CELPIP is a language assessment test that measures an individual’s proficiency in English language skills such as speaking, reading, listening, and writing. The CELPIP test you need will depend on the purpose for which you are taking the test.

The CELPIP – General test is approved by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for Permanent Residency applications, while the CELPIP – LS test is approved for Canadian citizenship applications. These tests are designed to evaluate a person’s language skills in a Canadian context and are widely recognized by Canadian government agencies, academic institutions, and employers.

Listening: The CELPIP Listening section has a time limit of 47-55 minutes and includes different parts such as:

PartsComponent SectionsNumber of Questions
Practice Task1
Part 1Listening to Problem Solving8
Part 2Listening to a Daily Life Conversation5
Part 3Listening for Information6
Part 4Listening to a News Item5
Part 5Listening to a Discussion8
Part 6Listening to Viewpoints6

Question format for Listening:

1) Sentence Completion Questions

Requires to choose from among the four ways of completing a sentence.

2) WH Questions

Answer questions that begin with words like “what”, “when”, “where” and “why”. The answer options may be presented as text or images (Listening section)

Questions for Listening can be grouped into three types.

1) General Meaning Questions

Questions that focus on understanding the overall idea in a passage, e.g. identify the topic, theme or main idea of the passage.

2) Specific Details Questions

These are questions that focus on understanding specific details in passage. They may ask to identify key information, supporting details, opinions, or examples.

3) Inference questions

These are questions that focus on drawing conclusions and making assumptions based on information in a passage. the test taker maybe asked to identify implicit information, including the speaker’s purpose, tone, or attitude.

The test takers will be required to read answer choices in the Listening Test and questions in the Speaking Test.

Reading: The CELPIP Reading Section has a time limit of 55-60 minutes and includes different parts such as:

PartsComponent SectionsNumber of Questions
Practice Task1
Part 1Reading Correspondence11
Part 2Reading to Apply a Diagram8
Part 3Reading for Information9
Part 4Reading for Viewpoints10

The Reading section of CELPIP generally consists of the following types of questions:

1) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

These questions require you to choose the best answer from a set of options.

2) Fill-in-the-Blanks Questions:

These questions require you to fill in a missing word or phrase in a sentence or paragraph.

3) Short Answer Questions:

These questions require you to answer a question with a short phrase or sentence.

4) Reading and Writing Tasks:

These tasks require you to read a passage and then write a response to a prompt, which may involve summarizing the passage, expressing an opinion, or making a recommendation.

5) Matching Information:

This task requires matching the information given in a statement to the paragraph where it can be found.

What are Unscored Questions:

The Listening and Reading Tests include unscored items that are used for developing the test. These unscored items are designed in the same format as the scored items and can appear at any point in the test. It is not possible to distinguish between scored and unscored items.

Speaking: The CELPIP Speaking section has a time limit of 15-20 minutes and includes eight different tasks. The speaking test measures the test takers’ ability to communicate in day-to-day situations like giving advice, expressing opinion and talking about personal experiences. Some of these tasks may include images which are used to test a variety of skills, including describing situations, making predictions and comparisons. The preparation and recording times vary for each task. Format of the Speaking Test:

TasksComponent SectionsNumber of Questions
Practice Task1
Task 1Giving Advice1
Task 2Talking about a Personal Experience1
Task 3Describing a Scene1
Task 4Making Predictions1
Task 5Comparing and Persuading1
Task 6Dealing with a difficult situation1
Task 7Expressing Opinions1
Task 8Describing an Unusual Situation1

Scoring: The test takers’ responses are assessed using these four performance standards:

Content/ Coherence: Quality of Ideas and how well they flow together.

Vocabulary: Selection and use of words, phrases and idioms.

Listenability: Understandability and fluency of the response

Task Fulfillment: Completion of all task requirements.

Writing: The CELPIP writing module has a time limit of 53-60 minutes and includes two different tasks:

TasksComponent SectionsNumber of Questions
Task 1Writing an Email1
Task 2Responding to Survey Questions1

The CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) Writing section consists of two tasks:

Task 1: Writing an Email – In this task, test-takers are required to write an email response to a specific situation or request. The email should be between 150 and 200 words and include appropriate greetings and closing statements.

Task 2: Responding to Survey Questions – In this task, test-takers are presented with a set of survey questions and are required to write a response of at least 300 words. The response should provide a clear and well-organized answer to the questions, including examples or supporting details as necessary.

Both tasks are designed to assess the test-taker’s ability to communicate effectively in written English, including their ability to organize and present information in a clear and coherent manner, use appropriate vocabulary and grammar, and address the intended audience appropriately.

CELPIP Writing Test Performance Standards

DimensionImportant FactorsGuiding Questions
Content/Coherence• Number of ideas
• Quality of ideas
• Organization of ideas
• Examples and supporting details
How well are your ideas organized and developed?
Vocabulary• Word choice
• Suitable use of words and phrases
• Range of words and phrases
• Precision and accuracy
What is the range of your vocabulary and can you use it naturally?
Readability• Format and paragraphing
• Connectors and transitions
• Grammar and sentence structure
• Spelling and punctuation
How easy is it to read and understand your response?
Task Fulfillment• Relevance
• Completeness
• Tone
• Word count
How well did you follow the instructions? Did you use an appropriate tone?

A comprehensive comparison between the CELPIP and IELTS exams

1. Test Structure: The CELPIP is a fully computer-based test, while the IELTS is available in both computer-based and paper-based formats.

2. Speaking Test: The CELPIP speaking test is computer-based, while the IELTS speaking test is conducted face-to-face with an examiner.

3. Test Content: The CELPIP test focuses on everyday English language skills, while the IELTS test covers a broader range of English language skills, including academic English.

4. Test Scoring: IELTS exam use a 9-band scoring system, but The CELPIP test uses a scoring system ranging from 1 to 12, with 12 being the highest score. The test assesses four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each skill is scored on a scale from 1 to 12, and the overall score is the average of the four individual scores. The CELPIP test also provides sub-scores for some specific aspects of each language skill. The test results are available within 8 business days after the test date.

5. Accents: The CELPIP test only includes Canadian accents, while the IELTS test includes a variety of accents such as British, American, and Australian.

6. Test Availability: The CELPIP test is only available in Canada, while the IELTS test is available in many countries worldwide.

7. Listening Test: On the CELPIP, you only get to read the questions after you’ve listened to the audio passage. This means that note-taking is super important. On the IELTS, you have 1 minute to read and analyze your questions before you listen, and this helps you prepare yourself for what’s coming. The CELPIP has 3 different question types while the IELTS has 6. Additionally, the CELPIP multiple-choice questions include a drop-down menu, whereas the IELTS has fill-in-the-blank style answers.

8. Spelling: Since CELPIP only has a drop-down menu with options, you won’t have to worry about spelling. On the other hand, the IELTS test takes spelling into consideration, which can be a major reason why many candidates get answers wrong.

9. Video: The CELPIP listening test includes a video, whereas the IELTS does not. However, sometimes the videos can be challenging because you have to focus on what the speakers are wearing too, so pay attention.

Both the CELPIP and IELTS exams assess English language proficiency, they differ in terms of test structure, speaking test format, test content, test time, test scoring, accents, and test availability. Additionally, there are some differences in the listening test, spelling, and video content. It’s important to understand these differences when deciding which exam to take for your specific needs.