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What is CELPIP?

The CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) is a test that, much like the IELTS exam, grades candidates across all four skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) and gives them a score out of 10. 

There are a number of reasons to consider either test. To understand them better, let’s take a closer look at how these tests are similar and different. 

Why would I take CELPIP

The sole purpose of the CELPIP is to demonstrate English language proficiency for the purposes of obtaining permanent residency or citizenship in Canada. It cannot be used for university entrance or for professional purposes. If you are a doctor or nurse or engineer entering Canada, you will need to do yet another language test to demonstrate professional proficiency.


While CELPIP is only for Canadian immigration, IELTS can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including university entrance, professional demonstration of proficiency, and immigration to Canada as well as the USA, Australia, the UK, etc. 

Advantage: IELTS

Accents in CELPIP and IELTS

The CELPIP uses a Canadian accent throughout the test, unlike IELTS which uses a range of different accents. If you already live in Canada and are accustomed to that accent, CELPIP may be a better option. 

Advantage: equal

Resources and Teachers available for IELTS and CELPIP

Perhaps most importantly, there are far more resources available when preparing for IELTS. There are many companies, schools, and private tutors who specialise in this test, and who have years if not decades of experience helping people prepare. CELPIP is a far less commonly taken test. Although the CELPIP website hosts a number of resources, access to tutors, and webinars, the resources and expertise simply are not there in abundance. Advantage: IELTS


Costs of CELPIP

There seems to be a slight financial advantage to taking the CELPIP. The cost is $280 off-shore, or $180 on-shore (in Canada). 

Costs of IELTS

IELTS tends to cost around $300. 

Advantage: CELPIP

Access to the test

The IELTS Test can be undertaken in almost every country; many cities have multiple testing centres, and you can take the test 2 to 3 times a month. However, outside of Canada, only 6 countries have CELPIP testing centres, including the USA and UAE. 

Advantage: IELTS

Which test is easier, IELTS or CELPIP?

The truth is good English is good English. If you prefer using a computer, then you can take either test. If you prefer a face-to-face interaction in a speaking test, then you will probably prefer IELTS. 

Advantage: equal

Should I take IELTS or CELPIP?

Ultimately, it depends on what your goal is. If you only intend to take the test to migrate to Canada, then CELPIP or IELTS will do. However, if you have professional or educational goals, you will definitely need to stick to IELTS.

All Comments 6
  • Thanks for providing helpful tips and learning resources. With the content, you provided students will be able to practice their listening skills. Even many kids nowadays have such activities in their language classes where they need to listen to audio carefully and then answer a set of questions. The audio files you provided are also pitch-perfect all through. All the activities are interesting and learner-friendly. I am sure the IELTS listening tips you provided will be very helpful for all the aspirants and they will feel a lot more prepared for the test.

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