How Can I Practice For The Computer Based IELTS Reading 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 are offered by the British Council and the IDP in Singapore. There are only a few minor differences between the Computer-based IELTS reading test and the paper-based one. This article will help you understand all about the Computer-based  IELTS Reading test and guide you about the best methods in which to practice for it.

What Is The Computer-Based IELTS Test?

To put it simply, during the IELTS Computer Delivered test the candidate uses a keyboard, while in the Paper Based Test, candidates write their answers with either pen or HB-pencils. The speaking section 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. It is also important to note that the format and types of reading questions for the computer-delivered reading test are the same for both the IELTS Academic and the General training tests.

Reading Test Question Types:

  1. Multiple-choice questions
  2. Matching Headings
  3. Matching Features
  4. Matching Information
  5. Matching Sentence Endings
  6. True/False/Not Given questions and Yes/No/Not Given questions
  7. Summary, Table, Note, Flowchart Completion
  8. Diagram Labelling

Are There Any Differences Between the Computer-Delivered IELTS Reading Test And The Paper-Based Reading Test?

There is really no difference in terms of content, difficulty, and grading. However, there are quite a few differences when it comes to the reading component of the exam in particular.

  • During the Computer-based reading test, students have to answer directly into the computer This can be problematic if you are not that adept at typing.
  • You don’t have to flip between the passage and the questions since both are displayed on the screen at the same time.
  • Although you are given a pen and paper to make notes, most students prefer to underline and highlight certain parts of the text. This is not as easy to do with the computer-based test.
  • Once the test is over, the screen is locked, and you do not have any extra time to make any last-minute changes.

What Are The Best Ways To Prepare For The Computer Delivered IELTS Reading 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. It is important to use a practice test in which you’ll find questions that reflect exactly what you’ll see on the screen, on test day. This should give you a good idea about how the test is laid out.

If you feel comfortable taking the Computer-delivered IELTS Reading 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.