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For the very first time, we are bringing the online world into the classroom with our first E2Language Campus event in Melbourne! Join Jamal and Jay for this special opportunity to learn all you need to know about the IELTS writing. You can become an Expert too!

Join the E2 Campus IELTS Writing Workshop


I took the computer-based IELTS yesterday and it was great! I never thought I’d say that about taking the IELTS, but I can assure you that the experience was so much better than taking the paper-based test for a number of reasons, and the difference it made to the writing section was significant. Here are five reasons why Writing task 1 and Writing task 2 are made much better on the computer-based IELTS:

  1. Typing is way easier than handwriting

If you’ve ever taken the paper-based IELTS writing test you will know that writing is physically TOUGH! Being a native speaker of English, I have no trouble forming perfect sentences and structuring my paragraphs but I really do struggle to write on paper with a pencil. Before taking the IELTS, the last time I wrote an essay with a grey lead pencil was when I was in high school! When I write for more than 10 minutes my hand hurts. Touch typing, in contrast, is a breeze. You will not be distracted by an aching hand or a burned out pencil in the computer-based IELTS.

  1. Typing is way faster than handwriting

I did a quick experiment before test day and timed myself writing a 250-word writing task 2 essay. Writing on paper, it takes me about 30 minutes. Guess how long it took me to type 250 words? 7 minutes!  While it wasn’t the best essay I have ever written that experiment gave me an enormous amount of confidence for the test because I knew that even if it took me 25 minutes on test day, I would have at least 15 minutes to edit my essay. I also knew that the extra time would allow me to plan my Writing Task 2 properly.

computer-based IELTS lets you type

I did the same experiment describing a graph, and 150 words took me just over 4 minutes while typing. Again, it wasn’t the best description but that experiment reassured me that I would have much more time to analyse the graph, plan my answer, write it properly and edit the hell out of it!

  1. Typing allows you to rewrite sentences and restructure paragraphs

When you write with a pencil you have to think of the sentence in your head before you write it out because there is no ‘backspace’ and there certainly is no cursor to add a word or phrases here or there… If you do want to go back and restructure a sentence you have to put in arrows or strikethroughs and it ends up looking like a dog’s breakfast. While typing, I went back to previous sentences and either completely rewrote them, or made significant or small edits to them. This allowed me to write a really well structured and logically cohesive essay and Writing Task 1 from start to end. Joy!

  1. You don’t have to count your words

As you type, the number of words you have written appears on the screen in front of you… Magic! I remember when I took the paper-based IELTS I had to count those damned words and it took away precious time! No more… The computer counts them for you.

  1. The question prompt stares you in the face

The last good thing about the computer-delivered IELTS test is that the question prompt or the graph is always at the top left-hand side of the screen. You don’t have to flick the page over to see it like in the paper-based test. It means that you can constantly make sure that what you are writing is on topic and on the right track.

Currently, the computer-based IELTS is only offered in Melbourne and Adelaide in Australia and the seats are limited. If you are in this part of the world and worried about your writing then I strongly suggest that you book one of these exams. You won’t regret it.

UPDATE: I just received my band scores and I received 8.5 for writing. Not bad, ‘ey? I’ll send it off for review to see if I can get 9, but I won’t hold my breath. Maybe I’ll have to be ever satisfied with 8.5.

 

Written by Jay


13 thoughts on “5 Reasons why the computer-based IELTS is better in Writing”

  • Hi Jay!
    I felt really comfortable with the computer test. Buuut I have to do it again to improve my writing score which by the way I prepared the most. My concern is, both the essay and the letter are evaluated by the computer or an examiner? It is an algorithm involved that could make it harder? What do you think?

    • Hello Mariana,

      Glad to hear that you were more comfortable with the computerised test.

      The Speaking and Writing sections continue to have a human intervention and there is no algorithm that evaluating your Writing.

      Best,
      AC

    • Thank you for your interest!

      🙂 I’ll let everyone in the office know that there are more students out there looking forward to more E2Language CLASSROOM classes!

      We don’t have anything to announce at the moment! But when we do- you can be sure we’ll be announcing it all over our social media platforms and Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/e2language/

      Keep your eyes and ears out for word of it! 😉
      Cheers!
      Olivia, & The E2 Team

  • Flor Valdenibro says:

    Hello! I just want to know if there is a pen tool of highlighter tool (to highlight keywords) in listening and reading modules when taking via computer? Also, is there a website now that offers free computer-based practice test that has the same format as that of the real exam’s?

  • How do we make a rough plan in the computer based Writing tasks before writing the essay or letter? Do they provide a pencil and paper?

  • Hi Jay,
    It was not a bad score, 8.5 in writing. I think ielts have some restrictions that don’t give 9 to anyone hahaha.. I never seen a person getting 9 in writing. By the way, After reading your post, I am also going to book online format. I am following your videos for a few months. I am definitely going to use all your structures in my exam. Thanks for all you free videos and help.
    Regards.

    • Happy we can help! 🙂 Actually! We recently had one of our paid members crack the IELTS with a 9!!! We’re so happy for Ella! 🙂

      Glad the E2 material we share on our channels and here on the blog could help you!
      The E2 Team

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