IELTS vs CELPIP – Know all the Differences!

IELTS vs CELPIP – Know all the Differences!

Students may be curious whether they should take the CELPIP vs IELTS test if they consider immigrating to Canada.

Choosing: CELPIP vs IELTS

For immigration to Canada, competence in either French or English is required and can increase the students’ rank on the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS).

Moreover, there are two exam alternatives for those who wish to show their English language skills: the Canadian Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) or the International English Language Examination Framework (IELTS).

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The CELPIP and IELTS are similarly equipped to assess your English proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and communicating, and all of these tests are approved for immigration.

Colleges in Canada Accepting IELTS Band 6 for Masters

The Difference: CELPIP vs IELTS

There are a few major variations between IELTS and CELPIP, as the assessments are intended to assess English proficiency.


  • The CELPIP exam was meant to test the English proficiency of Canadian candidates for permanent residency and citizenship.
  • Firstly, the exam uses Canadian English and accents and relies on the language used in everyday circumstances.
  • As a convention, the spellings of both American and British are accepted.
  • Further, two tests are available: the CELPIP-General and the CELPIP-General LS Test.
  • Also, the CELPIP-General Examination must be taken by those seeking to immigrate, as recognized by Customs, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
  • CELPIP is also being accepted by several Canadian universities as evidence of English entry abilities.
  • Finally, to see how they are taking the CELPIP test, you can consult the university or college you are involved in.


  • The IELTS exam is used in the world for work, research, and immigration.
  • It embraces both British and American spelling, since it is a multinational test, and uses voices and accents from a range of native English speakers.
  • There are also two IELTS studies and IELTS general exams.
  • IELTS Research happens for college and university entry. IELTS General holds for immigration.

Scoring: CELPIP vs IELTS

Firstly, the CELPIP exam tests candidates against the Canadian Language Benchmarks on a calibrated 1-12 scale. The official assessment of English language skills in Canada is the Canadian Language Benchmarks.

In contrast, the IELTS score measures from 0-9. The candidates can similarly receive a full score like 6.0 or 7.0 and a half score- like 6.5 and 7.5. These statistics are, likewise, referred to as bands

For the descriptors of the IELTS band, click here.

Breakdown of Test

It takes about three hours to complete both the CELPIP and IELTS exams. Moreover, differences occur in the breakdown. Also, the Listening and Speech parts of the CELPIP test are marginally longer.

Format and Content of the CELPIP Exam

ComponentTime AllottedItem DescriptionNumber of
Listening53 – 60 minutesTest takers listen to several passages and answer comprehension questions. The listening passages cover topics in daily conversation, problem-solving, news items, discussions, and viewpoints.Minimum
of 38
Reading47 – 55 minutesTest takers read several passages and answer comprehension questions. The reading passages engage the test-takers in understanding correspondence, interpreting a diagram, and reading for viewpointsMinimum
of 38
Writing55 – 60 minutesTest takers write an email and write a response to
survey questions.
2 Tasks
Speaking15 – 20 minutesTest takers speak to give advice, talk about personal experiences, describe scenes, make predictions, compare and persuade, deal with difficult situations,
express opinions, and describe an unusual situation
8 Tasks

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Format and Content for the IELTS General Exam

ComponentTimingTask FormatNumber of Questions
ListeningApproximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time).There are four sections with ten questions each.
The first two sections deal with everyday social contexts. In Section 3, there is a conversation between two main speakers (for example, two university students in discussion, perhaps guided by a tutor), and in Section 4, there is a monologue on an academic subject.
Reading60 minutesThere are three sections. Section 1 may contain two or three short texts or several shorter texts. Section 2 comprises two texts. In Section 3, there is one long text. The task is designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, and recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes, and purpose.40
Writing60 minutesThere are two Writing tasks to complete.
In Task 1, test takers are asked to respond to a situation, by writing a letter requesting information or explaining a situation.
In Task 2, test takers write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem
2 Tasks
Speaking11 – 14 minutesPart 1 – The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies, and interests. (four and five minutes)
Part 2 – You will be given a card that asks you to talk about a particular topic with one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes.
Part 3 – you will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will allow you to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.
3 Parts


Complexity: CELPIP vs IELTS

Both examinations test your abilities to read, write, communicate, and listen. The difficulty level is about the same. Besides, based on the candidate’s ability, one might prefer one exam over the other.

Above all, one crucial contrast between the IELTS and CELPIP is that the IELTS comes on paper and that the CELPIP computerized. Some test takers enjoy writing and testing those with paper and pencil, such as the machine keeping track of timing and counting words for them. Spell review will also help CELPIP takers, making the writing portions smoother.

Also, candidates may choose the CELPIP over the IELTS, depending on your comfort level with different English accents. However, the CELPIP exam only uses fluent Canadian English speakers. Although native speakers from the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia include in the IELTS test. In the CELPIP exam, as it only uses the Canadian accent, some studies make the exam further understandable.

The candidates will not meet an official interviewer for the speech section during the CELPIP test. By further documenting the responses, the candidates will answer the sections. The speech section is an interview with an official interviewer during the IELTS test. Many students are more relaxed with a person talking to them than giving a written exam.

Time of results

Finally, the candidates get their IELTS results in 13 days, and the results are ready in 10-12 days if one takes the CELPIP test. CELPIP also gives an express rating system that gives results in 3 business days. For this, the expense is additionally $100 plus taxes.


Both assessments hold fair importance with the Express Entry CRS score at the end of the day and Citizenship, and Immigration Canada will recognize them. Further, going through the sample tests is the easiest way to decide which one to take. The exercises will additionally give the candidates an insight into how well they will do in the actual test.

Besides, before the candidates decide, they must consider their budget, time, and complete format of the exam. Thus, all these aspects will guarantee that they have made the right decision for themselves.

Are you still lost? Then you should think about talking to our Consulting experts at Foreignadmits. They will guide you throughout the process and help you find the right scholarships, the right college, and will help you in many more aspects.

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