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What are common Immigration English Tests?

Canada is one of the most popular immigration countries in the world, many people are moving to Canada to enjoy the beautiful view and peaceful environment. English is the official language of Canada, hence, immigrants must fulfill language requirements to be Canadian Permanent Resident or Citizen. There are two official language tests for Canadian immigrants: CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Both tests include 4 parts: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Many immigrants don’t know how to choose between them and we are here to guide you through what the difference is between CELPIP vs IELTS.




Many newcomers come to Canada with the IELTS test as a required English proficiency test and apply for a visa and temporary resident permit. If you are a foreigner and planning to move to Canada in the future, IELTS is probably the easiest because almost every country has IELTS test centres. IELTS is more accessible and more time and location available. Also, IELTS tests are usually in person and there will be an examiner to test you and talk you through the exam for the speaking part.  Sometimes, they might be more reasonable and understanding. If you are too nervous about computer exams and talking to a screen, the IELTS exam is your choice. 

There are two types of IELTS: Academic and General, new immigrants are required to take IELTS general training exam, which is rather more suitable for daily English, and Academic is usually used for professional or university level English. The IELTS General exam is the most common immigration English test for most English-speaking countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the UK. To register for IELTS exams, go to their official website here.

Usually, the IELTS general training exam has four parts, the total time for listening is 30 minutes and there are 4 recorded parts. The reading part lasts for 60 minutes and there are 3 sections: section 1 has two or three short texts, section 2 has two short work-related short readings and section 3 has a long text about a general topic. Readings in IELTS exams usually come from newspapers, journals, or books.

For the speaking part, there will be an examiner giving you a face-to-face interview, the speaking section usually takes 11-14 minutes including short questions and longer conversations regarding familiar topics, there might be some discussions as well. The final and the hardest part of the IELTS exam is writing. The writing section usually takes about 60 minutes and includes two tasks: Task one is writing a letter with a minimum of 150 words and Task two is writing an essay no less than 250 words. The full score for IELTS is 9 for each section, and 6 or above on the general test is more acceptable for immigration. 




Many in-Canada temporary residents prefer to take CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) because it’s more convenient and computer-based. CELPIP is designed for Canadian immigrants, whose North American accent is easier to understand for newcomers in Canada. Another advantage is that CELPIP test results are usually available online 4-5 days after taking the test. Online materials and a mock exam system are also available for people who want to learn CELPIP. There are two types of CELPIP tests for immigration: CELPIP General is designed for permanent residence applicants by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and CELPIP General LS is designed for citizenship applicants by IRCC. To register for CELPIP

CELPIP General contains four parts: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing, and it usually takes 3 hours to complete the entire 4 parts with no separate speaking session. Listening usually lasts 47-55 minutes and the format is listening to recorded passages and answering questions. Reading is 55-60 minutes long, writing takes 53-60 minutes to respond to questions with written answers. Speaking is computer-based as well, the format is replying to on-screen prompts verbally, and it usually takes 15-20 minutes. CELPIP General LS Test only has two parts: Listening and Speaking, and it takes 1 hour to complete. The format of CELPIP General LS is the same as CELPIP General listening and speaking sections. The full score for each section is 12 for CELPIP General, and 7 or above is more beneficial in PR application.  To take a practice exam


What’s the difference: CELPIP vs IELTS

The main differences between CELPIP and IELTS are the format and accents. The IELTS exam is designed for British accent speakers, so the recorded listening passages are in a British accent, and some IELTS examiners speak with a British accent as well. On the other hand, CELPIP is designed by Canadians, the accent is American or Canadian accents and easier to understand for many North Americans.

CELPIP test centres are not as many as IELTS test centres, if you are a foreigner and decided to take an English test abroad, IELTS is your choice and it’s valid for two years. IELTS speaking tests usually take place on another date from written tests, it may take a longer time for students to complete and takes usually two weeks till the results are available. However, CELPIP takes only 3 hours in total on the computer to complete the test, and results will be available after 4-5 days after taking the test. The difficulty level for IELTS general and CELPIP general are similar. Whereas, writing is usually the hardest part of an IELTS exam, and writing in CELPIP is rather easier. 



How to choose between IELTS and CELPIP

Sometimes, people feel pressured by talking to an examiner, they will choose CELPIP, however, the time limit and computer format may take longer time to practice. If you are more comfortable speaking to a real person, then IELTS is better for you. If you are outside of Canada and decide to take the test in a country that does not offer CELPIP, you can easily take IELTS anywhere in the world. Make sure you read through both IELTS and CELPIP websites before choosing your immigration English exam. 


What CCC offers

Create Career College is offering IELTS general courses now! Our instructor will guide you through the exam process and help you nail your immigration English exam! We offer listening, speaking, reading, and writing courses, and free practice tests. Visit our website and contact our student advisor for IELTS exam prep now! Request Info now!