Computer Delivered IELTS Test

Computer-Delivered IELTS Test or CBT is a new method introduced by both British Council and AEO Pakistan to take IELTS. You will be using a computer to take your Listening, Reading and Writing section BUT the speaking section remains the same with the usual one on one conversation with the examiner.


The main advantage of CBT is that your Test Results will be delivered between 5-7 days. Test content, timings, question types, marking & security arrangements will be the same for taking the test.

If you are used to typing you will find it easier to write/type your answers as compared to writing on the paper based exam. Slot availablity is also easier since its less crowded as people adopt to the paper based exam.


I wouldn’t recommend taking the Computer Delivered IELTS Test if your typing is slow. The timer on the screen gets locked at the end of each section making it hard to make last minute changes to your answers. The timer does not display the seconds for the last minute so it get a little tricky to estimate time.

Listening Pros and Cons:
  • Con: You are given a pen and paper, but you need to type your answer directly into the computer. This means you need to be able to listen and type at the same time.
  • Con: You will not have 10 mins to transfer your answers. In the paper based test, you have 10 mins to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. In the CBT, it is presumed that you have already typed your answers directly into the computer so you are only given 2 mins – just to check spelling.
  • Con: If you don’t know how to move from one section to the next, you might waste valuable time figuring it out.
  • Note: One candidate had an example conversation played at the start of the listening test, another did not. So be aware of this.
  • Advice: Please get familiar with the Page look and feel on CBT exam for each question type. You can get a sample for each question type in IDP website.
Reading Pros and Cons:
  • Pro: The best thing with CBT is that you can have passage on left-hand side and questions on the right-hand side. It is really easy and convenient to read and answers the questions.
  • Pro: You can increase the font size and can highlight the text as needed. In the PBT, it is not easy to highlight because you can’t use a highlighter pen in the test.
  • Advice: Get used to scrolling up and down long articles to get used to reading passages and navigating passages on a screen.
Writing Pros and Cons:
  • Pro: You do not need to count your words. The computer will show the word count.
  • Pro: It is easier to edit your writing.
  • Con: The major disadvantage with CBT is we unintentionally make typo errors. Though we know how to spell a word we make mistakes when we type. It is not always possible to identify all the spelling mistakes when proof reading.
  • Con: There will be a lot of people typing for one hour all at the same time. This means it can be very noisy which some people find distracting.
  • Note: You will be given a pen and paper. You can use it to plan your essay.

If you took the CBT, please comment below and I will update this post. I would like to make this page as useful as possible.

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