Is The Computer Based IELTS Test Available In Singapore?

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System.  It is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration purposes, which assesses a candidate’s language ability in four areas, i.e. listening, reading , writing and speaking. Initially test takers were only able to take the test in written form along with a one on one interview for the speaking component of the test.

These days there are two versions of the IELTS Test available in Singapore, the paper-based test and the computer-based test. The computer Based IELTS test has the same level of difficulty, question types, price and marking criteria as its predecessor. To put it simply, during the Computer Delivered test the candidate uses a keyboard, while in the Paper Based Test test takers write their answers in either pen or HB-pencils. The speaking test remains the same for both tests.

The Introduction/History Of Computer-Based IELTS in Singapore

The computer-based IELTS test was introduced with resounding success, to a number of Singapore test locations, in 2018 by the British Council and IDP. This newer option does not replace paper-based IELTS but rather offers a choice between methods of test delivery.

Is There Any Difference Between The Computer-Delivered IELTS Test Offered By The IDP And The British Council?

There are no real differences between these organizations in terms of how they conduct the computer-based IELTS Test and the test content. The only noteworthy difference is that currently, the IDP has more test centres that offer the Computer-based test in Singapore than the British Council.

What Are The Advantages Of The Taking The Computer-Delivered Test?

Although there are really no differences in terms of content, difficulty and grading there are quite a few other reasons why taking the IELTS computer-delivered test is beneficial/advantageous.

  • It’s now easier to find a test date that suits you as the Computer-Based tests are available 3 times a day for the entire year, except public holidays. This is unlike the paper-based test which is only available on 48 predetermined test dates.
  • Headphones are provided during the listening test which greatly reduces the issue of clarity.
  • It is also much easy to edit and restructure text during the computer-based writing test than it is during the paper-based test.
  • One of the major reasons why the computer-based test has become so popular is the fact that you get your test scores much faster than before. Previously IELTS test results where only available after 2 weeks of the test date, but with the computer-based test, you can view your results within 3 to 5 days of your last completed component.

What Are The Disadvantages Of The Taking The Computer-Based Test?

There are some disadvantages which require consideration as well.

  • During the listening test, students have to answer directly into the computer while they listen to the recording. This can be problematic if you are not that adept at typing.
  • A pen and paper are available for making rough notes during the test. However, there is no extra time given at the end to transfer your answers, as it is with the paper-based test which offers an additional ten minutes.
  • Test takers sometimes struggle to finish their Writing test answers due to slow typing speed.
  • Apart from this, the noise generated by a number of test-takers typing at the same time can be quite distracting.
  • Most people like to underline or draw or circles on charts/graphs in order to mark key features, but this cannot be done for computer-based academic writing task.
  • Finally, at the end of the test, your computer screen will be locked so you will not be able to make any last-minute corrections.

If these disadvantages seem inconsequential for you personally, then you should consider booking the computer-based IELTS tests. You can easily complete the registration process for the IELTS Test on the official IELTS website.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.