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IELTS computer vs pen paper

Questions concerning the IELTS computer-based test and the paper-based test have risen among those applying for the IELTS test. More like, those applying for the IELTS test are a bit confused about how to go about it. Just as you are curious to know which of the tests are simpler? Or more ideal?

Well, the IELTS computer-based test and paper-based test works the same way, aside from the fact that there are a few differences.


Luckily for you, you arrived on the right page! This article would explain all you need to know about computer and paper-based tests.

Let’s begin!

How do computer-based tests and paper-based tests work?

The computer-based test is a form of the IELTS test by which students make use of the computer to write their test. Here, all you need is provided on the computer, aside from the fact that you are given the paper and pencil to take down notes when needed.

The listening, reading, and writing sections would be done directly on the computer. You’ll only speak with an IELTS examiner during the speaking section.


While the paper-based test is yet another form of the IELTS test by which students make use of a paper and pencil in writing their test, the first three (3) sections; writing, reading, and listening would be done via writing tools and via not the computer.

So those who are not conversant with the basics of using the computer prefer to use the paper-based test method to write the test.

What are the differences between computer and paper-based tests?

Like I said to you before, the differences between computer-based tests and paper-based tests are minimal!

Let’s examine what they are.

 computer-based test Paper-based test 

1.    Your result is available after about 3-5 days of writing your test.



2.    You can view how much time you have left to complete your test.


3.    You begin with the listening section, followed by the reading and writing section.


4.    Your test is written via the computer.















1.    Your result is available after about 13 days of writing your test.


2.    Since you’re not using the computer, you have to be conscious of how much time you spend on each question.


3.    You begin your test in the following format; Writing, reading and listening.


4.    Your test is written via paper and pencil.



What is the comparison between computer and paper-based tests?

Let’s take a look at the comparison below:


Computer-based test

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Paper-based test

1.      The computer-based first three(3) sections are done purely on the computer.


2.    You are only given 2 minutes to revise your answers when you use the computer-based test.


3.    Computer-based tests are written in small rooms designed for the comfort of the student while paper-based tests are written in larger rooms.


4.    The test availability for computer-based tests is thrice a day and seven(7) times a week.


5.    There are features to highlight, copy or edit words on the computer-based test.


6.    You don’t need to count your words if you’re writing the computer-based test.


7.    You do not need to stress about losing a mark owing to bad handwriting.














1.    The paper-based test’s first three(3) sections are done via pencil & paper.


2.    usage of the paper-based test gives you 10 minutes to copy your answers from your question paper into your answer booklet after the listening section.


3.    Paper-based tests are written in larger rooms.


4.     The test availability for paper-based tests is forty-eight(48) days a year.


5.     It’s different from the paper-based test as you have to do the editing yourself with your pencil.


6.     Writing the paper-based test would require you to count it yourself.


7.    Your handwriting has to be visible, if not, you might end up losing a mark.




Which of the tests should I opt-in for?

Seeing all the characteristics of both the computer-based test and the paper-based test, it would be better if you choose the one that matches your capability.

What do I mean?

If you have basic computer knowledge of how to operate it, you can opt-in for it. But, if you have no idea how to navigate your way through a computer, kindly opt-in for the paper-based test— it would save you a lot of trouble.

Free IELTS classes in Dubai

They are listed below.

Name of Institute Location of institute Institute’s contact details.

1.    EMCAN Training Institute.


2.    Future target institute.


3.    Bright future— IELTS training & exam preparation…


4.    Aims institute.







1.     Al Khaleej center.


2.     Chevron General Trading LLC, Platinum business Centre.

3.    NBQ. Bank Building- Suite 404, fourth floor- Khalid Bin Waleed St- Bur Dubai-  United Arab Emirates.

4.    Al muraqqabat – Dubai burger King Building Dubai – Dubai- United Arab Emirates.



1.    +971 4 352 5600.


2.     +971 55 997 3240


3.    +971 55 923 4565


4.    +971 55 559 9691





How can I prepare for IELTS in Dubai?

  • Learn from a professional tutor with IELTS experience.

There are professional tutors in Dubai experienced in IELTS. Some of them even have institutions where they offer their services to students willing to pay them. It would be of gain to you if you could learn from such.

  • Understand the timing of each of the sections.

Each of the test sections has its time duration. Study it and make sure to know when you should stop answering a question and when you should go on to the next section to save time.

  • Develop skills such as skimming and scanning for the reading section.

You don’t have all the time in the world to stare at one question hoping to understand it like that. Why not practice how to skim through and scam something before the day of the test?

  • Familiarize yourself with the formats of the test and questions.

The questions normally have a particular way they are set. Get yourself to know them well enough that even when you are asleep and you’re asked about the format of the test, you’ll say it right there and then!


Your reading to this point shows how serious you are about getting the knowledge you need about the IELTS computer-based test, paper-based test, the free IELTS classes in Dubai, and how to prepare for them.

I’m sure the questions you had concerning each one of these topics have been answered in this article.

It’s now time for you to excel in that test!


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