celpip vs ielts

CELPIP vs IELTS: Which one you should go for?

“Should I go for CELPIP or IELTS test? This is one of the most common questions any aspiring immigrant asks. However, the answer to the query is totally dependent upon many factors. Getting a clear picture of each test would surely help you to make the unerring choice.

To evaluate the English language proficiency, the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are designed. Both exams are used for study, work and immigration purposes.

The CELPIP is majorly for the candidates who are willing to apply for citizenship or permanent residency in Canada. If one is planning to immigrate to Canada, then French or English language proficiency in is one of the major requirements that needs to be fulfilled. Good results in the language proficiency test can make a huge difference in the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS).

Across the globe, IELTS is the most popular English language proficiency test for candidates who aim for higher education and migration. Governments of various nations like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK rely on IELTS exam to process the applications of immigrants.

In this blog, we will be focusing on the English proficiency tests and help you figure out which is the best test for you?

Format, Focus and Score breakdown

One major difference between both the exams is that CELPIP is a computer-based test whereas IELTS is paper-based, and the Speaking Test is done in person.

American and British English spellings and grammar are acceptable in both the exams, but CELPIP majorly focuses on Canadian English and IELTS for British English.

The scoring criteria is also different as CELPIP has a score of 1 to 12 for each section. For IELTS, each section has a score of 1 to 9.

Both exams have different versions. In IELTS examination, an academic exam is organized for people who want to apply abroad for studies whereas, General Training exam is for those who are willing to emigrate to an English-speaking country, and a ‘UKVI’ exam is meant for those who need a UK visa.

On the other hand, in CELPIP, one has an option to choose between the General Exam, which has Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing parameters or the ‘LS’ exam which marks you only on the basis of Listening and Speaking skills. The full test fulfills many purposes like work visa in Canada, while the LS is for candidates applying for Canadian immigration applications.

Score breakdown
A score of 1 to 12 for each section; calibrated against the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) levels
A score of 1 to 9 for each section; can score whole (e.g., 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 6.5, 7.5) bands



  • 7 components
  • 40 questions
  • 4 components
  • 40 questions
  • 4 components
  • 38 questions
  • 3 components
  • 40 questions
  • Writing an email
  • Answering a survey
  • Writing a letter
  • Giving a point of view
  • 8 components
  • 3 components
  • 3-hour exam done in one sitting
  • Results in 10-12 calendar days; express rating available
  • 3-hour exam; speaking test is held separately
  • Results are announced in 13 calendar days


  • Computer-based: easy to type; word count and timing available
  • Paper-based: easier for non-frequent computer users


IELTS is jointly owned by British Council and IDP, whereas, CELPIP test is administered by Paragon Testing Enterprises which is the only Canadian company offering Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) designated English proficiency tests.

Whether you are going for CELPIP or IELTS, a decent amount of registration fees has to be paid in advance. Both the British Council and IDP have over 100 tests across India and the fees for an attempt is around ₹14,000 whereas CELPIP test costs you around 10845.00 + Taxes.

Depending upon your objective, selecting one option over the other is completely your own choice, but both of the tests are valid for the purpose of your immigration application.

Based on the above analysis, CELPIP can be a better choice for candidates who are willing to immigrate to Canada with a faster and less stressful test experience.

Exam Tasks

When it comes to CELPIP vs IELTS, the questions are quite similar in a few areas. However, most of the sections are specific for each exam. For instance, a candidate needs to write an email and then respond to survey questions in the CELPIP General Exam which is totally different from IELTS exam. Candidates write a report about a diagram and an essay in the question for IELTS exam.

Likewise, the speaking tests are distinctive, although some overlap can be witnessed. IELTS Speaking test is dissected into three sections, testing candidates’ abilities to discuss everyday topics, to give a structured talk (often describing a personal experience), and to express their opinions.

There are seven sections in the CELPIP Speaking examination and each of them test a particular language function. Sharing own views or describing an experience, making predictions, comparing and persuading, dealing with a difficult situation are the part of the speaking test.

‘Knowing your exam’ is important before actually signing up for it and hopefully, this overview has clarified your doubts. Always remember, preparation is the key to success! Good luck!

Also read: Experts at Apeejay Stya University propound seven tips for choosing the right university

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