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CELPIP vs. IELTS - Which One to Choose?

CELPIP vs. IELTS - Which One to Choose?

CELPIP vs. IELTS - Which One to Choose?

By Admin / Mar 06, 2019


Be it IELTS or CELPIP, you have to choose one in order to qualify for immigration to Canada. In fact, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) accepts both IELTS and CELPIP scores as essential language requirement for immigration to Canada. But a lot of those who want to make it to Canada ask: which test should I take?

A short answer: Whatever suits you.

We mean that you should consider your options while making your decision but there you must know that both the tests assess your ability to perform in all four skills – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

There are two versions of the CELPIP test: CELPIP General and CELPIP General LS. Both the CELPIP tests can be taken on a computer in a Paragon-approved testing center in 60 locations across Canada and internationally. The CELPIP General Test assesses functional Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking skills. The CELPIP General LS Test assesses functional Listening and Speaking proficiency. The CELPIP General Test is for applying for permanent resident status only, while the CELPIP General LS Test is for Canadian citizenship only. If you choose taking the CELPIP General, you can apply only to Canada. Those who wish to study abroad would need to take CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language) test.

IELTS is accepted across the globe for study, work and immigration related purposes. IELTS is offered in both pen-and-paper and computer-delivered versions. There are two versions: IELTS Academic and IELTS General. For immigration, you would need to take the IELTS General test.

Comparison of IELTS General and CELPIP General


CELPIP General

IELTS General


First section on the test; 39 -40 questions; 47-55 minutes; 7 main parts including one or two practice questions

First section of the test; 40 questions; 30-35 minutes including a 2-minute (computer-delivered) and 10-minute (pen and paper) answer transfer time; 4 parts


39-40 questions; 55-60 minutes; 5 parts including a practice question

40 questions; 60 minutes; 3 parts


2 questions: Writing an Email and Responding to a Survey Question; 53-60 minutes

2 questions: Writing a Letter and Writing an Essay; 60 minutes


9 tasks including a practice question; 15-20 minutes; taken on a computer

3 components; 11-14 minutes; conducted face-to-face with an IELTS Examiner


Reported on a scale of 1-12 calibrated against the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels

Reported on a band score scale of 1-9 also reported on a scale of half-point increments (e.g, 6.5, 7.5, etc.)

Unscored Items




Rs. 10,485 (CAD 280.00)

Rs. 12,650 ($215–240 USD)

Availability of Results

Scores available online in 8 business days; Express Rating option is available which makes scores available in 3 business days

Scores available online in 13 calendar days


Which test to choose?

You should think along several lines before considering the one that is the best for you.

  1. Level of Difficulty

As both the tests assess only language-proficiency, the level of both the tests is almost the same. The nature of the passages and the question types may make it easy or difficult for test takers. However, the following differences between the tests may help decide, in each individual case, which one is easier and which one the more challenging:

  • Both IELTS and CELPIP are now offered on computer. But if one decides to take the pen-and-paper IELTS, one may be able to write easily if not well-versed with computer. For those who are computer-savvy, CELPIP and computer-delivered IELTS may be more convenient. CELPIP also offers a spell check feature in the Writing section, so the test-takers won’t have to worry about spelling errors bringing their scores down.
  • IELTS involves a face-to-face interaction with a speaker while for CELPIP Speaking test, candidates just have to speak into a microphone in front of a computer screen. Those who fear a face-to-face interview might feel more relaxed recording their responses on a computer.
  1. Price

CELPIP costs less than IELTS. In India, the cost of CELPIP General Test is Rs. 10,485 while that of IELTS (both pen-and-paper, and computer-delivered) is Rs. 12,650.

  1. Test Time

CELPIP is conducted in one 3-hour sitting, while IELTS takes around 2 days. IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in a 3-hour sitting while the Speaking test is conducted at a different time, day and possibly location.

  1. Result Turnaround Times

The results of the CELPIP test are available online within 8 business days. The print copies of score reports are delivered four to ten business days after scores are made available online. CELPIP also offers an Express Rating system in three business days. The print copies of score reports are delivered in three to seven business days after scores are made available online.

  1. Availability

CELPIP is offered across 60 locations in Canada and other locations internationally. In India, CELPIP is currently being offered only in Chandigarh.

Preparation Materials

Both IELTS and CELPIP offer preparation materials, but it would be hard to find other preparation materials for CELPIP as it is comparatively new. Most of the preparation materials for CELPIP out there are either not of good quality or don’t align with the format. But you can be assured of quality that TCYonline offers. You can view the tests here. All these tests are available on official CELPIP Interface to give you a simulated exam experience so that you can perform your best and be less bothered for want of a feature in the CELPIP official test. For IELTS, TCYonline offers preparation materials for both computer-delivered tests and the paper-and-pen based tests.

While both the tests have their own merits, choosing one for your immigration goals can be a matter of personal preference. CELPIP is better for those who are short on time and want results quickly. IELTS is useful for those who feel comfortable with the traditional testing experience and are not stressed in a face-to-face interview..

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Last updated on : Jun 23, 2024