the questions and the tasks will have to be also done on the same computer.

2. The Speaking test will be done face to face with an examiner

The Speaking test, however, will be conducted in front of a live examiner. This is done as it is the best way to simulate a real life-like conversation, adding more realism to the experience.

This allows your speaking skills to be showcased to their fullest potential as you will be speaking to another person in the flesh.

3. The order of the test components will change

The Listening, Reading and Writing parts of the test are done one after the other on the test day itself if you are sitting for the traditional test. The Speaking test will be on the same day or up to 7 days before or after your test date.

However, for the IELTS on computer version, the Speaking test will be held differently. It will be on the same test day itself, either before or after the three parts of the test, depending on the individual test centre.

4. There is no change to each individual format of the test

While the schedule might change and using a computer is needed, the format of the IELTS on computer test doesn’t change.

You will still have to sit through the entire four parts of the IELTS test with the same readings, listening dialogues and writing tasks that need to be completed. This is to uphold the credibility and standard of the IELTS test and qualification.

5. You can take notes during your test

Although you will be typing down your answers into a computer, you will be provided with a note-taking and highlight function you can use.

You can alternatively also use the login details sheet at the start of the test to write your notes.

Female test taker preparing for IELTS on computer test.

Common questions you might have about the IELTS on computer test

1. Is there any advantage in taking the IELTS on computer test?

While the test format stays the same, you might find the IELTS on computer version easier to take if you are more comfortable using a computer.

This is because you might be able to type faster than writing down your answers.

In addition, there are usually more test dates available for the IELTS on computer version, giving you greater flexibility.

On the test day itself, the venue will be relatively less crowded, this might help you concentrate better as there is less stress.

2. Do I need to manually count my words in the written portions of the test?

No, you do not have to. This is one advantage of the IELTS on computer test. You do not need to manually count your words to ensure it doesn’t exceed the word limit.

The computer will automatically show you the word count, allowing you to write better without worrying about counting words!

3. Is the IELTS on computer test harder to ace?

No, it is the same format as the paper and pen test without any change to the examination syllabus. 

Any advantage will depend on which you are more familiar with and more comfortable in answering.

A modern laptop on a work desk

Prepare for the IELTS on computer test with IDP today

The IELTS on computer test is an excellent choice if you feel more comfortable on the computer or desire more flexibility in your test dates.

Take the time to go through our resources and prepare yourself better with our wide range of sample tests at your disposal! 

At IDP, we have a world of resources and IELTS supportexternal icon that you can rely on to help you score better! 

Be sure to check out our IELTS preparation materials here as well as read hand-picked tips on how to prepare and ace the testexternal icon

And once you are ready, you can book your IELTS test hereexternal icon