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  • Writer's pictureSte Sharpe

IELTS Test online...really?


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IELTS Test online

Since the pandemic, technology has played an important role in offering people flexibility in the way that they work and this flexibility can also be seen in the way candidates take the IELTS Test.


Did you know that you can take the IELTS Test in person, on a computer and at home on your own computer?


If you want to know more about the differences between these modes, read the rest of this blog.


How can I take the IELTS Test?

It’s always been the case that candidates can take the IELTS Test at a certified test centre on paper (also known as paper-based test). They sit in a room and have the question-and-answer papers for the Listening, Reading and Writing Tests, then they do the Speaking Test face-to-face with a trained IELTS Speaking examiner.


Since 2017, candidates have had the option to complete the IELTS Test on a computer (also known as computer-delivered) at a certified test centre as well. Candidates sit at a computer and complete the Listening, Reading and Writing Tests, then do the Speaking Test face-to-face with a trained IELTS Speaking examiner.


Then, in 2022, IELTS announced ‘IELTS Online’ where candidates sitting for the Academic module can complete the test, including the Speaking Test, from the comfort of their own home- not bad!


Is the test format different for the computer and online mode?

No. The test format is exactly the same, with the same question types, timings, marking criteria and security measures to ensure the reliability of the results.


Can I take the Academic and General modules by computer and online modes?

This all depends on why you’re taking the IELTS Test. This IELTS IDP website gives you some important information, but let me summarise it for you…


IELTS Test paper based at a verified test centre

-you can take the Academic and General modules at a verified test centre

-for visa and immigration purposes, you must take the test in person at a verified test centre


IELTS Test computer delivered at a verified test centre

-you can take the Academic and General modules at a verified test centre

-for visa and immigration purposes, you must take the test in person at a verified test centre


IELTS Online taken anywhere

-you can take the Academic module only

-the Speaking test will be conducted online with a trained IELTS Speaking examiner


How long will it take to receive my IELTS Test results?

IELTS have stated the following approximate timings for results:


IELTS paper-based = 13 days after the test

IELTS computer-delivered = 3-5 days after the test

IELTS Online = 6 days after the test


If I take the IELTS Online, how will they know if I’m cheating or not?

A very good question! IELTS Online uses a secure testing platform called ‘Inespera’. A day before your test, you’ll need to download the Inespera exam portal to run the system check. 


During the test, the exam portal uses AI and human proctors (someone who invigilates) to monitor your activity to check whether you’re cheating or not. You’ll also be able to speak to a human proctor if there are any issues.


This handy video from IELTS IDP shows the steps you’ll need to take to prepare for IELTS Online.


Are there any practice tests available to help me become familiar with IELTS computer delivered and IELTS Online?

Yes, there are and I’ve provided several links before for you to practise.





 


To sum up, the IELTS Test is exactly the same format for paper-based, computer-delivered and online; the only difference is the way you take the test.


It’s up to you how you take the test, depending on your reasons, but do make sure you read all the information about the test carefully before deciding.

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