IELTS is a standardized test that measures one’s proficiency in English especially if he/ she is a non-native speaker of the language. 

It can be taken both in the paper-based format or a computerized format depending upon the preference of the candidate.

The Reading , Writing and the Listening sections can be attempted either on paper or through a computer. The Speaking section is typically conducted in front of a certified examiner who listens while you’re delivering your speech.

Let’s browse through the table drawn below to understand how the paper based IELTS tests differ from the computer based ones.


Results come out after 13 days. Results come out in 3-5 days.
You’re provided with a sheet of paper and a pencil You will need to type your answers in the computer itself. You may also be provided with a sheet and a pen for taking down notes.
Held in big spaces at academic institutes Conducted in smaller, tailor-made rooms.
Starts typically with Writing, Reading , Listening Starts with Listening, Reading and Writing
For the Listening section, you get an additional 10 minutes to transfer your answers into a sheet Here, you need to type your answers in their right places on the screen.
The usual IELTS does not provide headphones. You’re provided headphones to attempt the listening section
Test availability is up to 48 days a year (Thursdays and Saturdays) Test availability is up to 7 days a week
Answer sheets are collected by the examiner and then sent to the Cambridge Marking Facility Answers are directly uploaded to the server at Cambridge
Handwriting needs to be neat and legible Handwriting doesn’t matter as answers are typed
Difficult to make changes Easier to edit as compared to the paper-based ones

Both the formats have their own pros and cons and you must choose to go ahead with the version that is most convenient for you.

Remember that with the right amount of practice, acing either the paper-based test or the computer-based test is not too difficult.

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