IELTS or CELPIP: which is best for me?

October 01, 2018

Which test to take IELTS or CELPIP

If you need to pass an English proficiency test for Canadian Permanent Residency or citizenship, you may be asking yourself whether to take the IELTS or the CELPIP test. Both are accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and both are offered at Global Village Toronto Exams.

The IELTS test is offered four times per month, three Saturdays and one Thursday, and always starts in the morning. One advantage of the CELPIP is that there are many dates and different starting times to fit your schedule. It is available about ten times per month, with start-times ranging from early morning to late afternoon.

One question which is often asked is which test is easier. The answer depends on the individual. The CELPIP is a 100% computer-based test, which some candidates might find easier. During the writing section, you have access to a spell-checker, so this is a good test for you if you have trouble with spelling. The computer-based Speaking test also means you never have to talk to a person, which can make some test-takers less nervous.

On the other hand, some people find the CELPIP speaking test strange and even distracting, as you have to talk to a computer screen at the same time as several other test takers in the same room. To cut down on the distractions, candidates are issued headphones. But if you prefer to interact with a real live human being, IELTS is the test for you.

Some candidates might find the CELPIP listening test easier, as it includes only Canadian accents, whereas the IELTS listening test will feature English accents from around the world. If you’ve been living in Canada for a while, this might make the listening section of the CELPIP test a little easier for you.

On the other hand, if you plan to use your test result for purposes other than Canadian immigration, like international job hunting, you will find that the IELTS test more useful, as it is recognized and administered and accepted in 140 countries.

Finally, if you are applying for citizenship, the CELPIP offers a shorter and cheaper version, the CELPIP LS, which features only listening and speaking. If you are on a budget, or short of time, this is definitely the best option. However, if you are applying for permanent residency, you will have to do the full four-section version.

Additional Resources:

CELPIP preparation:

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Apply for CELPIP:

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