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Computer-delivered or computer-based IELTS (CDI or CBI)

Candidates who are interested in migrating to a new country can take this test through computer-delivered ielts or a paper-based IELTS. Both ways are up to you.


It totally depends on what you are comfortable in. The old fashion way of writing an exam or taking up a test fully automated. There is absolutely no difference in the difficulty of the examination.

It is for people who are well versed with the machine especially adequate with typing. The goal of choosing this way is when a person feels they are better off typing rather than writing with a pencil. In simple words, if your typing is fast and good, then go for it.

Pros of CBT

  1. If you think you are good at typing even in stressed environments like such, then stick with this. 

  2. The screens are readable, they can be zoomed-in also. One can resize the screens, even the brightness, adjust volume, highlight passages, underline keywords, make notes, review answers, copy and paste answers from the passage that would unquestionably save time as well. 

  3. According to the new guidelines since the spread of Covid has taken over us, fewer people are allowed in one sitting to take the exam. 

  4. The availability of slots is plenty in fact the dates are open throughout a month. 

  5. Another best thing is the results are fair quick as compared to paper-based IELTS. 

Cons of CBT

  1. One needs to be really swift at typing. There should not be a doubt on this, if you think you are not up to the mark, then go for paper delivered IELTS instead. 

  2. The timer runs at the top of the computer screen so once the mentioned time is up, the screen will instantly get locked. In other words, making last-minute changes is not possible.


*Note: Practicing CBT sample papers is really essential before one sits for the real exam.

Listening - CBT


  1. Highlighting key information is possible.

  2. Some questions require you to type, while others demand you to drag correct answers. Some would ask you to choose from the options. This somehow saves time since various question types require you dragging, or choosing a correct answer. 

  3. One can use the “tab” key to move from one part to another, making it easier to navigate. 


  1. You need to listen and type at the same time, even though you are provided with a pen and a piece of paper. 

  2. Some questions require you to type, while others demand you to drag correct answers. Some would ask you to choose from the options. Getting used to all the question types is a must otherwise you may get stuck. 

  3. If one doesn’t know how to move from one section to the next, there is a high probability of losing score. 

Reading - CBT



  1. Looking at the screen for hours could be tiresome. You might lose focus. 

  2. Drawing, highlighting or making notes on the screen isn’t as easy. The test is itself stressful for some students, so this might come up as extra efforts. 

  1. Reading passages are on the left-hand side whereas questions are on the right-hand side, this makes it easy for the candidate to answer questions. 

  2. It is really convenient as one can increase the font size, highlight text as needed, or adjust the screen. Even one can copy/paste from the texts. 

Writing - CBT



  1. Your words get counted automatically when you start typing. 

  2. It is easier to edit, copy or paste.

  1. The sound of everyone typing at the same time can be super distracting. 

  2. At the same time, if you make unintentional errors, this could be a headache to proofread your essay during the last minutes. 

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