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IELTS vs CELPIP: Which Test Should You Take?

IELTS vs CELPIP: Which Test Should You Take?

If you are planning to immigrate to Canada or study in Canada, you might know that having an English language test score is one of the requirements for immigration and school entry.

To meet the English language proficiency requirements of immigration and citizenship in Canada, you may take either the CELPIP or IELTS General test.

If you are interested in studying in Canada, you might have to take an international English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) test or other testing systems, such as TOEFL or Duolingo.

What are CELPIP and IELTS?


The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program is known as CELPIP, and IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. They are both designed to test English language proficiency. Both tests are commonly used for studying, working, and immigrating. The CELPIP, however, was specifically designed for Canadian English assessments. The CELPIP is very useful for foreigners who want to become citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

To Help You Choose between IELTS and CELPIP, What Are the Differences?

When choosing which test to take, several factors must be considered. Below is a table highlighting those factors.

Permanent residency in Canada or citizenship✔︎✔︎✖︎
School English requirement✖︎✖︎✔︎
StyleComputer basedPaper based and Computer basedPaper based and Computer based
HoursAbout 3hoursAbout 2h 45minAbout 2h 45min
Cost280 CAD +TaxAbout CAD315 – 340
Depending on where you take the test, the price will differ.
About CAD315 – 340
Depending on where you take the test, the price will differ.
LocationsOver 1900 options in CanadaOver 100 official places in CanadaOver 100 official places in Canada

Is CELPIP Easier than IELTS?

Comparing CELPIP vs IELTS, there’s no obvious difference in difficulty. The tests in both categories are tough and require a high level of English and some serious preparation. 

Here are the main factors to consider: 

  • What test format seems more useful to you? 
  • In terms of my future career/study, which test is most relevant?

Below are some other differences to note:

  • When it comes to Listening, CELPIP tests use Canadian speakers, whereas IELTS tests use native speakers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US. 
  • IELTS Speaking includes a live conversation with an examiner, while CELPIP requires recording your voice on a computer. Some non-native speakers might feel more comfortable interacting with an examiner, while others prefer not to.

How about the Duolingo English Test?


Designed for today’s international students and institutions, Duolingo’s English Test is a modern language proficiency tool. Tests are available in an accessible, efficient, and secure manner with an English proficiency score, a video interview, and a writing sample.

This English proficiency test is fast, convenient, and affordable. 

  • You can take the test online whenever and wherever
  • Cost $49USD (not including tax)
  • It only takes one hour
  • Duolingo score can not use for Permanent residency in Canada or citizenship

In some cases, however, Duolingo scores may not be accepted by institutions due to the time of year and the institution. Please be sure to check the official pages of the English requirements of your desired university or college and the Duolingo English test website.

Do You Want to Increase Your IELTS and CELPIP Score?

What you need to know to succeed in your IELTS Writing Task #1

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1:The Ultimate Guide to Get over 6.0 or Higher Score

CISM’s Guide to IELTS: Reading

Sources:CELPIP vs IELTS Difference Between CELPIP and IELTS IELTS with British Council CELPIP Official Site Duolingo English Test

Disclaimer: The information has been gathered as accurately as possible at the time of writing, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check the official website and digital channels.
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