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CD-IELTS or Computer delivered IELTS is a computer based IELTS exam, introduced in 2016. Since then, there has been a notable increase in exam centres across the globe, equipped for CD-IELTS. Recent stats have shown that every session, more number of students have been opting for CD-IELTS over classic IELTS.

Does that mean CD-IELTS is surpassing the paper based IELTS?

First, let’s see who is CD-IELTS preferable for:

  • Individuals who are comfortable with writing on computer.
  • Who prefer the computer format due to ease of exam attempt.
  • Who have good typing skills.
  • Who are more comfortable with computer based paper and prioritize it over paper based exams.
  • Individuals with apparently bad handwriting.
  • Who perform better in less crowded exam rooms.



Popular question!

is it easier than paper based IELTS?


Computer Delivered IELTS has some advantages over paper based IELTS, but it definitely is not an easier version.

CD-IELTS has the same exam format, same questions as that of paper based IELTS. Only in terms of exam duration of the Listening test, it slightly differs from paper based one.

Both versions has the same syllabus and difficulty level. So, there’s the answer to your question- CD-IELTS is convenient, but not an easy version of IELTS.

For finding out proper differences between both, refer to the blog titled- “Paper Based IELTS or Computer Based IELTS- How to Make the Choice”


CD-IELTS- Should you go for it? 

You should decide by first asking yourself- is it a better option than paper based IELTS for you?

The ultimate goal for taking any of the IELTS version is to get the score you need. So you should pick CD-IELTS if you find its aspects more suitable to you.

You can come to a better conclusion by measuring its pros and cons/ advantages and disadvantages over paper based IELTS.



PROS of taking

the Computer-Delivered IELTS

  • CD-IELTS is more conveniently arranged than the paper based IELTS with way more comfortable and organised test set up.
  • It is conducted in smaller groups, sometimes one at a time, which makes the test centres less crowded and more systematized.
  • Amount of exam jitters is lessened due to proper decorum and advanced test environment. Some test centres have really nice infrastructure, which sort of boost up the overall exam experience.
  • Easier to attempt questions and typing facilitates it if one’s speed is up to the mark.
  • Reading task is more comfortable on the proper sized computer screens. The questions are well organised too, passages on the left side and questions on the right side of the screen, making the task of answering convenient.
  • You can also increase the font size as per your convenience.
  • It is easier to organise and edit essays on the computer set up.
  • Corrections are not messy and are less time consuming.
  • Since you have to type in your answers, you don’t have to worry about your handwriting. Though there is no penalty for bad handwriting in the paper version, if your handwriting is incomprehensible, your examiner can’t evaluate your answer.
  • There is more availability of test dates, 15 to 20 times in a month. Which is one of the main reasons of organised attendance.
  • Test results are out much faster than paper based IELTS. It takes 5 to 7 days for results to arrive.
  • There are word limits for writing answers in IELTS exam. In CD-IELTS you don’t have to worry about writing less. The computer automatically does the word count.
  • It is more convenient to structure paragraphs and rewrite sentences. You can easily edit your writing through cut, copy and paste.
  • Since it is an automated test, it promises unbiased test evaluation.

CONS of taking

the Computer-Delivered IELTS


  • CD-IELTS is favourable for those who are comfortable working with computers and have decent typing skills. If you struggle with your typing speed, CD-IELTS is not suitable for you.
  • Though there is an option of highlighting, sometimes it is bothersome and may not even work in some cases. Drawing or making notes in such cases is dependable on pen and paper again.
  • You are required to listen and type at the same time as time given for checking answer is only 2 minutes. It seems problematic sometimes.
  • Questions in the Listening section of CD-IELTS requires dragging words from one place to another, selecting answers in a box and off course typing with good speed. It is a problematic task for some applicants.
  • Looking continuously at the computer screen for hours can give screen fatigue.
  • Although the crowd is minimal, all of them typing at the same time is quite distracting. And if unluckily there is an aggressive typist in the same room, then struggle to concentrate gets doubled.

As I mentioned before, you need to compare the pros and cons of CD-IELTS before selecting as your preferred version of IELTS. It is completely your individual choice. Both paper based and computer based IELTS has the same format and syllabus.

Choose the one you are more confident with for achieving your target scores.

Choose well, All the Best!

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