Test format: The CBT version of the IELTS test is delivered on a computer, while the PBT version is delivered on paper.
Test sections: The CBT version has the same four sections as the PBT version: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. However, the order of the sections may be different, and the Listening and Speaking sections may be computer-delivered in the CBT version.
Test content: The content of the CBT and PBT versions is the same, but the way it is presented may differ. For example, the Reading section of the CBT version may have more interactive features, such as the ability to highlight text or take notes on the screen.
Test duration: The total test time is the same for both versions, which is 2 hours and 45 minutes. However, the timing for each section may be different between the two versions.
Test results: The scoring for the CBT and PBT versions is the same. The scores for each section are reported on a scale of 0 to 9, and a final overall band score is calculated based on the average of the four section scores.
Test availability: The availability of the CBT and PBT versions may vary depending on the test center and location. Some centers may offer only one version, while others may offer both.
Overall, the CBT and PBT versions of the IELTS test are similar in terms of content and scoring, but the format and delivery of the test may differ. It’s important to research and choose the version that works best for your needs and preferences.
There is no definitive answer to whether the IELTS CBT (Computer-Based Test) is easier or harder than the PBT (Paper-Based Test), as this can vary depending on the individual test-taker’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their level of comfort with technology.
In terms of content, both versions of the IELTS test have the same difficulty level and the same range of question types. The main differences are in the delivery of the test and the format of the questions.
Some test-takers may find the CBT version easier, as it offers features such as the ability to highlight text or take notes on the screen, which can be helpful for some test-takers. The Speaking section of the CBT and the PBT version is delivered face-to-face with an examiner.
On the other hand, some test-takers may find the PBT version easier, as it may be more familiar to those who are used to traditional paper-based tests. Additionally, the Listening section of the PBT version is delivered through audio recordings, which some test-takers may prefer to the computer-delivered version in the CBT.
In the end, the difficulty level of the IELTS CBT vs. PBT will depend on the individual test-taker’s personal preferences and comfort level with each format.