How Can I Practice For The Computer Delivered IELTS Listening Test?

Currently there are two ways in which candidates can take their IELTS exam. Students can choose between taking a paper-based test or a computer delivered test. The latter is the latest of the two options that is offered by the British Council and the IDP in Singapore. While there is no difference between the Academic and General Training Tests, there are a few key differences between the paper based and computer delivered listening tests. Would-be test takers are often confused about the how to prepare and what to expect regarding the Computer Based IELTS Test. This article will help you understand all about the Computer based test and guide you about the best methods in which to practice for the computer delivered IELTS listening test.

What is the Computer Based IELTS test?

To put it simply, during the Computer Delivered test the candidate uses a keyboard, while in the Paper Based Test, candidates write their answers in either pen or HB-pencils. The speaking test remains the same for both tests. The computer Based IELTS test has the same level of difficulty, question types, price and marking criteria as its predecessor. It is the same test whether you take the test with the IDP or 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 types of questions between both tests are also the same. They include:

  1. Multiple choice
  2. Matching questions
  3. Note, Form, Flowchart ,summary completion
  4. Map/plan/diagram labelling
  5. Sentence completion
  6. Short answer type questions

Is there any Difference between the Computer-Delivered IELTS Listening Test and the Paper Based Listening Test?

Although there are really no differences in terms of content, difficulty, and grading, there are quite a few differences when it comes to the listening component of the exam in particular.

  • Speakers are used to play the audio during the paper based test and headphones are used during the Computer based listening test. The use of headphones greatly reduces the issue of clarity.
  • During the Computer based 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.

What are the best ways to Prepare for the Computer Delivered IELTS test?

Taking a practice test under strict IELTS Exam conditions will help you to familiarize yourself with the test format and structure. You will also get the added benefit of being able to gauge your current level of test readiness

It’s extremely important to use authentic IELTS Practice tests, in order to get a realistic idea about your actual level of proficiency. Use full-length exams in which you’ll find questions that reflect what you’ll see on the test day and that gives you all the necessary help and information needed to guide you through the test before you start. You can use these practice tests to get a better idea of what the IELTS listening test is actually like.

If you feel comfortable taking the Computer-delivered IELTS Listening Practice test, 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.