Computer-Based IELTS Exam: Tips and Strategies

The computer-based IELTS exam follows the exact same format and test timings as the paper-based IELTS exam. When taking the computer-based IELTS exam, there are several tips and strategies that can help you perform at your best. By familiarizing yourself with the exam format and utilizing some key features of the computer-based platform, you can enhance your test-taking experience.

  1. Take advantage of the customization options: Adjusting the text size and background colour can make reading more comfortable for you. This feature allows you to optimize your viewing experience according to your preferences.

  2. Use the highlighter feature: Use the highlighter function to mark important information or key points in the reading passages or listening sections. This will help you quickly locate relevant information when answering questions.

  3. Keep your headphones on: It is recommended to keep your headphones on throughout the entire test. This will ensure that you don’t miss any audio cues or instructions provided during different parts of the exam.

  4. Don’t use the CTRL and F shortcut: It is important to note that in a computer-based IELTS exam, using shortcuts like CTRL and F for searching is not allowed. Make sure to rely on your own reading skills instead of taking such shortcuts during the test.

  5. Use pencil and paper: While writing tasks are completed on a computer, IELTS still provides paper for planning and notes if needed. Utilize this paper wisely by outlining your essay or writing down important points before starting your response.

  6. Allocate sufficient time for planning and proofreading: When completing writing tasks on a computer-based IELTS exam, spending more time organizing your thoughts before writing can result in a well-structured essay, while careful proofreading helps identify any errors or inconsistencies that need correction.

  7. Click on the clock to get the seconds: During the exam, you will have a timer displayed on your screen. By clicking on the clock, you can see the seconds ticking away, allowing you to manage your time more effectively.

  8. Do not risk leaving any changes until the end: Unlike a paper-based exam, where you can easily go back and make changes, in a computer-based exam, it is crucial to review and edit your answers as you go along. Leaving changes until the end may result in running out of time or making errors.

  9. Practice listening and typing: In a computer-based IELTS exam, listening tasks require typing answers directly into a text box instead of writing them on an answer sheet. Practicing this skill beforehand will help improve your speed and accuracy during the actual test.

  10. Use the tab key to move on: When completing tasks that require filling in blanks or selecting options from a drop-down menu, use the tab key on your keyboard to navigate between fields quickly instead of relying solely on your mouse.

  11. Use CTRL+C and CTRL+V functions: In a computer-based IELTS exam, you can use keyboard shortcuts like CTRL+C (copy) and CTRL+V (paste) when drafting or revising your task. This feature can save time compared to a paper-based IELTS exam.

By following these tips, you can enhance your performance during a computer-based IELTS exam and feel more confident while tackling each section. Remember to practice using the computer-based format beforehand to familiarize yourself with the interface and maximize your chances of success.

Mastering Computer-Based IELTS with Confidence Using Section-Specific Tips:

Computer-Based IELTS Listening Tips:

  1. Check your equipment to ensure a smooth test experience.

    Make sure your computer is in good working condition and has a stable internet connection. Test your headphones or speakers to ensure they are functioning properly. Adjust the volume to a comfortable level before the exam begins. If you have a problem, just put your hand up and tell the examiner.

  2. Read the questions first and familiarize yourself with the test format.

    Take a few moments before each section to quickly read through the questions. Pay attention to the keywords and instructions provided in the questions. This will help you anticipate what information you need to listen for during the audio recording.

  3. Write quickly and make effective notes.

    Develop shorthand or abbreviations that work for you to write quickly. Focus on capturing key information such as dates, names, places, numbers, etc. Use symbols and arrows to connect related ideas or pieces of information.

  4. Stay within the word count limit.

    Pay attention to any word count limits specified in the instructions. Avoid exceeding the given word count, as it may result in an incorrect answer and you will get no points.

  5. Double-check your spelling and grammar before submitting answers.

    Review your answers for spelling errors and correct them if necessary. Pay attention to grammar and punctuation to ensure clarity and coherence. Use the last few minutes of each section to review your responses before submission.

Remember, consistent practice, familiarizing yourself with the test format, and following these tips will help you perform better in the computer-based IELTS listening module. Good luck!

Computer-Based IELTS Reading Tips:

  1. Follow the instructions carefully:

    Read and understand the instructions provided before starting each section. Pay attention to any specific requirements or limitations mentioned in the instructions.

  2. Highlight the text:

    Use the highlighter tool to mark key information or words while you read the text on your computer screen. This will make it easier for you to find relevant details when answering questions later. You can also change the font size to help you read more effectively.

  3. Read the questions carefully:

    Take time to thoroughly understand each question before attempting an answer. Also, pay attention to keywords or specific requirements mentioned in the questions.

  4. Copy and paste:

    Utilize the copy and paste function to transfer relevant information from the passage directly into your answer. This can save you time and help ensure accuracy while typing answers.

  5. Scroll to find the words:

    Practice efficient scrolling techniques that allow you to quickly locate specific words or phrases within a passage. This will help you find answers more effectively and save time during the exam. It is different and easier than flipping through papers.

Remember, practice is key to improving your performance in the computer-based IELTS reading module. Familiarize yourself with the interface and develop a strategy that works best for you. Good luck!

Computer-Based IELTS Writing Tips:

  1. Speed typing is crucial:

    It is important to practice your typing speed and accuracy beforehand. This will allow you to complete your essays within the given time limit.

  2. No auto-correct feature:

    Another important aspect to keep in mind is that there is no auto-correct feature available during the exam. This means that you should be extra careful with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Also, proofread your work carefully before submitting it.

  3. Editing:

    One good feature of computer-based writing is that you can easily edit your essay. If you don’t like the sentence, you can select the whole line and delete it. You can also use the copy-paste function.

  4. Keeping an eye on word count:

    Use the word count feature provided onscreen to ensure that you stay within these limits. The computer-based IELTS writing exam has a specific word limit for each task (150 words for Task 1 and 250 words for Task 2).

  5. Plan your essay on paper:

    Using paper to plan your essay can be highly beneficial. Before starting to type on the computer, take a few minutes to plan or write key points on paper. This will help you organize your thoughts and structure your essay effectively.

Computer-Based IELTS Speaking Tips:

The computer-based IELTS speaking test will be the same as the paper-based one. A human evaluator will be conducting the exam. It will be equally likely to have a conversation with the examiner.

Remember, there are no wrong answers in the IELTS Speaking Test:

  • Understand that the examiner is not looking for a specific answer.
  • Focus on expressing your thoughts clearly and coherently.
  • Avoid being overly concerned about making mistakes and instead aim to communicate effectively.

Don’t pause for too long during your responses:

  • Practice maintaining a steady flow of speech without prolonged breaks or hesitations.
  • Avoid leaving long gaps that could negatively impact your fluency score.
  • If you need a moment to gather your thoughts, use fillers such as “well,” “let me think,” or “that’s an interesting question.”

Use simple and clear language; avoid using overly complex vocabulary:

  • Avoid using big words or elaborate phrases if you are unsure of their proper usage.
  • To ensure that the examiner can easily understand your message, choose clarity over complexity.
  • Demonstrate your language proficiency by accurately using more common vocabulary and expressions.

 Don’t hesitate to ask the examiner to repeat or clarify something:

  • If you didn’t catch a question or need further clarification, politely ask the examiner to repeat or rephrase it.
  • Ensure you fully understand the task before formulating your response.
  • Remember that it is better to seek clarification than to provide an irrelevant answer.

Make concise notes, but avoid excessive reliance on them:

  • Make brief notes during the preparation time during Part 2 of the speaking task.
  • Note down keywords or phrases that will help you structure your response effectively.
  • Avoid writing complete sentences, as it may hinder your fluency and coherence.
  • Your notes should serve as prompts rather than script-like cues.

Remember that preparation is key when it comes to achieving success in the computer-based IELTS. By following these tips and dedicating sufficient time to practice, you will be better equipped to tackle the test confidently and perform at your best. Good luck on your IELTS journey!

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