Students who want to take the IELTS exam can now opt for the IELTS online pattern option as well. It was first released for the UK and now the computer-based examination has expanded all across the world and now students can choose between manual and computer tests.

In this article, you will get to know the major differences between these two ways of the assessment. In this way, examiners can understand which IELTS based exam would be easier to handle for them as well.

IELTS Paper Based Test VS Online Pattern

The IELTS General Training exam isn’t offered in the IELTS online pattern test, so in this case, the IELTS paper-based test is preferred. If you’re lagging over time then the computer exam is preferred, as the slot for booking the exam date will be available online with wide availability of dates.

So before you apply for any of the exams I think that it is advisable to read the below process. And you can find for yourself which exam suits you better because you have two options now and finding the best is important.

IELTS Paper-based Test

Offline Writing Exam

In IELTS written exam candidates need to visit an official exam centre and take question papers to answer for reading, writing and listening exam. It is required to carry an HB pencil or ballpoint pen to take the paper exam.

Offline Speaking Test

The speaking exam will be taken by the trained examiner at the exam centre as per schedule and timings.  Reading, writing and listening exams will be carried out on the same day without a break between them. The speaking exam will take a slightly different schedule as advised by IELTS Trainer, which can be held before or after other exams.

Offline Listening Test

Major availability of listening tests for the IELTS paper test will take time, as it is to be taken by certified makers who should ensure their reliability. These answer sheets will be later analyzed by Cambridge Assessment English and the results will be published then.

Also Read : The Ultimate Guide for IELTS Preparation Online: Get Your Desired Band Score

Important Information about IELTS Paper Pattern

So the reason why the paper-based candidates might be decreasing are listed below and these are only some of the ground information.

  • The examination venue has 50-100 candidates.
  • You do not get a countdown timer which warns you about the remaining time, so students have to be alert all the time.
  • The results are not released soon, it takes around 4-6 weeks.
  • Paper fees INR 13,250.

IELTS Online Pattern Test

The IELTS computer-based test is preferred as it brings faster results with multiple sessions per day. It was in 2016 when the computer-based assessment was introduced in more than 20 countries for candidates. Since then the training for the computer-based exam has grown up and wide options to candidates have been provided.

This exam marks with security, integrity and trust with stakeholders. The computer-based exam makes it easier for candidates to choose their assessment date with widely available range and will be given results in less than a week. The particulars of the exam as timing, structure, content and form are the same for both paper test and computer test.

IELTS Online Pattern

The major speaking assessment is always scheduled face to face through an organized trainer. There are many other institutes that provide you with training for the computer-based test, indeed making it easier to crack the test. Candidate should listen the audio carefully and answer each answer delightfully, as you can’t make retake the question once submitted.

Answer sheets will be analyzed by Cambridge Assessment English and their work becomes easier, as the Computer test provides a much easier way to analyze the test answers. Candidate has to pay INR 14,000 as online fees.

Reasons to Choose IELTS Online Pattern over IELTS Paper-based Test

There might be students who prefer paper test but there are some clear advantages when you select the computer test and they are:

  • The examination venue allows only 1 computer per test taker, which makes things easier
  • Countdown timer warns you about the remaining time which is a good thing
  • Results are released in less than 2 weeks, i.e, within 13 days
  • More availability of exam dates and venues


Well, these were the major differences and way of working of the two IELTS assessments and at the end, it is up to you to select the best out of the two. It is true that the paper-based has been around for years but computer-based test takers are increasing as well.

Also Read : 9 Best Apps for IELTS Preparation: A Step Forward to Reach Your Desired Band Score

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