CELPIP vs IELTS – Which is Better for Canada Immigration

If you’re considering sitting for CELPIP or IELTS tests, you may want to know which is better for Canada Immigration. CELPIP vs IELTS is a regular question asked as they are the only English proficiency tests accepted by Canada Immigration. To get most Canadian immigration visas, you’re required to pass one of these English tests.

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In this article, Immigly.com looks at the pros and cons of the CELPIP and IELTS and if you keep reading, you will know which is better for Canada Immigration.

Before CELPIP was introduced, IELTS used to be the only English proficiency test for Canadian Immigration. But now you can either choose to do any of these English tests.

IRCC is interested in knowing how fluent you are in English or French and the only way to prove your proficiency is by taking the CELPIP or IELTS test. 

If you score high in any of the English tests, your chances of a successful application are increased. Therefore, asking the question, ‘CELPIP vs IELTS, which is better?’ is important to help you choose which test you should opt for.

Let’s look at them separately before we pit one against the other.

What is CELPIP?

CELPIP is an acronym for Canadian English Proficiency Index Program. It is an English proficiency test for Canada Immigrants and international students which is accepted by the Canadian government, universities, and employers in Canada. Celpip is accepted by CIC for the following Canada immigration:

There are 2 categories of CELPIP tests: General Test and General LS Test.

The General Test is the one required for Canadian Immigration because the General LS Test (which is not required) only includes listening and speaking.

The CELPIP general test contains 4 sections: writing, reading, listening, and speaking.

What is IELTS?

International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an English proficiency test used by many countries in the world. Just like the CELPIP test, IELTS has 2 categories: General Training and Academic. 

The IELTS General Training is the one required for Canadian immigration while the Academic scores are not accepted for immigration.

Like CELPIP, the IELTS contains 4 sections:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening 
  • Speaking

CELPIP vs IELTS – Why Celpip is better than IELTS

Let’s look at some reasons why CELPIP may be a better option than IELTS for Canada Immigration.

Here are the advantages the CELPIP has over IELTS

  • It takes only about 3 hours to complete all sections of the CELPIP test. Meanwhile, the IELTS requires 2 sittings. This implies that you have to come to the test centre twice for the IELTS test which is a major disadvantage for people who are coming from a far distance.
  • Unlike the IELTS which is taken on paper and computer, CELPIP test is taken entirely on a computer. This makes CELPIP a better option for most people.
  • The CELPIP results are available in 8days, meanwhile it takes 13 days to receive the IELTS result.
  • The CELPIP fee is cheaper than that of IELTS
  • While CELPIP has a longer listening and speaking section than IELTS, the writing section is smaller. This is a big advantage for those who are not too good at written English but are good at speaking.

CELPIP vs IELTS – Why IELTS is better than CELPIP

Here are the advantages IELTS has over CELPIP

  • Unlike the CELPIP, IELTS has a longer writing section and a shorter listening and speaking section. This is a major advantage for those who are not too fluent in speaking but flow very well in writing.
  • Unlike the CELPIP, IELTS can be done completely on paper. This is an advantage to those who are not too good with computers.
  • IELTS being splitted for two days is also an advantage as it will help you prepare for the speaking test. 

CELPIP vs IELTS – Which is Easier to Pass?

You might be wondering, CELPIP vs IELTS, which is easier to pass. The simple answer to this is that none of the English proficiency tests is easier than the other. You finding any easier strongly depends on:

  • The level of your preparation for the test.
  • The differences in how the tests are conducted. For example, IELTS is conducted on paper—if you’re not good with computers, IELTS will be easier for you to pass.


IELTS and CELPIP are both great choices for Canada Immigration. However the answer to the question, ‘CELPIP vs IELTS, which is better for Canada Immigration?’ relies on which of the English tests you will perform better at.

If you look at the pros and cons of both English tests as outlined in this article, you should be able to choose which will be better for your application.

It is advisable to take the CELPIP and IELTS mock tests first to know which you are more comfortable with.

Lastly, whichever one you choose, ensure you prepare adequately before you take the test. You can opt for online or offline masterclasses to improve your English skills.

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