CELPIP vs. IELTS (Meaning, diff, format, sections)


If you consider taking an English test for migrating to an English-speaking country, your most reliable option should be any of the “CELPIP” vs. “IELTS” tests; I know you might be wondering which one is right for you.

One question that potential candidates often ask themselves about the CELPIP vs. IELTS tests is; “do I take the IELTS or CELPIP test?

However, many factors should be considered when deciding on which of these tests is suitable for you but knowing a little about each test, where they are similar, and where they can help you make the right decision.

On the other hand, different tests assess different skills, so we will look at CELPIP vs. IELTS in more detail in this article.

CELPIP vs IELTS: Overview

CELPIP is the abbreviation of Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, while IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System.

Both tests are put in place to evaluate English language proficiency; CELPIP and IELTS are used for work, immigration, and study, although the CELPIP become particularly conceived for the Canadian English test.

The CELPIP may be very beneficial for folks that need to gain permanent citizenship or residency in Canada.

What is IELTS?

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is one of the most famous English language exams across the world. However, many international countries use IELTS as part of their immigration requirements. 

There are two styles of IELTS exams: academic and general training. For example, if you want to migrate to Canada, you need to take the IELTS General Training because CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) doesn’t accept academic grades.

On the other hand, it is those seeking to school there that take the academy test. 

IELTS General Training is designed to determine how good you’re capable of using English to communicate. It makes use of a 9-factor scale to identify stages of proficiency. It has four stages of exam for: 

  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Reading

IELTS test is done in two sittings, and it is a paper-based test. The listing, writing, and reading tests are finished in a single sitting lasting 2 hours 30 minutes.

However, the speaking test is taken on a particular date and it lasts for about 11-14 minutes. In it, you would communicate with a human examiner, communicate approximately a specific subject matter, after which you would respond to questions on what you spoke about.

Read this: Top 10 Hardest Exams in the World


What is CELPIP?

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program is a more recent test than IELTS. Rather than IELTS, CELPIP tests are conducted computer-based.

It is a Canada-based test for international students and immigrants. CIC accepts CELPIP for Canada immigration in: 

  • Start-up visas
  • Permanent residence
  • Canadian citizenship
  • Most Provincial Nominee Programs
  • Express Entry
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled worker Program

As it is in IELTS, CELPIP has two tests: the General LS test and General Test. The General Test is taken for Canadian immigration. AT the same time, the General LS Test-best covers Listening and Speaking.

There are four sections of the CELPIP test, which are:

  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Listening

However, in contrast to IELTS, all sections of the CELPIP tests are completed on the same day, and the duration for the CELPIP test is 3 hours.


While CELPIP and IELTS are designed to check your language proficiency, CELPIP lays a barely more potent emphasis on “purposeful language” than IELTS.

Many CELPIP obligations require applicants to recognize and react to various ordinary conditions that are probably confronted by a person who has moved to a country where English is its official language.

This is likewise true in a few components of IELTS, however not quite so much as in CELPIP.

Both British and American English grammar and spelling are recognized when comparing the CELPIP vs. IELTS tests, even though the IELTS is for British English. At the same time, the CELPIP is designed for Canadian English.


One important distinction between the CELPIP vs. IELTS tests is that CELPIP is a completely computer-based test. All components of the test are done with the aid of using a computer.

While in IELTS, by contrast, the listening, reading, and writing sections are all paper-based, while the speaking test is executed in person.

CELPIP vs. IELTS: Which is difficult?

When we bring into comparison the difficulty of the CELPIP vs. IELTS test, there’s no clear distinction between the both of them.

Both exams have their challenges and requirements that the candidates have a good understanding of the English language.

The most important decisions to be taken in deciding which test should you apply for of the CELPIP vs. IELTS tests should be based on the following criteria:

  • Which test is more applicable to my studies/career? 
  • Which of the two tests appears more beneficial to me?

CELPIP vs. IELTS: Comparison by Section

In a few areas, CELPIP vs. IELTS is more of the same. Nevertheless, CELPIP vs. IELTS have their differences, and each has an individual section.

Let’s compare CELPIP vs. IELTS across the four similar sections in which their tests are conducted.


For CELPIP – this section lasts for about 25-20 minutes and makes up of:

  • Making decision
  • Giving advice
  • Difficult situations
  • Unusual situations
  • Making a prediction
  • A practice task
  • Talking about something personal
  • Expression opinions
  • Making comparisons and persuading
  • Describing a scene

For IELTS – this section takes up to 11-14 minutes

  • Speak about a particular topic
  • Respond to general questions on familiar topics


For CELPIP – this section lasts for about 53-60 minutes and comprises of:

  • Responding to a survey
  • Writing an email

For IELTS – this section takes up to 60 minutes and makes up of:

  • Writing an essay
  • Writing a formal or semi-formal letter


For CELPIP – this section lasts for 55-60 minutes and consists of:

  • Reading for opinions
  • Reading for diagrams
  • A practice task
  • Reading for information
  • Reading for correspondence

For IELTS – this section does not last longer than an hour, and it is made up of:

  • Understanding complete texts, such as instructions or fiction
  • Understanding workplace text such as a job description.
  • Answer more technical questions about your topic.
  • Understanding everyday texts for basic information


For CELPIP – this section takes about 47-55 minutes and is made up of the following parts:

  • Listening to information
  • Paying attention to opinions
  • Listening to everyday conversation
  • A practice task
  • Listening to news
  • Listening to problem-solving
  • Paying attention to discussions

For IELTS – this section lasts for 30 minutes

  • A discussion in a professional or educational setting
  • An everyday conversation
  • A monologue on an academic subject
  • A monologue in a social context

Read this: Is TOEFL hard? (Major tips and tricks)


In the comparison of “CELPIP vs. IELTS”, you have noticed that they have a good number of similarities, although they have differences too. But these exams evaluate your English speaking capability and how you manage your tenses.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

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