Back to top




What are the top IELTS FAQs among test takers in Korea?

FAQs Answers


It is easier to get a higher score by taking IELTS with IDP instead of British Council.


Definitely not. IELTS benefits from a unique partnership of three international organisations. Whilst British Council is one of the IELTS partners that manages the test delivery and other centre-related aspects, Cambridge Assessment English is involved in research, test development and paper despatch to all IELTS centres. Since the paper production and despatch are controlled by Cambridge Assessment English, the standard of the test is the same regardless of the location you choose to sit for your test. It also brings consistency in the approach we undertake in assessing test takers on their language skills.


IELTS test scores can only be used for study-abroad purposes.


IELTS test scores are not only used for overseas study. Many countries accept IELTS scores for work and migration purposes too. Employers, professional bodies and associations around the world accept IELTS. For example, if you wish to work in Australia, the Australian government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection will require that you demonstrate your English abilities as part of your visa application and IELTS can be used for this purpose. The IELTS General Training test can satisfy the requirements of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) if you are applying for a work visa, professional registration or permanent residency in Canada.


Even if I do not sit all four sections, I will still receive a partial score.


Unless you are a special needs test taker and can provide medical proof that you are unable to sit for a particular section (for example, a mute test taker who is unable to take the speaking test), you will not receive a Test Report Form (TRF) listing your scores if you do not sit for all four sections.


All UK-bound test takers are required to sit the IELTS for UKVI test, which is much more expensive than ‘normal’ IELTS.


The type of IELTS test you take depends on the requirements of the institution where you will use the score. If you going to pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate degree and are applying to the schools listed as a Highly Trusted Sponsor, you will normally be required to take IELTS Academic. Only if you plan to study below degree level, foundational, pre-sessional or language courses in the UK would you normally need to take IELTS for UKVI. If you are in doubt, it is best to contact the institution you are applying to check their requirements.


More FAQs answered by Doctor IELTS

FAQs Answers


IELTS scores can only be used for studying in the UK


IELTS, accepted by 11,000 organisations in 140 countries including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc., is the world’s most recognised English language proficiency test. Not only is it accepted in the UK, it is also accepted in many other English-speaking countries and for purposes of study, work and migration. IELTS is the ideal choice for a multi-destination application.


Most US institutions only accept TOEFL scores.


This is not true. Over 3,400 US universities, including all Ivy League institutions, recognise IELTS. 95% and 99% of the top 200 US universities accept IELTS as part of their undergraduate and postgraduate programme application respectively.^ In fact, 83% of admissions officers in the US recommend IELTS as reliable evidence of English language proficiency.*
^Source: 2015 US News & World Report Top 200 ranking and individual universities' websites
*Source: 2016 US Admissions Officers Online Survey


Taking a computer-based test is better as I will lose marks for poor handwriting.


As long as your answer is legible, you won't lose marks for your handwriting. Different students have different preferences. Some students prefer to handwrite their answers as pen and paper is the familiar format they use in school exams. Some students who are used to doing work on a computer may prefer a computer-based test as they are more familiar with PC.


It is more difficult to get a higher score in IELTS than in TOEFL.


Although both are English proficiency tests, they are two different tests and cannot be compared side by side. IELTS is the world's most popular English test for good reasons. It is a communicative test that combines practical and academic use of English; the face-to-face speaking test provides an accurate assessment of the test taker’s English ability; and our quiet test environment helps test takers perform well.


Having flexibility over which sections to take first is better than sitting through the whole test in a fixed format.


In the IELTS test, all test takers proceed with the same section at the same time, which results in a quiet test environment. In tests where test takers have the flexibility to proceed with different sections at different times, the test environment will necessarily be noisier as some students might be doing a speaking test while others might start with the listening section.


IELTS is a UK test, therefore it uses British English while TOEFL uses American English and a mix of accents.


IELTS is an international test that accepts all standard English varieties – British, American, Australian, Canadian and more. A range of native-speaker English accents is used in the Listening and Speaking test.

If you prepare well for the Listening section, it will put you in a better position when you start your study or work abroad as you will be able to communicate with people from different parts of the world more easily.

In the Speaking test, test takers can speak in whatever accents they feel comfortable with. Examiners award a band score for each of the four criterion areas: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation.


For the speaking test, I will perform worse facing an examiner than talking to a computer.


Past test takers would disagree. They think that it is more natural talking face to face with someone than talking to a computer. If you missed the question, you can clarify it with the examiner and your speech will flow more naturally when you are interacting with someone rather than speaking to a computer.


For the writing test, I will lose marks if I write more than the word limit.


This is not true. The reason why you are given a word limit is to help you better manage your time so you do not spend all your time on one task and end up having insufficient time to attempt the second task. You will not lose marks for going over the word limit. 

I will get a lower score with American spelling in the IELTS test.


As long as the spelling is correct, both American spelling and UK spelling are accepted.


FAQs for IELTS on computer test

Questions Answers
Which test is best for me?

This comes down to your personal preference.

Some test takers prefer paper-based exams as this might feel similar to other exam situations from school, whereas others might feel more comfortable typing answers.

Information on both test formats is available here. Please contact your test centre if you would like to discuss either option.

Does IELTS on computer test cover the same content as a paper-based version? IELTS on computer test will cover the Listening, Reading and Writing components. The test will be the same as the paper-based IELTS version in terms of content, scoring, level of difficulty and question types. The Speaking test will still be conducted by a certified IELTS Examiner.
Is the test marked by a computer or by a person? The IELTS Reading and Listening sections are marked automatically by the computer, while the Writing and Speaking sections continue to be graded by trained Examiners.
Is IELTS on computer test easier because it is marked by a computer? There is no difference in the difficulty of the tests because the assessment criteria are the same for both IELTS on computer and IELTS on paper.
Is IELTS on computer test harder than IELTS on paper? No, it isn’t. IELTS on computer test will cover the Listening, Reading and Writing components. The test will be the same as IELTS on paper in terms of content, scoring, level of difficulty and question types. The Speaking test will still be conducted by a certified IELTS Examiner.
I heard that in the TOEFL test, the speaking session is conducted with the help of a computer. Is IELTS on computer speaking test done in the same way?

No, it isn’t. The IELTS Speaking test is conducted by a certified Examiner, enabling real-life, two-way interaction.

The Speaking test will remain face-to-face, as we believe it is the most effective way of assessing speaking skills and encourages more realistic performance from test takers.

Provision of special requirements
I think I need special arrangements for me to take IELTS. Can I still sit IELTS on computer test? We have a number of options available to support special requirements through our paper-based format. Test takers with special requirements are encouraged to contact their local British Council office to assess their needs and discuss if the IELTS on computer test is suitable.
Can I bring my own laptop or keyboard? No, unfortunately not. There is no need to bring your own keyboard or laptop as all equipment is provided by the test centre. No other equipment is permitted.
Test availability
Will there be more IELTS sessions available now with the introduction of IELTS on computer tests?

Initially there will be a maximum of one IELTS on computer session available per day in a limited number of test centres.

Please check with your local IELTS test centre or here  for more detailed information.

Is the IELTS on computer available on demand? The IELTS on computer is not available on demand at present. Registration for the IELTS on computer follows the same procedure as the IELTS on paper.
Is the IELTS on computer more widely available than PTE and/or TOEFL IBT? Please view the test date and location details here for more information on test availability.
Test preparation
What practice materials are available?

Please view the materials available here, which provides a clear overview of the IELTS on computer test and how it works.

There are also practice materials available here. As the questions and tasks on the IELTS on computer test are the same as the IELTS on paper, this material is suitable for all test takers.

Test comparison
How does the IELTS on computer compare to PTE and/or TOEFL IBT?

With IELTS, test takers can feel confident they are sitting the world’s most popular high-stakes English language test for study, work and migration.

IELTS is trusted by 11,000 organisations worldwide for its fairness, reliability and high-quality standards. This remains the case for both IELTS on computer and on paper.

Why isn’t IELTS fully computerised, like PTE and TOEFL? With IELTS, you deal with real people. Face-to-face testing helps test takers develop English skills in the context in which they’ll be used. The IELTS Speaking test is delivered by a certified examiner, enabling real-life, two-way interaction.
Test results
Does the IELTS on computer mean I’ll get my results sooner? If you take the IELTS on computer test then you will receive your results 3-5 days after you complete the last section of your test. Please note that if the result release day falls on a weekend or public holiday, the test report form(TRF) will be distributed on the next working day.
Which test is more expensive? IELTS strives to offer the same test experience to all of its test takers regardless of where he/she takes the test. Please verify the price for your chosen test session before you complete your registration.