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IELTS vs CELPIP- Which is the Best Test for English Proficiency_-03 (1)

IELTS and CELPIP are both English tests that assess your capabilities to survive in an English-speaking university, workplace or country. While IELTS is a popular English test for studying abroad, CELPIP in Canada is important for PR and Citizenship status. How different are these tests from each other? Let’s know in this blog on IELTS vs CELPIP!

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About IELTS 

IELTS or the International English Language Testing System is taken by those residing in non-native English speaking countries who wish to study or work in English speaking countries. It is important as it is a requirement for visa applications and university applications. A good IELTS score will make you eligible for the top universities while with a low IELTS score, you have to settle with a lower-ranking university.

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On the other hand, CELPIP or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program is taken by those who mainly want Permanent Residence Status by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada). It is handled by Paragon Testing Enterprises which is a subsidiary of the University of British Columbia. One of its variations is CELPIP LS which tests just the listening and speaking sections to aid Canadian Citizenship application to IRCC. 

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Test Format 

Read the section below to understand the various test formats in which IELTS and CELPIP are structured.

IELTS Test Format

There are two types of IELTS tests- Academic and General Training. Academic is taken by students who wish to study abroad and General Training for those who wish to work and settle abroad. While the test questions might be different for both, the test format and sections on which a candidate is judged is the same. 

IELTS Sections How it is tested?
Listening MCQs, Diagram Labelling, Short Answers, Matching, Sentence Completion, etc
Academic Reading MCQs, Identifying Information, Matching Headings and Features, Summary, Notes, etc
Academic Writing Describe facts or processes provided in pictures and a 250-word essay
General Training ReadingMCQs, Identifying Information, Matching Headings and Features, Summary, Notes, etc
General Training WritingPersonal Response of 150 words and semi-formal write-up of 250 words
SpeakingInterview (11-14 minutes)

How to ace the IELTS Reading Section?

CELPIP Test Format

Similarly, even CELPIP tests are of two types- General and General LS. While in the General Test, Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking are assessed, in the General LS only Listening and Speaking are included. 

Celpip Sections How it is tested?
Listening Listen to passages and answer questions
Reading Read passages and answer questions
Writing Respond to questions with written answers
SpeakingReply to on-screen prompts verbally


Both IELTS and CELPIP have two different tests for different purposes of a candidate. Let’s have a look at all these uses or benefits of giving the tests. 


IELTS Academic Test IELTS General Training Test
Study in English-speaking university abroadEmployment opportunities in an English-speaking country 
Visa to study abroad Applying for courses below the degree level
Migrating to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the UK


CELPIP General Test CELPIP General LS
Proof of English Proficiency for Immigration to Canada Citizenship Applications in Canada
For the Permanent Residence Application in CanadaProfessional Designations in Canada
Professional Designations in Canada

Test Results 

Another way of comparing IELTS and CELPIP for better understanding is how these tests are scored and the interpretation that each band carries. 


IELTS Band Score Level
8Very Good
3Extremely Limited 
0Did not attempt 


CELPIP Band Score Level
12Advanced Proficiency in workplaces and community contexts
11Advanced Proficiency in workplaces and community contexts
10Highly Effective Proficiency in workplaces and community contexts
9Effective Proficiency in workplaces and community contexts
8Good Proficiency in workplaces and community contexts
7Adequate Proficiency in workplaces and community contexts
6Developing Proficiency in workplaces and community contexts
5Acquiring Proficiency in workplaces and community contexts
4Adequate Proficiency- For daily activities
3Limited Context Proficiency
MMinimal Proficiency or Insufficient Information

Which one is easier from IELTS vs CELPIP?

IELTS is accepted universally and therefore IELTS coaches, courses and guides can be found easily. CELPIP study material is difficult to find in India although you can always try online. 

When it comes to giving exams, for IELTS every section is of a maximum of 1 hour each. However, the listening and speaking sections in CELPIP are considerably longer than that. 

IELTS or CELPIP, which is more expensive?

Before we know which is more expensive, we must keep in mind that the IELTS test is taken in 2 sittings on 2 different days while the CELPIP test is taken in just one sitting of 1-3 hours. The exam fees of both the tests are-

IELTS (2 days)INR 14,700
CELPIP General Test (3 hours)INR 16,687 + Taxes
CELPIP General LS (1 hour)INR 11,621 + Taxes

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Is IELTS better for international students than CELPIP?

When it comes to choosing from IELTS vs CELPIP for international students, IELTS is a better option. This is because IELTS is widely accepted by universities abroad while CELPIP is only accepted in Canada. Therefore, IELTS gives you a chance to explore more universities before making a decision while CELPIP restricts you to universities in Canada

While IELTS and CELPIP both have their benefits according to the need of the candidate, it is important that you consult an expert before you make a decision. When it comes to wanting an overseas education at top universities, IELTS definitely has an upper hand. Leverage Edu believes that every student should be given all the help to make them reach their dream university and therefore offers some of the most cost-saving and express IELTS courses. Sign up to reach your dream university in no time!

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