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All You Need To Know About The CELPIP Exam

The Canadian immigration visas necessitate the proof of the English language skills of the applicant. There are so many exams that provide linguistic proficiency certificates, but perplexed about what to choose? Don’t worry, the CELPIP test is for this purpose only! Below you will find each and every detail about the same.

What is CELPIP?

The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) is the language assessment test for English language proficiency, taken by the candidates who wish to pursue their higher studies or aim for work opportunities in Canada.

This test is widely recognized by the Canada Immigration and Citizenship (CIC), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC).

There are several benefits associated with the test, one of the predominant is that it is a completely computer-delivered test. Moreover, this test is concluded in one sitting and the results come as quickly as in just 4-5 business days.

Types of CELPIP

Conducted by Paragon Testing Enterprises, this test is a subsidiary of the University of British Columbia (UBC). This test has two types:
     ● CELPIP - General
     ● CELPIP - General LS

The CELPIP General test is aimed at evaluating the candidate’s Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking skills, while the CELPIP General LS only assesses the functional Listening and Speaking skills of the applicant.

CELPIP General test is generally taken by those who wish to substantiate their aptitude in English language while applying for permanent residence in Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Start-up Visa Programs, or Provincial Nominee Programs. On the contrary, CELPIP General LS is taken up by those candidates who want to get their Canadian Citizenship.

The CELPIP General test cost around CAD $280 (exclusive of the taxes) and the CELPIP General LS costs CAD $195 (exclusive of the taxes). The time duration of the former is about 3 hours and that of the latter is 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Modules of CELPIP

There are 4 modules in the general test whereas there are only 2 in the CELPIP General LS.



CELPIP- General

CELPIP- General LS


Speaking (15–20 minutes)

Writing (53–60 minutes)

Reading (55–60 minutes)

Listening (47–55 minutes)

Listening (47–55 minutes)

Speaking (15–20 minutes)

Total Test Time

3 hours

1 hour and 10 minutes


Listening Module

     ● This module has 6 components, six scored parts and one not marked
     ● The total questions are 40 in number
     ● The question types ranges from
           ○ Problem solving
           ○ Daily life conversation
           ○ Listening to information
           ○ Listening to a news
           ○ Discussion
           ○ Listening to a viewpoint

Reading Module

     ● This module has 4 components, four scored parts and one not marked
     ● The total questions are 38 in number.
     ● The questions types are sentence completion, text completion, WH questions, and multiple choice questions.
     ● The question types ranges from
           ○ Correspondence
           ○ Reading to apply a diagram
           ○ Reading to information

Writing Module

     ● This module has 2 tasks, both are marked.
     ● The tasks are as follows:
           ○ Task 1: writing an email
           ○ Task 2: response to a survey question

Speaking Module

     ● This module has 8 components, eight scored parts and one unmarked
     ● The total questions are 8 in number
     ● The question types ranges from
           ○ Giving advice
           ○ Talking about a personal experience
           ○ Describing a scene
           ○ Making predictions
           ○ Comparing and persuading
           ○ Dealing with a difficult situation
           ○ Expressing opinions
           ○ Describing an unusual situation

Band Score Descriptor

The score for CELPIP is given on the scale of 1-12. Both reading and listening sections have multiple choice questions and hence are marked in the integrated way: the response being correct or incorrect.

The speaking module is assessed on the basis of
     ● Coherence
     ● Lexical range
     ● Listening ability
     ● Task fulfillment

The writing module is evaluated on the basis of
     ● Content
     ● Vocabulary
     ● Readability
     ● Task fulfillment

The CELPIP score chart is measured against the Canadian Language Benchmark. 



CELPIP Descriptor

CLB Level


Excellent proficiency in community contexts and workplace



Excellent proficiency in community contexts and workplace



Highly effective proficiency in community contexts and workplace



Effective proficiency in community contexts and workplace



Good proficiency in community contexts and workplace



Proficiency in community contexts and workplace



Still developing proficiency in community contexts and workplace



Need to acquire proficiency in community contexts and workplace



Adequate proficiency for day to day activities



Some proficiency in limited contexts



Minimum proficiency or insufficient information to assess

0, 1, 2



Both of these exams are the English language tests and are the only ones accepted by the IRCC for immigration and citizenship in Canada. Since IELTS has two types, IELTS General has to be given by the candidate for the permanent residency purposes. Being the same, yet they are different.

The questions in IELTS exam are general while those in CELPIP are based on the situations of daily life and the exclusive intention is to check the familiarity of speaking English in real life. Therefore it is important to be well versed in the language and to practice constantly by speaking every day.

Although both these can not be defined on the basis of the difficulty level. This solely depends on the candidate. However, CELPIP only uses the North American accent in the listening module, thus it becomes a bit easy for the test takers.

Section-wise difference of the two is given below in the table.






6 components
40 questions

4 components
40 questions


4 components
38 questions

3 components
40 questions


Email writing

Answer a survey

Letter writing

Giving a point of view


8 components

3 components


Unlike the IELTS test, in which the speaking module takes place on a day other than the LRW modules, all the 4 modules take place in one sitting only in CELPIP. Another difference is that the scoring is different in both. In CELPIP, the score range is between 1 to 12, whereas, in IELTS, the band score ranges between 1 to 9.

To know more about the test and the services provided, contact us directly or reach out to your nearest branch.

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