Tips to score high on your computer-delivered IELTS Exam


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is a crucial stepping stone for anyone looking to work, study, or live in an English-speaking environment. The computer-delivered IELTS exam offers a modern alternative to the traditional paper-based format. Here are 20 tips to help you excel in your computer-delivered IELTS exam.

20 Tips to Succeed at the Computer-Delivered IELTS Test

  1. Familiarise with the Format: Understand the layout and type of questions in the IELTS exam. Practice using the specific computer interface you will use on the exam day.
  2. Practice Typing: Since the IELTS exam is computer-delivered, efficient typing skills can save you a lot of time, especially in the Writing section.
  3. Use Official Online Practice Materials: Leverage the IELTS exam’s official online preparation resources to get accustomed to the digital format.
  4. Read Extensively: Improve your reading speed and comprehension by reading online articles, as this mirrors the reading experience in the IELTS exam.
  5. Listen Actively: Practice listening to English in various accents and under different settings since the IELTS exam includes audio played only once.
  6. Speak Clearly: Although the test is computer-delivered, the Speaking section is still face-to-face. Practice speaking clearly and confidently.
  7. Manage Your Time: The computer screen displays a timer during the IELTS exam. Use it to manage your time effectively across sections.
  8. Practice Full-Length Tests: Simulate the exam conditions by taking full-length IELTS practice tests on a computer.
  9. Enhance Your Grammar and Vocabulary: The IELTS exam tests your range of vocabulary and grammar. Improve these skills through writing and speaking exercises.
  10. Check Your Work: Utilize the ease of editing on a computer to check and revise your answers in the IELTS exam.
  11. Use Headphones Wisely: Get used to practising with headphones, as you’ll need them during the Listening section of the IELTS exam.
  12. Take Regular Breaks: Take breaks to avoid fatigue during practice, which mirrors the short breaks allowed during the IELTS exam.
  13. Understand the Question Types: From multiple choice to essay writing, ensure you are comfortable with all the questions in the IELTS exam.
  14. Practice Academic Writing: If you are taking the Academic IELTS exam, practice summarising charts and graphs, as this task is not shared.
  15. Stay Calm and Focused: The computer-delivered format can make the IELTS exam feel less daunting if you stay calm and focus on one question at a time.
  16. Plan Your Essays: Make quick outlines or use the notepad feature in the IELTS exam interface if you have scratch paper.
  17. Utilize Keyboard Shortcuts: Learn and use keyboard shortcuts to save time during the IELTS exam.
  18. Mock Tests Under Timed Conditions: This helps build stamina and gives a realistic feel of the IELTS exam’s time constraints.
  19. Review Model Answers: Study high-scoring model answers in online IELTS preparation resources to understand what examiners look for.
  20. Stay Updated with Any Changes: Regularly check the official IELTS exam website for any updates or changes in the format or rules.

Differences Between Computer-Delivered and Paper-Based IELTS

Test Interface: The computer-delivered IELTS is taken on a computer for the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections, whereas the paper-based test is written with pen and paper.

Availability of Results: Results from the computer-delivered IELTS are typically available faster than the paper-based test.

Test Sitting: Some test centres might offer more frequent test dates for the computer-delivered IELTS than the paper-based version.

Answering Methods: In the computer-delivered test, answers are typed (except for the diagram labelling in Reading, done with a mouse), while answers in the paper-based test are handwritten.

Advantages of Computer-Delivered IELTS

Advantages of Computer-Delivered IELTS Over Paper-Based IELTS

Faster Results: Typically, results from the computer-delivered IELTS exam are available within 5-7 days, compared to 13 days for the paper-based exam.

Easier Revision: Changing your answers in the Writing section is much more straightforward on a computer.

Improved Legibility: Typed responses are easier for examiners to read, which could avoid misinterpretation of handwriting.

Flexibility in Scheduling: Computer-delivered tests are often available multiple times a day and throughout the week.

Comfortable Testing Environment: Modern test centres designed for computer-delivered tests often provide a better testing environment with fewer distractions.

Candidates can excel in their computer-delivered IELTS exam by preparing effectively and understanding the format. Whether improving their typing skills or practising with the right materials, these tips and insights into the differences and advantages of the computer-delivered format will help them achieve a high score on their IELTS exam.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic are prominent English language proficiency tests recognised worldwide. However, they cater to different needs and preferences due to their distinct formats and scoring methods. Here’s a detailed comparison of the IELTS exam and the PTE, emphasising their unique features and testing methodologies.

Test Format and Content

The IELTS exam is available in two versions: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Depending on the version, the IELTS exam tests all four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The speaking part of the IELTS exam is conducted face-to-face with an examiner, which is a distinctive feature of the IELTS exam as it aims to simulate a real-life conversation. The total test time for the IELTS exam is about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

In contrast, the PTE Academic also assesses listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills but integrates these into a computer-based test that lasts approximately three hours. The PTE’s speaking test involves speaking in a computerised microphone, which can feel less personal than the IELTS exam’s approach. However, it offers the advantage of analysing speech more consistently through its automated scoring system.


Scoring for the IELTS exam is on a band scale from 1 to 9 for each part of the test, with an overall band score calculated as an average of four. This makes the IELTS exam scoring transparent and allows test-takers to clearly understand their proficiency level across different language skills.

The PTE, however, employs a complex algorithm to deliver scores ranging from 10 to 90, representing the ability to use and understand English. The PTE scores each skill and sub-skill, providing a granular view of a candidate’s proficiency, which can be particularly useful for institutions requiring detailed performance data.

Test Availability and Results Turnaround

The IELTS exam is widely available, with test centres in over 140 countries and tests held multiple times a month. However, scheduling can sometimes be less flexible than the PTE because the IELTS exam includes a face-to-face interview.

On the other hand, the PTE offers more flexibility in scheduling, with test dates available at numerous centres worldwide nearly every day. Results from the PTE are typically available within five business days, faster than the IELTS exam, where results are released 13 days post-test for the paper-based version and 5 to 7 days for the computer-delivered version.

Acceptance and Recognition

The IELTS exam and the PTE are widely recognised by universities, employers, and government bodies worldwide. However, the IELTS exam is often preferred in the UK, Australia, and Canada for immigration purposes, reflecting its longstanding history and established trust in these regions. The PTE is gaining recognition rapidly and is widely accepted by universities, especially in Australia and the USA, thanks to its modern, computer-based testing format and quick result turnaround.

Choosing between the IELTS exam and the PTE largely depends on personal preference and the specific requirements of the institutions to which one applies. The IELTS exam might be more suitable if you prefer a more traditional test setting and face-to-face interaction. Conversely, the PTE might be better if you are comfortable with computers and require faster results. Ultimately, both tests are designed to assess English language proficiency rigorously and are structured to provide a comprehensive evaluation of language skills.