Is the HKSI paper-based exam or the computer-based exam easier? Which is better to partake in?

July 26, 2021


Many people are curious about the differences between the HKSI LE’s computer-based exam and the paper-based exam.


As per the two exams’ content, they are pretty much identical. The two exams use the same Study Guide, the exam questions are drawn in the same question bank. Some people say that they have taken a computer-based exam or the paper-based exam, and think one of them is easier, but we think it is actually a matter of luck. The difficulty of the questions depends on the students’ luck. If you are lucky, there are super easy questions that will enable you to pass the exam relatively easily. If you are unlucky, there are more critical thinking application questions, and unclear questions that will affect your performance more easily. We disagree that there is a connection between the exam mode and the exam’s difficulties. 


Which exam is better to partake in? The computer-based or the paper-based exam?


Based on the following reasons, we recommend candidates to apply for the computer-based exams. 

  1. The most important difference is the speed of the issue of the results.

If you take the computer-based exam, you can know the score immediately after submitting the exam paper for electronic marking, so that you don’t have to worry about the results for days. Result notifications will also be uploaded to the HKSI website. But if you decide to partake in the paper-based exam, you will have to wait for 8 working days for the results to be released; by then, your memory toward the exam questions will be blurry.  


      2. HKSI does not frequently hold paper-based exams, normally HKSI only holds paper-based exams for paper 1. If you require special consideration such as: not proficient in using computers or you have visual deficits that disallow you to use a computer, you can contact HKSI to request for a paper-based exam. In contrast, computer exams are available almost everyday – from Monday to Saturday, hence you will have more options when it comes to exam dates; with that said, the flexibility of the computer-based exam is relatively higher. 


      3. You can bring less items into the exam if you partake in the computer-based exam

The second difference is that for computer-based exams you basically only need to bring the relevant identification documents, and possibly a calculator. If you take the paper-based exam, you not only need to bring a pencil, eraser and other stationery, but also you need to print the admission ticket and take it to the exam arena. If you do not bring the admission ticket, you will need to fill in a form after the exam. 


      4. If you partake in the computer-based exam, there is no need to arrive early

A candidate can start their exams immediately once they have inputted their identification number. However, it is highly recommended that the candidate arrive early for the paper-based exam, as the paper-based exam requires candidates to manually fill their application code, centre number by blackening boxes. If a candidate is quick in doing form filling related things, he/she may be able to complete the exam paper filling process in a minute, but normally, the form filling process will take several minutes to complete. If you do not arrive early, you need to sacrifice the time of the exam to do the form filling. If the form filling process is not done by the time you submit the exam, the examiner will not give you time to fill in the basic information.


      5. When taking the computer-based exam, candidates can use electronic functions to bookmark the questions

When taking the computer-based exam, the computer system has a function that allows candidates to bookmark questions they want to review. You are able to bookmark which questions or number of questions; which allows you to view your process at a glance. For the paper-based exam, candidates can only bring their own highlighters and stationery to make their own marking manually. With that said, there is a chance that a candidate might miss some marking.


How can we help

2CExam provides HKSI LE, IIQE, EAQE and SQE related exam preparation materials. We sell mock question banks for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 in Chinese and English; and bibles for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 in Chinese. We also offer 1 on 1 tutorial services. Besides, we have also made free tutorial videos for HKSI LE Papers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and posted on public channels such as Youtube/ Bilibili/ Tencent/ Iqiyi. 2CExam has been an exam training expert for years. Should you need any help please visit or contact us through:

Phone +852 2110 9644 Email: [email protected] Wechat: hk2cexam WhatsApp: +852 9347 2064


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