Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, will be the first city on China's mainland to offer the computer-based version of the exam, which is also scheduled to roll out in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing in December.
The computer version of the 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.
Eight sittings a month for the computer-based IELTS
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 10 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.
Check out: The IELTS Is Easy. You Just Have to Be Calm.
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.