The CELPIP Exam: Your Pathway to Canada

09 October, 2023

The CELPIP Exam: Your Pathway to Canada

CELPIP is an English language examination enabling candidates to showcase their English proficiency. Recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the CELPIP Test is specifically designed for individuals seeking permanent resident status and citizenship in Canada.
What is CELPIP


Similar to the IELTS Exam, CELPIP is a recognized English proficiency test in Canada. Unsure about which test to opt for? Explore the article below for guidance.
The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, abbreviated as CELPIP, is a widely accepted examination for assessing English language proficiency. Employed for immigration purposes in Canada and specific job roles, this test holds the same weightage as the IELTS General exam.


How is the format of CELPIP


The CELPIP Test is entirely computer-based and administered at designated test centers. It typically lasts for approximately 3 hours and is conducted in a single session. The examination evaluates your listening, reading, and text comprehension abilities, along with your writing and speaking proficiency.
In contrast to other language proficiency exams, CELPIP Test doesn't require direct interaction with a person during the speaking section. Instead, you respond to prompts displayed on the screen for this segment of the test.


How CELPIP works


The language used in the CELPIP exam is Canadian English, reflecting the country's accent and script. Nevertheless, the assessment process acknowledges English accents and spelling variations from different regions.
During the exam, certain tasks are repeated by the system and appear in different sections and questions. As a result, one task in each module is invalidated (it's impossible to predict which one will be "unscored"). This means that even if you are aware that there are 4 tasks in a section, such as Reading, you'll have to complete 5 tasks on the test day. Here's an overview of the CELPIP modules:
  • Writing: There are two writing tasks based on general situations. The computer offers a spell check feature, along with automatic word counting.
  • Reading: There are 4 sessions with texts covering various topics, all rooted in common scenarios.
  • Listening: During the listening section, where questions alternate, there is a brief window to fill in answers after the audio concludes.
  • Speaking: This segment is often perceived as the most challenging by those who have taken the exam. It consists of 8 tasks with limited response time. Your listener is the computer, and you'll be in a room with others who are speaking at the same time.


Where can I take CELPIP


CELPIP examinations can be taken in person at designated centers in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, China, the Philippines, India, and the USA. Appointments need to be scheduled in advance, and payment is required. Also, the test is now available in Brazil.
How to prepare for CELPIP
In CELPIP Website, you can find over 10 hours of free webinars, a free sample test, a free practice test when you create a CELPIP Account:
  • Free Sample Test: Available on the CELPIP website, the free sample test includes sample test questions and answers to help test takers understand what to expect on each component of the CELPIP Test.
  • Free Practice Test: Available for free when test takers register for a CELPIP Account, this is a complete practice test, covering each component of the CELPIP Test, including detailed answer keys for each section.
  • Free Webinars and Workshops: Available online, a free CELPIP information session is hosted live each week, giving test-takers an overview of the CELPIP Test components, as well as an informal question-and-answer session. Recorded webinars and workshops are also available on the CELPIP YouTube page.
  • Paid Study Materials: Available in our online store, we have a range of practice tests, online learning programs, study guides and more available for purchase.
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IELTS x CELPIP – Which test to choose?


Let’s compare both tests:
  • Format: CELPIP is exclusively administered on a computer, whereas IELTS allows the option of being taken either on paper or on a computer.
  • Location: CELPIP examinations can be taken in person at designated centers in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, China, the Philippines, India, and the USA. Appointments need to be scheduled in advance, and payment is required. Also, the test is now available in Brazil.
  • Score range: CELPIP has a maximum score of 12, while IELTS caps at 9. Consequently, distinct scores are factored into the calculation of CLB for Canadian immigration programs, with varying equivalences for each exam.
Regarding the content:
  • Writing: CELPIP offers a spell check feature. In the computer version of IELTS, there is a word count tool but no spell check functionality.
  • Reading: There are not many significant differences in this module between the two exams.
  • Listening: In CELPIP, you'll encounter a Canadian accent, and there's a brief time to respond after the audio. In IELTS, the accent can be from a UK English-speaking country, and answers must be filled in during the audio playback.
  • Speaking: This module shows a major contrast. In CELPIP, individuals speak to a computer, the time is visible on the screen, and there are 8 tasks. It's important to note that the noise from other test-takers nearby can be disruptive. In IELTS, this is an individual test. The examiner asks questions in person, and you don't have control over the timing with a watch.
Which exam is better? Easier? More rigorous or lenient in scoring? Which exam to choose? It all depends on your preference and the score you aim to achieve. We hope the information provided above helps you draw your own conclusions.
Regardless of your choice, you can rely on us for guidance on the steps to take after your test. Book an appointment with our consultants!
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