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Conspiracy Theories About Computer-delivered IELTS - Debunked

Some fake news you might not be aware of.

We’re sure you have heard about certain comments from test takers about computer-delivered IELTS. With rumours swirling and misconceptions forming, we’ve decided to address these perceptions once and for all.

Below is a list of the most common conspiracy theories that people have about taking IELTS on the computer. If you’re unsure what it looks like, you might want to check out the free support tool

Theory 1: The computer-delivered test is different from the paper-based format

The only difference, really, is that you use a keyboard in the computer-delivered test and a pencil in the paper-based one. Everything else such as grading, level of difficulty and question types are still the same.  The speaking section also remains unchanged, where you’ll speak face-to-face with a trained IELTS examiner.

Theory 2: The computer-delivered test is easier than the paper-based test

Since the content is the same, the level of difficulty for both the computer-delivered test and the paper-based test are the same. In addition, neither test is easier than the other because the scoring for all sections is also the same. 

Theory 3: The paper-based test is easier than the computer-delivered test

Depending on the comfort level of the candidate, some candidates feel more comfortable writing the paper-based test. There’s also a help button on the computer-delivered test for candidates who may feel nervous about doing it. If you want to experience for yourself what IELTS on computer is like, you try out the familiarization tests from home!

Theory 4: It’s harder to score well these days as examiners are stricter

As already mentioned, scoring is the same for both paper and computer-delivered IELTS. Additionally, certified IELTS examiners are extensively trained and require specific qualifications. Band scores and band descriptors are used to evaluate and mark exams.

Theory 5: A computer is needed by the candidate to take the computer-delivered IELTS test

For the computer-delivered IELTS test, candidates do not need to have their own computer. Candidates are also not allowed to bring their own computers while equipment such as computers and headphones, are supplied by the test centre.

Theory 6: A candidate will still receive their final score at the same time as the paper-based test

Candidates will receive their score 5-7 days after the computer-delivered IELTS test. Candidates will receive their score 13 days after the paper-based test.

Eventually, test takers have the choice to take either the computer-delivered or paper based IELTS. Final scores from both the computer-delivered test and the paper-based test will be recognised all around the world.


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