Planning to come to Canada to pursue immigration or higher education? To do so, an important prerequisite is to complete an English proficiency examination. The two well-known and widely-accepted exams that are available to you are IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program).
Both these exams were created to evaluate your English acumen in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Beneath the surface though, these tests are not identical and come with their own variations. If you’re baffled between an IELTS preparation or a CELPIP preparation, this article will help you decide.
Below, we address some of the most common questions asked by test takers:
What is IELTS?
With over 4 million test takers completing their IELTS every year, this is easily the most recognized test offered by tens of thousands of organizations around the globe. It is used to determine a person’s proficiency in English in four functional areas: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
The test covers basic functional English needed to survive in day-to-day encounters. It accepts British, Australian and American variants of the English language.
How is the IELTS Exam Graded?
The individual’s performance will be graded in each of the four parts. You will be graded anywhere between a band score of 1 to 9. The final score is tabulated based on an average of your scores from the four sections.
What is the Difference Between IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic?
There are two variants of the IELTS test. Based on the purpose for your coming to Canada, you can decide upon which will be most suited to your needs.
IELTS General Training
If you desire to pursue a pre-degree education, get work-oriented training or emigrate to a country that predominantly speaks English, you will need to do an IELTS General Training test.
If you want to pursue an under/postgraduate course or another such academic degree, or if you plan to work at a professional licensing organization, you will have to go for the IELTS Academic.
To get the best score on your IELTS and make your academic or professional portfolio more valuable, we recommend looking into IELTS lessons and preparatory courses that offer mock materials likely to appear on the actual test.
Where Can I Take My IELTS?
When you take your test at any official institution (example: IDP, British Council, etc.), rest assured that your results will then be accepted by educational institutes, employers, professional entities and governments worldwide. We can’t give you a definitive list of authorized organizations that offer the test as these differ from one country to the next.
To do the test, you will have to visit any one of your chosen organization’s test locations. A simple internet search will reveal which test location is most convenient to commute to.
How Long is the IELTS Test?
The IELTS test takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. We’ve provided a quick time breakdown on each of its four sections.
- Reading (1 hour)
- Writing (1 hour)
- Speaking (15 minutes)
- Listening (30 minutes)
The above does not take into consideration any intervening wait/registration times that are bound to differ based on your test organization.
How Much Does the IELTS Test Cost?
Although it differs from one organization to the next, the IELTS test fee is approximately $225 CAD. The fee tends to escalate with each passing year.
What is the Minimum Score Required For IELTS?
Different organizations will set different standards. A rule of thumb is to aim for a final score of 6.5 or higher, and no less than 7.0 in each individual section (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking).
How Long Will It Take to Get My IELTS Results?
It takes about 13 days to receive your results. You can either access them online or get them in person at a location specified by the testing institution. Alternatively, you can have them delivered to an address of your choice.
What is CELPIP?
CELPIP was formulated for those test takers who wish to pursue a permanent resident status or citizenship in Canada. Just like IELTS, it scores the individual based on how well they are able to interact in oral and written English.
CELPIP recognizes British and American English. Like IELTS, CELPIP focuses on assessing the test taker’s acumen in daily situations wherein they will be required to communicate with employers, co-workers, etc. as well as their ability to understand written material.
How is the CELPIP Test Graded?
Unlike IELTS, each functional area of the CELPIP test is scored between 1 – 12 and the overall band score is tabulated based on the average.
What is the Difference Between CELPIP General Training and CELPIP General LS?
There are two variants to CELPIP as follows:
CELPIP General Training
If you’re thinking about applying for a Canadian permanent resident card, CELPIP General Training is for you. It tests your Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening acumen.
CELPIP General LS
If you intend to seek Canadian citizenship, a prerequisite is for you to complete the CELPIP General LS. Unlike its predecessor, it tests your acumen in only two sections: Listening and Speaking.
Both test results are recognized by the IRCC.
To get the best score on your CELPIP and make your academic or professional portfolio more valuable, we recommend looking into CELPIP lessons and preparatory courses that offer mock materials likely to appear on the actual test.
Where Can I Take the CELPIP Test?
CELPIP is offered in over 60 locations all around the globe. Bear in mind that CELPIP is only available in Canada, India, the U.S., Philippines, and the UAE. Based on your precise location, you can look up which official bodies offer the test.
How Long is the CELPIP Test?
The maximum time allowed for the CELPIP General Training is around 3 hours. The time allowed for the CELPIP General LS is about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
How Much Does the CELPIP Test Cost?
Although it differs from one organization to the next, the CELPIP test fee is approximately $185 CAD. The fee tends to escalate with each passing year.
What is the Minimum Score Required For CELPIP?
If you’re applying under the Express Entry stream, the minimum score required is 7.0. If you’re applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the minimum score required is 4.0.
How Long Will It Take to Get My CELPIP Results?
It takes about 8 days to receive your CELPIP results online and another 3 days to receive it in person.
Which Test Should I Take – IELTS or CELPIP?
Quite simply, IELTS is for those individuals who are pursuing study, work or immigration endeavors in a wide range of English speaking countries. CELPIP is for those individuals who are pursuing a Canadian permanent residence status or Canadian citizenship. In some instances, you can do either/or and aren’t limited to just one.
IELTS is offered in over 140 countries. CELPIP is offered only in Canada, India, the U.S., Philippines, and the UAE.
Which Test is Easier – IELTS or CELPIP?
Both tests have more or less the same level of difficulty. Depending on the individual and their shortcomings in the language, one test (or one section of the test) may present more of a challenge than the other.
CELPIP is fully digitalized, whereas IELTS has some paper-based and face-to-face elements. As CELPIP includes the option of automatically checking your spelling, it may be convenient for certain individuals. If the test taker is more comfortable on paper, then the IELTS exam will be easier.
For the Listening section, CELPIP uses Canadian orators, whereas IELTS uses orators with Canadian, English, Australian, American and New Zealand accents. Again, it all depends on what the test taker is more familiar with.
For the Speaking section, CELPIP uses a voice recorder, whereas IELTS uses a live invigilator. If the test taker is nervous about speaking with a live invigilator, CELPIP will be more convenient.
How Do I Prepare For the IELTS/CELPIP Test?
You can prepare right here! Read Write Think helps you get a good IELTS and CELPIP score by offering industry-leading training using only the latest 2019 materials that are likely to appear on the actual test.
Our highly trained and experienced faculty will give you quality tutoring, no matter your language shortcomings. Whether you’re good at English or aren’t very confident about your skills, we first assess you to understand your level and the number of sessions required to help you prepare.
For your convenience, you can opt for one-on-one, group-based or Skype classes.
You can sign up for an assessment at any time. But honestly, the sooner you get started, the better!