CELPIP vs IELTS Which Test is Easier?: Cost, Format, How to Apply

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When planning to go to Canada and wondering which is better, CELPIP or IELTS? Well, we are here to help you determine your best choice. Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) is the English language proficiency test designed for those planning to migrate to Canada as a permanent resident or applying for Canadian citizenship. 

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the English language proficiency test designed to assess your ability to speak English to migrate from India to other countries abroad, such as Canada, USA, UK or Australia

In this blog, you will explore CELPIP, its benefits, how it differs from IELTS or TOEFL, and more about IELTS. 

What is CELPIP?

CELPIP, the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, is an English language test designed for individuals planning to settle in Canada permanently or pursue Canadian citizenship. The main purpose of the CELPIP test is to evaluate how well candidates can understand, use, and communicate in English, assessing their listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.

Recognised by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), CELPIP is important for those navigating the immigration process. The computer-based test provides a modern and efficient way to assess language proficiency. It offers two versions: CELPIP-General and CELPIP-General LS. The CELPIP-General version assesses a broad range of language skills suitable for various purposes, while the CELPIP-General LS version specifically focuses on language skills relevant to citizenship applications.

CELPIP provides a comprehensive evaluation, enabling authorities to gauge an individual’s English language capabilities in diverse contexts. This proficiency test is crucial in determining eligibility for immigration and citizenship, helping individuals showcase their language abilities in various aspects of daily life. As a result, CELPIP serves as a valuable tool for those seeking to establish themselves in Canada and contribute to the country’s multicultural and diverse communities.

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CELPIP vs IELTS Which Test is Easier?: Cost, Format, How to Apply

Advantages & Disadvantages of CELPIP

CELPIP, or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, is a test for people wanting to move to Canada or become Canadian citizens. Let’s look at the good things (advantages) and not-so-good things (disadvantages) about CELPIP. 

Advantages

  1. CELPIP focuses on the English skills you need in Canada. It’s all about how you talk and understand English in everyday situations.
  2. You take CELPIP on a computer. It’s easy to use, and you get your results right away. You can even type for the writing part.
  3. CELPIP gives your scores fast. This is handy if you’re in a hurry for immigration or citizenship applications.
  4. CELPIP is recognised by the Canadian immigration authorities. It’s a trusted test for showing how well you know English, which is important if you want to move to Canada.
  5. There are different CELPIP tests, so you can pick the one that suits your needs. Whether it’s for immigration or citizenship, CELPIP has you covered.
  6. CELPIP looks at the English you use daily. It helps you be ready for real situations you might face in Canada.

Disadvantages

  1. CELPIP might not be as well known in all countries as some other English tests. In some places, people might prefer tests that are recognised more globally.
  2. Some people might not be as used to CELPIP as other tests. This could make it seem like there are not as many resources available to prepare for the test.
  3. CELPIP has different types of tests, and choosing the right one might be confusing. Some people might not be sure which version is best for them.
  4. It might be hard to find a place to take the CELPIP test in some places. This could be tricky, especially if you’re in a remote area.

Cost & Format for CELPIP

It is important to understand the cost of taking the test and its format if considering the CELPIP Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program test. CELPIP is a language proficiency test to be carried out by people who intend to come to Canada and become Canadian citizens. 

The cost and format of the CELPIP tests are presented in a short overview:

Cost 

Types of CELPIPFees (INR)
Express Rating General Test9k + tax
Express Rating General LS Test4k + tax
Regular Rating General & General LS TestFree

Format

Test TypeComponentsDurationScore
CELPIP – GeneralWriting, Speaking, Reading & Listening3 hours5
CELPIP – General LSSpeaking & Listening1 hour 10 minutes4 or higher (upto 12)

How to Apply for CELPIP Exam?

There are three ways to register for this exam, they are as follows:

  • Offline/In-person
  • Via Mail
  • Online

Online Registration

This exam is for those who are non-Canadian or even live outside of Canada. 

  • Original Identification documents
  • A valid credit/debit card for online payment

Below are the steps for the online registration of CELPIP Test

  • Visit the official website of CELPIP
  • Create your account and fill all your details correctly
  • Choose the test date and location
  • Make payment online

What is IELTS?

You must take the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System to check your English skills. In places where English is the main language, such as Canada, the United Kingdom or Australia, it’s usually taken by people who want to study, work and live there.

The test has four parts: listening, reading, writing and speech. You’re hearing things and responding to questions for a listen. Reading is to understand the passages and respond to questions. In writing, you write about a topic; in speaking, you talk about yourself and answer questions.

In each part, the IELTS score ranges from 1 to 9; an average of these scores will give you a full range of results. For things like university admission or immigration, different places might require a certain score level. It is a widely used test that helps people show their English proficiency in different situations worldwide.

Advantages & Disadvantages of IELTS

The IELTS, or the International English Language Testing System, is a widely recognised language proficiency test for purposes of immigration, learning and employment. However, there are also several disadvantages to consider when considering this approach, e.g. global acceptance and standard evaluation. 

Advantages

  1. IELTS is recognised in many countries, making it useful if you want to study or work in different places like the UK, Canada, or Australia. 
  2. It checks your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, giving a complete picture of your English abilities.
  3. The listening part includes different English accents, helping you get used to how people speak in various places.
  4. IELTS has frequent test dates, making it convenient for people to choose when to take the test.

Disadvantages

  1. The test has time limits for each part, and some people find it challenging to finish everything in the given time.
  2. Speaking with Strangers involves talking to an examiner, which can be nerve-wracking for some people.
  3. Doing well in IELTS often requires preparation; some might find it time-consuming to prepare for all parts.
  4. Scoring can vary; some may feel the scoring system is a bit subjective.

Cost & Format for IELTS

It’s good to know how much the exam costs and what it looks like if you want to get an IELTS test to study or work abroad, such as in the United Kingdom, Canada, etc.

Cost

Test TypeFees (INR)
Pen-paper & Computer-based IELTS Exam17,000
IELTS Life Skills (A1&B1)16,050
IELTS for UKVI17,250
IELTS for UK Visas & Immigration17,250

Format

Test TypeComponents
Pen-paper & Computer-basedWriting, Listening, Reading & Speaking
Score0-9 Minimum 4 & Maximum 8 Band Score
ValidityUp to 2 years

How to Apply for IELTS 

You have three options to sign up for your IELTS:

1. Sign up online and pay with a credit card.

2. Sign up in person at any IDP branch or Input Node.

3. Sign up by mail and pay with a Demand Draft or use an ICICI deposit/HDFC deposit slip.

Online Registration

  1. Log on to the official website of IELTS
  2. Select ‘Register for IELTS’ option
  3. Choose your test date and city
  4. Complete the online application form with all the required details
  5. Pay online via credit/debit card (Master/Visa)

Difference between CELPIP & IELTS

You can find two options, CELPIP and IELTS if you’re considering taking a test to prove that you know English. In English-speaking countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, both tests are highly recommended for people who want to study, work or reside in these countries. 

Let’s examine the fundamental differences between CELPIP and IELTS.

AspectsCELPIPIELTS
PurposeFor Canadian immigration and citizenshipWidely accepted for immigration and academic purposes
FormatComputer-basedPen-paper & Computer-based
Scoring SystemScores range from 1 to 12 for each sectionScores range from 1 to 9 for each section
Test CentersLimited availability in some regionsWidely available in many countries
RecognitionRecognised mainly in CanadaRecognised globally
PreparationFewer preparation resources are availableAbundant preparation resources are available
Speaking TestRecorded responsesFace-to-face interview with an examiner

CELPIP or IELTS: Which is Better?

Deciding between CELPIP and IELTS depends on your needs and where you want to go. If you’re aiming for Canada, CELPIP might be better because it’s made for Canadian English. But if you’re looking at other countries or want a test recognised worldwide, IELTS could be a good choice. Think about where you plan to go and the requirements before deciding which test to take.

Summing Up

Consider where you want to go and what you must take the test for when deciding between CELPIP and IELTS. CELPIP may be the right choice if you’re going to Canada, but if you’re planning to go to other countries, IELTS may be better suited. 

The two tests have their strengths, so it is important to select them according to your specific objectives and the requirements of your destination. Be sure to check the latest information and prepare well for a test which matches your needs.

For more guidance, you can contact our LeapScholar Team.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Which English test is easier?

Ans.  Individuals may differ in their perception of the difficulty of English exams such as CELPIP and IELTS. Some may find CELPIP easier due to its Canadian context and computer-based format, while others might prefer IELTS for its global recognition and face-to-face speaking component. In conclusion, the perceived difficulty depends on your preferences, language skills and familiarity with the test format.

Q. Is CELPIP easier than IELTS?

Ans.  The difficulty of CELPIP vs IELTS is subjective and varies for individuals. CELPIP is more comfortable for some people because of its Canadian focus and computer-based format, while others prefer to be familiar with the wider recognition of IELTS. It ultimately depends on personal preferences, test-taking strengths, and the specific requirements of the destination or institution. The two tests have their characteristics, and what can be simpler for one person than the other might be different.

Q. Is CELPIP speaking harder than IELTS?

Ans.  Individuals’ preferences and strengths determine how difficult CELPIP is to speak compared with IELTS. The CELPIP speaking section includes recording responses, allowing candidates to express their views with a certain degree of accuracy. On the other hand, IELTS has a component of face-to-face speaking, which can be perceived as more difficult for some students due to an immediate interaction with their examiner.

Q. Should I take IELTS or CELPIP?

Ans.  Your specific objectives and requirements of the country or institution you apply to will determine which course is chosen between CELPIP and IELTS. CELPIP may be better suited to your target immigration from Canada, while the IELTS is widely recognised worldwide for various reasons. To make an informed choice, consider factors such as test format, availability and specific English language requirements of the destination or program you are interested in.

Q. Is only IELTS required for Canada?

Ans.  No, the IELTS and other language tests are accepted in Canada for immigration purposes. CELPIP and TEF are other options. Depending on whether they are comfortable with English or French, applicants may choose a test suited to their needs. To guarantee compliance, the specific language requirements of the immigration programme must be checked.

Q. What are the 2 types of CELPIP?

Ans.  CELPIP- General and CELPIP- General LS are two types of tests offered by the CELFI program, designed to measure English language proficiency. CELPIP-General assesses the language skills of immigrants and professionals, assessing such things as Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking. CELPIP-General LS, on the other hand, focuses exclusively on listening and speaking skills, which are primarily designed for Canadian immigration purposes.

Q. How many bands are required for Canada PR?

Ans.  For Canada PR through the Express Entry system, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is used to evaluate candidates. The CRS takes into account a variety of factors, including language proficiency as measured by the IELTS. A fixed “band” requirement is not required, but a higher language score can considerably increase CRS points. Generally, a very good language performance corresponding to an IELTS score of 7 or higher in each module is required.

Q. How do I get 67 points for Canada PR?

Ans.  You generally need to score at least 67 points on a comprehensive CRS ranking system to qualify for Canada PR through the Express Entry system. Factors such as age, education, work experience, language skills and adaptability shall be considered in awarding points. Achieving high scores in language proficiency (English and/or French), obtaining a valid job offer, and having a higher level of education can significantly contribute to reaching the 67-point threshold.

Q. How long is the CELPIP score valid?

Ans.  The CELPIP score shall be valid from the test date for up to two years. This means that individuals who have taken the CELPIP test in these two years can apply their results for immigration applications, higher education and employment purposes. Once this period is over, the score will be deemed to have expired. Individuals may require a retaking of the test if they request an updated language proficiency document for their specific purposes.

Q. What are the advantages of the CELPIP test?

Ans.  The CELPIP test offers several advantages, including its recognition by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for Canadian immigration applications. It assesses a wide range of language skills, including listening, reading, writing and speaking, to provide an overall assessment. The test is based on computer technology, which provides a more effective and consistent classification method.

Q. Why is CELPIP easier than IELTS?

Ans.  Assessing whether CELPIP is easier than IELTS is subjective and depends on individual preferences and strengths. CELPIP’s focus on Canadian English and its inclusion of everyday language scenarios makes it more accessible to some. In addition, it may be preferable to use CELPIP’s computer format for those content with digital assessments in the written and spoken sections.


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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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