PAPER OR COMPUTER BASED IELTS IN NIGERIA, WHICH IS BETTER?
The International English Language Testing system (IELTS) is now one of the most widely taken language test in Nigeria today. This can be primarily linked to the role the test plays in the current point based system of Canada and Australia immigration.
Also, many Nigerian students that desire international education now make Canada their top option and the academic version of the IELTS is sometimes a major requirement.
As a result, thousands of Nigerians take this test in different locations across the country on weekly basis. The major components of IELTS exam include speaking, writing reading and listening.
Recently the British council, one of the major organizations conducting the exam in Nigeria aside the IDP has announce the introduction of the computer based testing system.
Hence, as a matter of choice, candidates can now write the exam using either the old paper based system or the computer based system. Now, considering the fact that the price remains the same, those who want to write the exam want to know the best one to go for-computer or paper based.
According the British council, there would be more computer based centers than the paper based. For example, as at the time of writing this article, there is only one paper based center in Ibadan.
Also the result of the paper based will be out within 5 to 7 days. This is a week earlier than the paper based system and means a lot for those who want to create or updates their Canada express entry profile.
However, when asking the question; computer or paper based IELTS in Nigeria, which is better? The most important thing to consider is how it will affect your score.
The speaking part of the test is the same for both the computer and the paper based. So, let’s looks at how your score is affected in the other components. So, let’s looks at how your score may be affected in three other parts- reading, writing and listening.
The listening questions are still the same for both the computer and paper based IELTS. You will be given a headset which you will confirm if it’s working properly.
Then you will provide answers to each section based on what you hear and the instructions given. If you are taking the computer based test, there would be a time counter display at the top corner of the computer. One difference between both however is the extra time given after the listening test.
Those who take the paper based test will receive an extra 10 minutes to transfer their answers to the answer booklet properly and make necessary corrections (in case s/he has been scribbling the answers on the question paper)
In the computer based writing test, editing usually comes easier than the paper based. Unlike the paper based, you can delete part of your write ups without making your work rough.
This Also, computer based test does not have issues with handwriting. Some people do feel that their performance has been affected because markers are not able to see their work clearly.
Another way the computer based test can be of help is the word count. The computer automatically helps you to count the number of words you have written with total accuracy.
However, not everyone is dexterous in the art of typing on computer keyboard. Some people’s typing can be very slow and some and do not have any experience in taking a writhing test on computer.
There are different means of imputing your answers in the computer based IELTS reading test depending on the question. On each page, the comprehension passages are usually placed on the left side while the corresponding questions appear on the right side.
In case of multiple option questions where you pick the most appropriate answers. Some requires that you drag the answer to the appropriate place.
In other instances you write the answer in the space provided. Note also that you can highlight what you consider key words or sentences by simply selecting the areas you want to highlight and then right click to see the “highlight option” . You can also clear the highlight by right clicking the highlighted area again and selecting “clear highlight”.
There are no so much differences in the computer based IELTS reading test and the paper based. However some people cannot afford to read on a computer screen for a long time and would prefer the traditional reading from paper.
The computer based IELTS speaking test and the reading test remains the same.
One good report about the computer based center so far is that it is more organised with fewer candidates per room. However, some candidates have said that typing noises especially during the writing test can be distractive.
How does your choice affect your score?
There has been enough research to know if the two system of testing actually provide a fair playfield for candidates. The observation over repeated case studies reveals that the performance even with an average computer user is even when compared to the paper based test.
Therefore, the computer or paper based test will not be the determinant of your score. You will have to improve your English language proficiency through consistent practices in order to improve your score.
Does it affect the result release date?
Yes, the result of the computer based testing comes out in 5-6 days. This makes it more than a week earlier than the paper based system which is made available in 13 days.