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Computer Delivered (CD) IELTS

Watch the video on the IELTS Computer Delivered Vs. paper based test.

The Computer Delivered or CD IELTS test is nothing new. In fact, it’s been available for a few years now and both the British Council and IDP offer Computer Delivered (CD) IETLS tests along with the paper-based one.

With the CD test you can take all 4 components on the same day. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are taken on computer. The face-to-face Speaking test and the Test Report Form are the same for paper based and CD IELTS tests. 

For the Listening, Reading and Writing components, there’s no difference between CD and paper-based tests in terms of timing, grading, length of validity, content, question types and security arrangements.

With the CD test you can get your results within 5-7 days. Each candidate takes a different test on the computer.

For those of you who like the reassurance of paper and pencil for making notes, test centers do provide these but most candidates reported that they didn’t actually need them.

Both the British Council and IDP have CD IELTS familiarization guides and free practice tests available on their websites. Some Test Centers offer hands-on practice sessions to familiarize candidates on navigating the CD test.


CD IELTS Listening

  • All candidates use their own headsets so there are no distractions with speaker quality or noisy neighbors. You can highlight key works in questions on the screen.

  • You type or select the answers as you listen. At the end of each section you have 30 – 60 seconds to check your answers. Once you’ve answered, a line appears under the number in the navigation bar and unanswered questions have a circle around them

  • There is no 10 minute answer transfer time at end of test as there is no answer sheet. You have 2 minutes at the end of section 4 for a final check.


CD IELTS Reading

  • You can highlight key words in the questions and the texts.

  • You can make notes in the text and an icon will appear in the place where you made notes.

  • The text and the questions appear side by side on the screen.

  • Any unanswered questions are highlighted in different shape so they are easy to find when you’re doing the final check.

  • All answers are saved on the computer so there is no answer sheet.


CD IELTS Writing

  • The task and section where you type your answer appear side by side on screen.

  • There is an automatic word count displayed on the screen so there’s no need to count every individual word.

  • Your answer can be edited but no there is no spell checker.

  • Poor handwriting is no longer an issue.

  • Typing ability has been a concern expressed by some candidates. However, feedback from those who have taken the computer test says that you need moderate rather than advanced typing skills. In fact, many candidates reported that they finished ahead of time.


CD IELTS Overall

  • Feedback from CD IELTS candidates has been generally positive. 

  • Many reported that the Test Center was less crowded and more organized. For those who have experienced the paper based IELTS test, there can be 100 + candidates in the center at one time and it’s often difficult to get the invigilator’s attention.

  • CD IELTS offers a lot more test dates with some test centers offering the test 3 times a week.

  • Faster results were well received.

  • If there is a technical problem during the test, the invigilator can decide to stop the clock while it’s being fixed. 

  • For each section there is a help button, which gives general information and instructions and how to navigate the test and complete the task.

  • There were some concerns expressed about screen fatigue because of two and a half hours on screen with no break.

  • There were issues about noise levels with everyone typing at the same time.

  • A lack of online CD practice tests is an issue but some test centers offer free CD practice sessions that focus on navigating the test


CD IELTS Familiarization and Practice 

  • Before opting for the CD IELTS, it’s essential that you practice the navigation. Both the British Council and IDP offer free CD practice tests on their websites.

  • For CD IELTS test practice materials…

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