All About IELTS

All there is to know about the IELTS test

Goodbye 2022… Welcome 2023!

Happy New Year 2023!

Hi everyone, this is Simone. Today is the last day of 2022, which means I have one last thing to do, before I can go on and celebrate the New Year. It’s been a tradition for many years now, for me to take a look back, see what I’ve accomplished this year, and think about everything I’d love to do in the New Year.

In 2022 IELTS-Blog.com turned 17 years old! And what a year it’s been.

After collating all the new features, products, services and everything that came into existence in 2022, no wonder the year went past in a flash – me and the team, we haven’t sat down for a minute 🙂

So, as a 2022 recap, here’s goes:

The IELTS prep tools we created for you

To help you study for the IELTS test easily, on paper, computer or your mobile phone, we

  • completely redesigned the website
  • released a new mobile app for practice on iPhone and Android
  • created the IELTS Online Prep platform for a very close simulation of IELTS on Computer
  • updated our print books and e-books to reflect the latest changes and trends in IELTS exams
  • opened a brand new IELTS VIP Club, to deliver model answers for the latest IELTS questions to the VIP members. The minute we opened doors, people from all over the world started joining and now we have members from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, UK, Ireland, Brazil, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam, Kuwait, Oman, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and other countries. Having processed Order #868 last night, I am feeling very optimistic about 2023!

Numbers don’t lie

Knowledge is power, and in 2022 we proudly empowered 2.6 million people who visited IELTS-Blog.com and read our blog posts 6 million times (!)

We delivered over 11 million emails with IELTS questions, advice and preparation materials to our subscribers this year.

To make sure you know what questions might come up in your exam, every day of the week we either posted an exam update with the latest IELTS questions, or a model answer – so that you know how to a respond.

And our efforts paid off – just look at these happy IELTS competition winners who achieved outstanding results!

Our IELTS community knows no bounds

Social media has long morphed from its original purpose to something that serves other needs today, and so many people appreciate an opportunity to learn something new via their social channels. Our Facebook following is 423K-people strong, and on Twitter we’re followed by 39K users. On YouTube we’ve got over 10K subscribed and many more watching our videos, and on Instagram our following is about 5.6K (but we’re relatively new to the platform, so I am sure the best is yet to come!)

Many people are searching for their purpose in life. I am blessed to have found mine – and it is to help YOU. I am here to break IELTS down for you, to explain how to approach it, and show you how to achieve your target score. So let me teach you how to calmly and confidently study, take the test, pass it and step into your bright future sooner.

To everyone who read our blog posts in 2022 – I wish you the IELTS score of your dreams in 2023.

To all the teachers, IELTS tutors and volunteers helping people pass their IELTS exams – I hope your students get amazing results in the New Year.

You can be 100% certain that in 2023, just like the 17 years before it, my team and I will continue to help you, and there will be new IELTS books, practice tests and services.

Just keep coming back; we’ll make it worthwhile.

Thanks again for being part of IELTS-Blog.com family in 2022. Thank you for your friendship and kindness, for your feedback and ideas, for sharing your knowledge and for spreading the word about IELTS-Blog.com.

Here’s to making 2023 your BEST year ever!

Happy New Year from Simone and the entire IELTS-Blog.com Team

Computer-delivered or paper-based IELTS: which is better?

This is a question that everyone is asking themselves when it is time to book their test:

“Which should I book, IELTS on paper or IELTS on computer?”

But ideally, you should be thinking about this much, much earlier – before you start preparing for your test, and here is why. In terms of interface IELTS on computer is very different from the paper-based test and it requires some different skills which you may need a bit of time to develop.

The question types and the way your answers are marked doesn’t change, but the presentation of some questions does, so they will look differently and the way you need to answer them is also different on a computer. For example, when you match headings to paragraphs, in the paper-based test you write the letter corresponding to the right heading in the answer gap. In the computer-delivered IELTS you need to drag the actual heading into the answer gap.

Here is a quick comparison of the two ways to take IELTS, with their pros and cons, to help you choose the right type for you.

General considerations for and against the computer-delivered IELTS

Pros

  • The results are out faster when you take the computer-delivered test – they are ready in just 3-5 days. In the paper-based test it takes 13 days to get the results.
  • If you have a problem with bad handwriting, on a computer it’s gone.

Cons

  • If you are slow at typing it will create a problem in a computer-delivered test. You may miss answers just because you couldn’t type them in time.
  • If you have a problem looking at the computer screen for 3 hours, the computer-based test is not for you.

Listening in IELTS on computer

Pros

  • You get headphones for the Listening test and can hear the audio more clearly.
  • The volume can be adjusted.

Cons

  • Your attention is split between typing answers on the screen and making notes on a draft paper. Making notes is optional, but people do it when they hear something that seems important, yet they don’t know which question this may be the answer for.
  • You get less time to check your answers after the Listening test ends. In a computer-delivered test you have 2 minutes instead of 10 in the paper-based test. Students use that time to check the notes they wrote on a draft paper during the test and possibly find and add some answers they missed earlier. They also check the spelling of their answers during that time, which is important to avoid losing marks for misspelled answers.
  • People who aren’t used to typing while listening may find it tricky.

Reading in IELTS on computer

Pros

  • You can see the text and the questions at the same time, as the screen is split into two parts. The text is on the left side and the questions are on the right. Each side can be scrolled independently, which lets you see any part of the passage and any group of questions, side by side. There is no need to flip pages back and forth, so that saves you time.

Cons

  • Reading on screen is harder compared to reading on paper, and it can lead to some problems. People tend to understand and remember the information better when they read on paper. Reading on screen is more suited for skimming and scanning, however, many IELTS question types require reading for detail, which is harder to do well on a screen.
  • Highlighting text and making notes is different on screen and on paper, it involves a few clicks and may feel not as instantaneous as highlighting / underlining and writing notes on paper.
  • Your notes are less visible – you need to click on the highlighted portion of text for your notes to show up on the screen. When you write something on your test paper, it’s right there, you can’t miss it.

Writing in IELTS on computer

Pros

  • Editing your writing task 1 or task 2 is easier on a computer because you can copy and paste content, rearrange sentences or paragraphs and delete without crossing off or rubbing out.
  • There is no need to count words in your writing task 1 or 2, they are shown on the screen and that saves you time.
  • Bad handwriting stops being a problem in the computer-delivered test.

Cons

  • Some test takers find the noise from other people typing during the writing test very distracting. Headphones can help block out the noise to some extent.

Speaking is the same in both exam types, there is no difference – you either do it in person at the test centre or via a video call with the examiner.

Whether you choose IELTS on paper or IELTS on computer, make sure you prepare for the type that you have chosen. If paper-based IELTS is your choice, you need to practice on paper. That would involve downloading and printing the practice tests, answering your Listening and Reading questions on paper and writing your Writing Task 1 and 2 on the answer sheets. You can use the practice tests here to prepare for your exam.

If you have chosen to take IELTS on computer, our IELTS Online Prep Platform is perfect for your practice sessions. It’s a new part of IELTS-Blog.com, where you can take the practice tests online, with or without time limits, check your answers, analyse your mistakes and improve all of your IELTS skills. You will get to see all the possible question types before the test, and you’ll know how to answer them – plus there are explanations for the answers, telling you why the correct answers are correct.

It’s a true game-changer if you are taking IELTS on computer, because on our website the tests look and work JUST LIKE in the real computer-delivered IELTS. Why is that a good thing? If you are taking IELTS on computer, you will be so well-prepared, there won’t be any surprises for you in the real exam.

Sign up for the generous free trial and practice, practice, practice!