English International Language Test: CELPIP or IELTS?

What is the difference between CELPIP and IELTS? Is one English International Language Test better and easier than the other? We will look at these questions and more to give you the definitive guide to both.

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English International Language Test: Is CELPIP easier than IELTS? 

Let’s face it. This is the question most people want to know! The main answer is if you study and prepare for either of these exams, you are likely to succeed. Remember the three Ps – prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more! For test takers planning to do the CELPIP or IELTS, it is important to know the structure of each. Let’s have a look. 

CELPIP vs. IELTS: What is the difference? 

First, you should know the meaning of the exam’s acronyms. CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, and IELTS: International English Language Testing System. They are suitable for migration processes, work, or study in Canada. Now, we will dive into each.

IELTS test format 

IELTS evaluates your proficiency in all four skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Find out more about the test format here. As it is an English Language International Test, you will hear a variety of accents in the Listening section (American, British, etc.). However, the recordings are always designed to be clear and they do not include slang or unfamiliar vocabulary and expressions.

CELPIP test format 

Just as IELTS, this English proficiency test covers all four skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The main difference here is that there is a focus on the North American language. For example, the listening and reading sections will contain more Canadian content. 

IELTS test versions 

There are two versions of IELTS: 

  • Academic: is for those who want to study at a university or college or join a professional association where English is a prerequisite. Each organization sets its own entry requirements, and some may even accept both versions of IELTS. If you are not sure of which version you should take, it is advised to check with the institution. 
  • General Training: is typically taken by those who wish to move to Canada and is accepted by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s numerous immigration programs, such as Express Entry. Find out more about the different IELTS test versions. 

CELPIP test versions 

There are two types of this English International Language Test: 

  • CELPIP General test – This is used for permanent residency applications, and it includes reading and writing as well.   
  • CELPIP Listening & Speaking – This version is used for Canadian citizenship applications and is shorter than the previous one.  

IELTS test delivery 

One benefit of IELTS is that you have a paper-based or computer-based evaluation. The content is the same for both exams. For the speaking part, you can still be face-to-face with an examiner. Both are excellent options when taking an English International Language Test. 

CELPIP test delivery 

CELPIP is entirely computer-based. All sections are delivered at a test center. The main difference is that the speaking section is not done with an examiner, it is taken on a computer with your responses to questions recorded. 


Let’s continue with the score, which is one of the main concerns when taking an English test for Canadian citizenship, studying in the country, or getting a job.  

What IELTS score is required for PR? 

Etiqueta p: Once you have taken the IELTS general training test, you can use the results as proof of English language proficiency for Canada’s many immigration pathway programs. The Government of Canada assesses this through Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs). IELTS is linked to them. Find out more about this on the CLB to IELTS page.  

What CELPIP score is required for PR? 

Just like IELTS, the CELPIP is also accepted for Canada’s immigration programs through the CLBs. To find out more about this, visit the Government of Canada’s Language equivalency charts.

It is highly recommended to check the needed score according to the program that you are applying to.

What is a good score for the IELTS? 

This is always a common question and one that is quite difficult to answer! A good score will depend on what your goals are. 

Do you want to take this English International Language Test to assess your proficiency for permanent residency? If so, the higher the score the better as this can get you more points for the Express Entry system.  

If you need to take it for academic purposes, then each educational institution sets a particular requirement. For your information, generally, the minimum is between 6 to 7 or above on each section, as well as the global score. However, you should know that you can’t fail this English Language International Test, since you get the result based on your knowledge and level classification.

What is a good score for the CELPIP test?

Just like the IELTS, there is not a specific score which can be classified as “good”. It will depend on what your immigration objectives are. It is important to note that the CELPIP test can’t be used for academic purposes, but the enterprise that created it designed another evaluation, the CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language) with this objective in mind.   

How is the IELTS test score calculated?

Etiqueta p: IELTS uses band scores to assess your English language proficiency. Find out more about them here. The listening and reading ones will be determined by the number of correct answers you get.

Your writing test and speaking outcomes are assessed by a trained examiner based on various criteria. IELTS continually works on test development so that it remains an accurate way to determine your English language proficiency. 

For paper-based tests, your results will be available 13 calendar days after your test date. For computer-based tests, they will be available 3 to 5 days after your exam date. 

How is the CELPIP test score calculated?

For the CELPIP, listening and reading scores are determined by the number of correct answers that you get. For the listening and speaking test, a rater will determine your level. The results are available 4 – 5 days after your evaluation date. 

So, which is better IELTS or CELPIP? 

While both tests can be used for immigration purposes, there are some additional advantages to IELTS: 

  • The academic version can be used to show English language proficiency required by Canadian universities for acceptance into their programs and courses. 
  • Not only is IELTS highly recognized in Canada (by over 800 institutions), but it is the world’s most recognized English International Language Test. Over 11,000 organizations worldwide accept it. 

So, now you get to decide which English International Language Test suits you best. Visit our IELTS preparation page and find out IELTS test dates at a location near you!  

Visit the IELTS Canada homepage to find out more