How the two International English testing platforms differ

Jaydon Curtis
3 min read


Comparing CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) can help individuals choose the test that best suits their needs, particularly for immigration or academic purposes.

Here's a comparison between CELPIP and IELTS across various factors:




Test Format

CELPIP is entirely computer-based and assesses English language proficiency in four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The Speaking section includes speaking tasks recorded using a computer microphone.

IELTS offers both paper-based (PBT) and computer-delivered (CBT) formats. The choice of format may depend on the test center and the version of the test (Academic or General Training). It consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The Speaking section is conducted face-to-face with an examiner.



CELPIP has two main components - the CELPIP General Test (for immigration purposes) and the CELPIP Academic Test (for academic admissions). Both tests consist of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

IELTS also comprises four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The Academic version is for those applying for higher education, while the General Training version is commonly used for immigration purposes.



CELPIP uses a scoring scale ranging from 1 to 12 for each section, with an overall score ranging from 1 to 12.

IELTS uses a nine-band scoring system, scaling from 0-9 with scores reported in half-band increments (e.g., 6.0, 6.5, 7.0). The overall band score is an average of the four section scores rounded to the nearest half band.



CELPIP is primarily accepted for immigration and citizenship applications in Canada. It is recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and other Canadian institutions.

 IELTS is accepted by numerous organizations worldwide, including immigration authorities in Canada, Australia, the UK, and the USA, universities, colleges, and employers in various English-speaking countries.



CELPIP is designed specifically for individuals applying for permanent residency or citizenship in Canada. It assesses general English language proficiency in various real-life situations, such as work, travel, and daily interactions.

IELTS is a more versatile test used for various purposes, including immigration, academic admission, and employment. It is accepted by many countries, including Canada, Australia, the UK, and the USA.



CELPIP is primarily offered in Canada and a few select international locations.

IELTS is administered globally, with test centers available in numerous countries and cities worldwide.


Test Duration

The CELPIP-General test takes approximately three hours to complete, including a 10-minute break between the Listening and Reading sections.

The total test time for IELTS varies depending on the format and sections, but it typically ranges from around 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours.



The cost of the CELPIP test varies depending on the country and test center but is generally comparable to IELTS fees.

The cost of the IELTS test varies by country and test format (paper-based or computer-delivered) but is typically in a similar price range to CELPIP.

Ultimately, individuals should consider their specific goals, preferences, and the requirements of their target organizations or immigration authorities when choosing between CELPIP and IELTS. Both tests are widely recognized and accepted, so the decision may come down to factors such as test format, availability, and personal comfort.

Published on January 31st, 2024 by Jaydon Curtis

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