You can take both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training on paper. The contents, test part times, question types, scoring and results of the paper-based IELTS test are the exact same as the computer-delivered IELTS test.

Your test day experience on the other hand is a little different. You will complete the Reading, Listening, and Writing parts on paper, and the Speaking part face-to-face with a qualified IELTS examiner. Before each part of the test, test day staff will hand you booklets and answer sheets and collect them at the end of each test part.

You can use a pen or HB-pencil to complete your Writing test, but you must use a HB-pencil to write your Listening and Reading answers on the answer sheet.

In the paper-based IELTS test, the Writing, Reading, and Listening tests are all completed on the same day with no breaks between each test. The Speaking test is completed in a face-to-face interview with an IELTS examiner, and this can be done one week before or after your test date.


Can I bring in my own pen and paper into the IELTS test?

For both paper-based and computer-delivered IELTS, you will not  be able to bring your own paper into the test for security reasons. If you are sitting  computer-delivered  IELTS, we  will provide you with a pencil and paper.  You also receive paper for your Speaking  test to help you organise your thoughts as you speak with the examiner.  

Why is IELTS Speaking done face-to-face with an examiner?

Find out why the IELTS Speaking test is done face-to-face with a real examiner, giving you a better chance to perform at your best.

Learn more