IELTS Computer-Based Test: Structure, Benefits, and Essential Details

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Aug 14,2023 05:40 PM IST

IELTS is a popular English proficiency test accepted by most academic institutes worldwide. The test is conducted through both offline and online mediums. Read the blog to learn about the structure of IELTS CBT, including its benefits and other details.

IELTS Computer Based Test  Structure, Benefits, and Essential Details.webpIELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one of the most popular English language proficiency tests widely accepted by universities, colleges, and immigration authorities. It is basically for individuals who intend to study, work, or live in a country where English is the most commonly used language.

Previously, the IELTS test was only pen and paper-based testing but now has the new Computer-Based Test format. If a candidate plans to take the Computer-Based Test, they should know its structure, benefits, and other essential details to make way to their desired band score.

What is the Difference between Paper-based IELTS and Computer-based IELTS?

Paper-based IELTS AcademicComputer-based IELTS
Mode of testPen and paperComputer
Test datesConducted four times a monthConducted seven days a week
Available slotsFixed exam slotFlexible slots available (up to 3 slots a day)
Result declaration12-14 days3-5 days

IELTS Computer-Based Test Structure

The IELTS CBT is divided into four sections, just like the paper-based test, and takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. Here is a breakdown of each segment details:

Module nameDetails

The listening test is about 30 minutes long and has four parts, each presenting a recording followed by a set of questions. The topics usually cover everyday conversations and academic-style discussions or monologues.

ReadingThis section lasts for 60 minutes and includes three passages with a total of 40 questions. The texts and questions are different for the Academic or General Training version.
WritingThe Writing task takes 60 minutes to complete. The writing section has two tasks. Task 1 in the IELTS Academic is about describing a graph, table, or process, and Task 2 involves writing an essay. In the IELTS General Training, Task 1 is a letter, and Task 2 is an essay.
SpeakingThe speaking test takes between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of an interview between the test taker and a trained and certified examiner. It has three parts, namely: Introduction and Interview; Individual long turn; Two-way discussion.

Benefits of the IELTS Computer-Based Test

There are a lot of advantages that one gets if they take the IELTS Computer-Based Test. It includes:

• Convenience: One of the main advantages of IELTS on the computer is that you can type responses faster and neater than writing by hand.
• Flexible Test Dates: This IELTS on Computer test can be scheduled more frequently than paper-based tests, and the applicants can choose the exam date at their convenience.
• Speedy Results: Test takers can expect their results within 5-7 days, compared to the 13 days it takes for the paper-based test
• User-Friendly Interface: The format for the Computer-Based Test has many features like a timer, a progress indicator, and the ability to change the screen's brightness or text size, which gives customization options to the test takers.
• Easy Navigation: IELTS Computer-Based Test helps test takers easily navigate between questions, flag them if they want to review, adjust the volume on the listening test as per their suitability, and offer a more personalized experience.

Also read: IELTS Exam type

IELTS on Computer: Locations across India

AhmedabadAmritsarAnand - VV nagarBathinda
Bengaluru - St. marks roadBengaluru - Kasturba roadBengaluru - WhitefieldBhopal - MP nagar
ChandigarhChandigarh - sector 34Chennai Chennai - Adyar
Dehradun - Ballupur chowkGoa - MG roadGurugramBegumpet
Hyderabad - Jubilee hillsHyderabad - KukatpallyJaipurJalandhar
Karnal - ShyamnagarKochiKolkata - Park streetLucknow - Aliganj
LudhianaMumbaiMumbai - Lower parelNew delhi - Nehru Place
New delhi - PitampuraNew delhi - Rajouri gardenNoidaPune
Pune - Shivaji nagarRajkot - Nana Mauve circleSuratThane

Computer-based IELTS: Preparation Tips

Students must familiarize themselves with the test format to prepare well for the Computer-based IELTS. By practicing and familiarizing with the test format, test takers can achieve success in the Computer-based IELTS. To do this, applicants may use the resources that provide free IELTS CBT practice tests to understand the format and improve their speed and efficiency.

Also read: IELTS Eligibility

Here are a few IELTS preparation tips to help candidates during the test:

 Read and try to understand every question carefully.

  • Listen to podcasts with different accents, sound clips from movies and news.
  • In the reading section, Use the skim and scan method to get answers.
  • Practice each section in the given time for speed and efficiency
  • Highlight the important parts while reading the passage.
  • Be careful about grammar and spelling.
  • Improve vocabulary by reading different topics
  • Be confident while answering the examiner in the speaking section.

Always remember that the IELTS test is conducted to measure candidates' English language proficiency skills. Whether taken on paper or computer, it makes little difference. To succeed in the IELTS exam, candidates must prepare well and familiarize themselves with the test format. To understand the test format and master their preparation for IELTS, candidates can take the help of IELTS trainers and practice IELTS on Computer tests at home.

Also read: IELTS Exam dates


The structure of the IELTS Computer-Based Test (CBT) is similar to the structure of the paper-based test; the CBT version is divided into four sections: The Listening section is 30 minutes long, the Reading and Writing section is of 60 minutes, and the Speaking section is approximately 15 minutes long.
Yes, the contents of both versions of the IELTS test are the same. The only difference is the mode of taking the test: one is on paper, and the other is on a computer. In case of the Speaking test, it remains a face-to-face interview in both formats.
IELTS CBT offers individuals several benefits over paper-based tests, such as the convenience of typing responses, choosing the test dates flexibly, faster results, a user-friendly interface that offers customizable features, and navigating easily between questions.
There is no difference in the content of both versions of IELTS; the preparation remains the same. It is recommended that the candidates should familiarize themselves with the CBT format by practicing online tests so to improve their speed and accuracy in the actual test.
The CBT version has a customizable user interface where candidates can change the screen's brightness or size of the text to suit their needs. But they can contact the local test center to discuss if they have specific requirements beyond these features.

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