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CELPIP (vs IELTS) Pros and Cons

That’s some really great information about CELPIP. Why did you choose it? And would you go with IELTS if you had to redo it?

Hi ,

I chose CELPIP because

  1. Lot of dates are available unlike IELTS (from next week till May 2018).
  2. CELPIP seems pretty easy, just like TOEFL everything is on computer (speaking and writing as well).
  3. Writing on computer with spell check option in CELPIP is much better than writing on paper in IELTS.
  4. Speaking is little tough than IELTS since we will be talking to a computer on weird subjects and some images.
  5. Reading and listening is exactly same as IELTS.

Disadvantages with CELPIP

  1. Speaking looks very childish when we start the CELPIP training and practice but the actual exam is bit tricky.
  2. Rating for writing and speaking is highly subjective and lot of threads on internet are available validating the fact that your score can be marked lower.
  3. Only one center in entire United states is available for CELPIP exam (which is Flushing NY) as of date.

My score is Reading (12/12), Listening (10/12), Speaking (7/12) and Writing (8/12) and I have sent my scores for reevaluation which will take 4 weeks again. Just google CELPIP scores and mostly you will see same scoring pattern for speaking and writing, not sure why.

My wife’s score are R (9/12), L (9/12) , S (8/12) , W (8/12)

Even if her scores were 9 in all sections we would have hoped for an ITA in next few months, I believe.

I have done Bachelor in Pharmacy and Masters in Pharmacy Administration, Health Policy (working on H1B in Pharmacovigilance/ Drug Safety). If I am the primary applicant I need CLB 9/12 across the board (R,W,L,S) and our ITA combined would 450+ (Age 32)

My wife has done Bachelor in BioMedical Engineering (working as Business Analyst). If she is the primary applicant and CLB 9 across the board, our ITA would have been 430-435 (Age 28).

Yes, given an option I think IELTS is far better than CELPIP even though dates are 3 months apart. Since CELPIP scoring is highly subjective (just my 2 cents on it).

And many thanks to you for inspiring us for Canada. I have been your avid follower and read lot of your blogs about Canada on Quora and other websites. Many other newspapers have quoted you and corroborated this fact about H1B and greencard blackhole.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for an ITA.

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Hello everyone,

Just continuing this thread.

My CELPIP score was L=10, R=12, W=8 , S=8 but not equal to CLB 9 as required.

IELTS score L=8, R=7.5, W=7, S=7.5 and now CLB = 9.

My CRS score with CELPIP was 398 and once I gave IELTS my score is now 454.

I think IELTS is better than CELPIP in many ways.

I did both with 1 month of difference between them, and I could confirm that CELPIP is a scam. If you take CELPIP-General, Paragon knows you need 9 for your Express Entry, so sure enough they will give you 8 in either Speaking and/or Writing so you have to pay for the test again. I have seen this many times already. Here are my results side by side (the CLB translation is mine):

Ver Imagen

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I agree, CELPIP is a scam. I lost 6 months because I took CELPIP and did not get IELTS dates later.

Thank you confirming :slight_smile: !

I would also concur that CELPIP is a scam, or at least extremely bias based on particular criteria that do not necessarily correspond to “good English”. For example, they recommend to ‘sign-off’ with a ‘Canadian name’ and not a ‘weird’ sounding name. How is this testing English skills? I find this quite discriminatory and offensive. My last name is German-background and I used it in my exam, and now think it may have affected my scores.

I scored well on all components except writing, R-12, L-12, S-11 and W-8.
I requested and paid for a re-evaluation for the writing component and received the same score. The difference between an 8 and a 9 for my Express Entry eligibility is an astonishing 45 points! Subsequently, this result makes my chances of obtaining a PR offer very low.

To put it in perspective, English is my first language, I came top of my class in high school for English. I have a bachelors degree in engineering and a published Honours Thesis which was awarded a High Distinction (written in English). Part of my work is to write detailed emails and reports on a daily basis, including reviewing others. There is clearly an issue with the marking criteria. I would NOT RECOMMEND CELPIP to anyone. I am re-sitting my English test with IELTS and will keep you posted with the results.

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I wouldn’t say CELPIP is a scam. That’s misdirecting forum readers. Its a less established test compared to IELTS. Hence, you can say IETLS is more predictable. However, CELPIP has its pros as well. I took CELPIP and found it comparable to TOEFL. In fact, its much easier than TOEFL and the format is similar. I managed to get a score of R-12 L-12 S-9 and W-9 without extensive practice. I did purchase a few practice tests from their official website and that helped with the preparation. I would suggest taking CELPIP if you are comfortable with the TOELF format (speaking in front of a computer). If not then IELTS might be a better choice.

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CELPIP may not be a scam but it is definitely not worth taking. I took CELPIP twice in NYC. Both the times my scores were L:11 R: 11 S:8 W:9. I guess the examination center itself can be attributed to the concerns being raised here. Unlike IELTS, you have the liberty to start working on other test components without having to wait for others to finish. However, this testing pattern pollutes the environment of the examination hall.

As most of you are aware, there is only 1 CEPIP center for the USA. I can’t stress it enough how crampy the two examination halls were. Not to mention the great shoulder-to-shoulder seating arrangement. :disappointed:

I took the IELTS one time after 2 CELPIP exams and earned a very good score. Unlike CELPIP, there’s no hassle of getting distracted or shy of speaking loud to a computer in a crowded room.

I guess most of the IELTS test takers realized a long time ago which is why it is difficult now to get an IELTS spot.

CELPIP is a waste of effort, time and money…Good Luck with your adventures!

This is not true and misleading–there are 2 test locations in New York now, one in Flushing and another one in Manhattan. Also, another location in Seattle, Washington is also available now:

Well, I took the CELPIP exams in March and May. There was only 1 US test location at the time. Still, the fact that CELPIP is poorly designed remains true. Due to unavailability of immediate IELTS slots, potential Canadian immigrants will obviously go for CELPIP but will eventually realize that’s a mistake. CELPIP is such a waste of time, money and effort.

CELPIP is a joke… They test everything but your English skills. Mostly your patience.
Unprofessional, expensive, with annoying supervisors and unprepared classrooms.
Spend an extra $15 and go for IELTS.

Hi All,

Having written both IELTS and CELPIP and some professional friends having done the same I think it important that I share some results regarding CELPIP with the forum. For the both IELTS tests I wrote, I scored near top marks in all 4 categories - not surprising as I am an English speaking senior guy! However because my IELTS had expired I chose to do the CELPIP here in Vancouver. Imagine my surprise when I got 11/12 in all except the written exam which was an 8!!
I immediately asked for a remark but got no change. Then a few of my friends told me they had a similar experience getting bad written marks and said that they had also redone the language through IELTS and hit 9’s and 8.5’s in all.
Apparently the CELPIP examiners are Canadian and therefor not pure English speakers themselves and coupled to that the subjects presented do not allow much expression of your English capabilities, so you have an intrinsic downer at the beginning. I asked for but did not get some statistics of the marks spread between high acchiever’s marks in the S,R and L categories vs the Written category as there is a very clear relationship between being fluent in the spoken/listening aspect and the written aspect.
In summary STAY away from CELPIP pay the extra few bucks, you have a much better chance of acing the points via IELTS than via CELPIP.

Colin

For those of you wondering whether to take CELPIP or IELTS, I would strongly suggest taking the IELTS. Unless you’re a native speaker, it is very hard for you to get good scores in Speaking and probably writing as well. On the other hand, if you’re really good at speaking and writing modules, CELPIP reading and listening are straightforward and easier than IELTS (Atleast in my experience). Moreover, CELPIP test dates are easily available, whereas for IELTS, you may have to book 3-4 months in advance to find a spot.

Preparation:
I didn’t prepare for listening or reading at all and for speaking and listening I used the “Test Expert by Christian Lee”, these can be purchased on amazon. I highly recommend his books for anyone preparing CELPIP.

Here are my scores:
CELPIP 1st Attempt:
L-10, R-7, W-6 (!), S - 6 (!)

CELPIP 2nd attempt:
L-12, R-12, W-9(!), S - 9 (!)

Criteria:
You will need 9+ in all modules in CELPIP and if you’re taking IELTS, you will need 8+ in Listening and 7+ in S, R, W.

For IELTS, I didn’t prepare much at all, probably around half a day on how to tackle writing task 2 and took some tips from a friend about the format. (Thanks buddy)

L-8.5, R-7, W-7.5, S - 8.5 ----Overall : 8.0

I could have done better in reading, however, I took a 5 minute rest room break and didn’t have enough time to tackle the 2 page reading paragraph well.

Anyway, good luck everybody, happy to talk to you and share my learning or answer any questions you may have.

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My strongest advice is to stay away from CELPIP. There is a very distinct bias against the writing part in the CELPIP tests as compared to IELTS. Many of my colleagues have had the same bad experience with CELPIP, getting all 12 or 11 for the Speaking, Listening and Reading and then getting a 7 or 8 for the writing which is statistically highly unlikely.
Getting the much lower writing number really knock the points South. My (expired) IELTS scores were all 8.5 or 9’s so suddenly getting an 8 for the writing test was total BS. Fortunately for me as the spouse it has zero impact.
Colin

I haven’t taken the IELTS but can confirm that the CELPIP is an impossible test. I’m a native speaker with a PhD from a top-ranked U.S. university. I’ve taken the CELPIP General twice but have not scored above a 9 in writing. I’ve had my (English-language) scholarship published in highly regarded international academic journals, and I even used royalties from one of my English-language publications to pay for my first CELPIP test! That felt ironic at the time. Now I just can’t believe I’ve spent so much money on such a lost cause.

I am in process of PR and I need CLB 10 in all 4 sections. I have very strong english skills and have tried CELPIP 3 times. Each time my Writing is 8! 12 in the rest. I feel it is a total scam and it’s really starting to stress me out. I have re-evaluated each time with a max of 9.

I am wondering if I should go for ILETS…but I can’t afford to muck around any longer waiting for a test.

Hello,
You are one of a few people that got 9 in Celpip writing the first time, can you please share some experience of how you prepared for the section?

thanks,

Hello,

I’m a native English speaker and just wanted to share my CELPIP experience. I took test back in Jan 2019 and got top marks in everything except the LISTENING part which I only scored an 8. The listening part is basically a memory test; you hear an audio clip for a few mins and then are asked tricky, deceiving questions that are not really based on your English Listening skills.

The IELTS exam allows you to view the questions as the audio is playing which makes it much EASIER than the CELPIP one.

My overall Express Entry score for PR needed a boost so I decided to re-take the CELPIP test in June 2019 with the aim of increasing my LISTENING from an 8 up to a minimum of a 9 which is all I needed to get the Express entry points needed for an Invitation to Apply.

I practised hard this time and really focused on day of exam to get it correct.

When the scores were released I DID manage to get the desired 9 score I was looking for.

HOWEVER on this occasion they marked my WRITING as an 8.

When I did exam back in Jan 2019 I got top mark of 12 and now suddenly an 8 even though I followed exact same format etc. when doing the writing exam.

I was extremely annoyed by this as i felt cheated and immediately paid for the re-evaluation of the writing part. After 3 weeks the re-evaluation score came back the same as an 8.

I contacted CELPIP and asked for an explanation as I felt strongly my WRITING was worth at least a 10 score but CELPIP told me they can give ZERO feedback in how the scoring is done as it can damage the “integrity of the exam itself”

.

The CELPIP exam for me is a complete SCAM in order to get your money. I did test twice and got a re-evaluation so in total was approx. $680 of my money wasted.

As I still needed a higher score for my Express Entry for Permanent Residency I immediately took the IELTS exam (computer based one) and low and behold I got TOP MARKS in all categories first attempt.

The IELTS computer based exam was far easier, the Speaking part you actually get to talk to a REAL person and not just talk about what you see in a picture (CELPIP give you very unusual pictures to explain) again nothing to do with practical English speaking and the LISTENING exam questions are only shown/asked AFTER the audio piece is finished.

CELPIP make it as difficult as possible with ONE GOAL in mind - TO MAKE YOU FAIL and FAIL AGAIN in order to maximise profits.

They show no empathy and a clear lack of communication in how a low score was obtained.

I CAN ACCEPT a poor score if clearly it’s shown to me how I did badly. Also would it not help us to improve when we know the mistakes we made in the first place?

Anyway thank you all for reading this far and I really hope you chose to stay away from CELPIP and go for the more user friendly IELTS exam in order to score the best possible result.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Hello,

I’m a native English speaker and just wanted to share my CELPIP experience. I took test back in Jan 2019 and got top marks in everything except the LISTENING part which I only scored an 8. The listening part is basically a memory test; you hear an audio clip for a few mins and then are asked tricky, deceiving questions that are not really based on your English Listening skills.

The IELTS exam allows you to view the questions as the audio is playing which makes it much EASIER than the CELPIP one.

My overall Express Entry score for PR needed a boost so I decided to re-take the CELPIP test in June 2019 with the aim of increasing my LISTENING from an 8 up to a minimum of a 9 which is all I needed to get the Express entry points needed for an Invitation to Apply.

I practised hard this time and really focused on day of exam to get it correct.

When the scores were released I DID manage to get the desired 9 score I was looking for.

HOWEVER on this occasion they marked my WRITING as an 8.

When I did exam back in Jan 2019 I got top mark of 12 and now suddenly an 8 even though I followed exact same format etc. when doing the writing exam.

I was extremely annoyed by this as i felt cheated and immediately paid for the re-evaluation of the writing part. After 3 weeks the re-evaluation score came back the same as an 8.

I contacted CELPIP and asked for an explanation as I felt strongly my WRITING was worth at least a 10 score but CELPIP told me they can give ZERO feedback in how the scoring is done as it can damage the “integrity of the exam itself”

.

The CELPIP exam for me is a complete SCAM in order to get your money. I did test twice and got a re-evaluation so in total was approx. $680 of my money wasted.

As I still needed a higher score for my Express Entry for Permanent Residency I immediately took the IELTS exam (computer based one) and low and behold I got TOP MARKS in all categories first attempt.

The IELTS computer based exam was far easier, the Speaking part you actually get to talk to a REAL person and not just talk about what you see in a picture (CELPIP give you very unusual pictures to explain) again nothing to do with practical English speaking and the LISTENING exam questions are only shown/asked AFTER the audio piece is finished.

CELPIP make it as difficult as possible with ONE GOAL in mind - TO MAKE YOU FAIL and FAIL AGAIN in order to maximise profits.

They show no empathy and a clear lack of communication in how a low score was obtained.

I CAN ACCEPT a poor score if clearly it’s shown to me how I did badly. Also would it not help us to improve when we know the mistakes we made in the first place?

Anyway thank you all for reading this far and I really hope you chose to stay away from CELPIP and go for the more user friendly IELTS exam in order to score the best possible result.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! I wish you well.