1 – Leave your headphones on

As soon as you get a set of headphones, put them on. Of course, you will need them for the listening test, which often comes first, but if you leave them on they will block any distracting noises coming from other candidates.

Having a room full of candidates all typing furiously on keyboards can be surprisingly noisy and distracting, definitely not what you need! By leaving your headphones on you get to sit in your own little focused world which can help you to remain calm throughout the test.


2- 复制粘贴在writing 可以用

On the same note, copy and paste does not work either in the listening and reading tests, but it does work in the writing test which is helpful when editing your work.

3 – Use the pencil and paper you are given

You can still make notes using pencil and paper as you do the test and I recommend that you plan your essay on paper first as this seems to enable faster and clearer planning. However, the paper you are given is replaced after each section of the test: reading, writing and listening. This means that you can’t make any notes and keep them for later in the test. 纸可以用来做作文提纲。

4 – Save time by moving forward early

You can move forward earlier through the listening section of the test if you are ready to. So, if you are good at listening and finish all the questions and don’t need to check anything then you can go forward to the next questions early.

You can then read those questions and predict what the answers might be so that you are ‘super ready’ for when that section of audio is played.

Furthermore, you can go back at any time and check any answers during that section of the test. You cannot jump back from the writing to the reading section though only within the same section.

5 – Spend longer planning and proofreading

Due to the fact that you will be able to edit and rewrite your sentences much faster on computer than if you were crossing out your work and rewriting sentences in the paper based test, experience from my students suggests that you will gain 3-5 minutes in time overall for the essay section.

And that is not taking into account any time you usually spend counting the number of words you have written as well as the computer will do this for you too!

I suggest that you spend this ‘extra’ time really planning your essay a bit more carefully so that you do not make any of the typical mistakes such as going off topic.

Any extra time at the end should be spent checking your work. Remember, by simply going back and correcting typos and basic grammar and punctuation you can increase your band score in those last few minutes!

6 – Click on the clock to get the seconds

Whilst doing computer based IELTS you will have a clock counting your time down for you. Be aware that in the last minute the number disappears and does not give you a 60 second countdown unless you click on the time, in which case you can get the 60 second countdown.

最后一分钟可以点击时钟,显示 60 秒倒计时,否则,就不会显示时间了!

7 – Do not risk leaving any changes until the end

Be warned that your computer will immediately freeze that section at the end of the countdown unlike when you do paper based when you might be able to squeeze an extra second or two before you put your pencil down – there is no chance of doing this in computer based IELTS so make your changes early!

计算机计时,多一秒都不可能,纸张考试还可能多 1-2 秒。

8 – Do not write in capitals in listening and reading

When doing paper based IELTS some teachers recommend that you write your listening and reading test answers in all capitals so as to make your handwriting clear which is not a bad idea. However, in computer-delivered IELTS, handwriting is not going to be a problem so you should type using upper and lowercase letters as this is more appropriate.

If you are not sure which letters should be upper or lower case then often you can copy how those words have been capitalised in the reading passages or questions.


9 – Use the tab key to move on

Although you can’t skip from the reading questions to the writing questions, you can skip through the questions within the same section as quickly as you like using the tab key.

It sounds obvious, but I have known candidates be unable to work this out and it really stressed them out as they lost time trying to figure out how to navigate through the questions. Now, it won’t be you!

使用 TAB 键快速移动!

10 – Use the shift and tab to skip back

Checking your answers is key in IELTS and so using this keyboard shortcut is going to make this easy for you to do.

使用 TAB 和 SHIFT 快退快退快退!

11– Get used to scrolling through long articles

Nowadays, a lot of people have become used to flicking through social media posts and pictures without ever stopping to really focus on something for a length of time, or to really get to grips with a difficult topic through a long article on a computer screen.

Do not wait until the IELTS CD test to do this, otherwise you might find it more challenging and tiring than it should be. Remember, working in a second language is more tiring than your own language and so this is something you need to get used to, or risk struggling on test day.


12 – Use CTRL and C/V in your essay task

These keyboard shortcuts do work in this part of the test and can be very useful for editing your work. Whether you want to move a sentence somewhere else or just copy and paste an individual word you can do so, all the precious seconds you save can be used for checking your work later.