Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, will be the first city on China's mainland to offer IELTS tests on computer, the British Council announced on Monday.
Starting from August 31, the computer-delivered IELTS test will be available at the IELTS test center in Guangzhou and will roll out in Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing in December.
The computer version of IELTS will not replace the paper-based version, but will instead offer an extra choice in test format and more availability, according to the British Council, adding that test takers can choose to take either the paper or computer test.
The computer-based test will cost the same, and content, scoring, level of difficulty, question format and security arrangements will also be identical to the paper version. But the computer-delivered test will ensure more test dates and sessions are available for test takers.
Currently, the British Council offers only four sittings a month for IELTS on paper, but there will be eight computer-based tests in September.
Meanwhile, the computer version will help test takers get their results faster, with results typically available between five to seven calendar days after the test is completed. With paper tests, results are usually available about ten days after the test.
Computer-delivered IELTS tests include listening, reading and writing sections, while the speaking test will also continue to be face-to-face with an experienced IELTS examiner, which offers a more reliable indicator of natural communication.
IELTS, or International English Language Testing System, is a standardized test of English proficiency for non-native English speakers who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. It is available at more than 1,200 locations worldwide. Thousands of education and training providers all over the world use it to select students.