For PR which English Test is better CELPIP or IELTS


Hi All,

The IELTS centers are booked till May in USA (NY Region). Is it ok to give CELPIP instead of IELTS ?

Any major differences ?



Based on my research:
pros of celpip over ielts:

  • celpip is marginally easier than ielts in listening
  • celpip just takes 3 hours as opposed to ielts that takes 5 hours
  • celpip is all computerised, yes even the writing part. where as IELTS is hand-written
  • seems celpip is cheaper also than IELTS :slight_smile:
  • closer dates available for celpip than IELTS
  • also seems celpip is easier overall just because it is computer based.

*celpip has less training material than ielts, ielts has tons of material available online.
*ielts has more restricted band than celpip… celpip goes till level 12… ielts goes till level 10.

  • celpip is only restricted to canadian immigration… but ielts is more widely accepted (in countries outside of US and canada).
  • speaking - celpip is marginally harder than IELTS

Thats it so far from me.


So did you take the CELPIP ?


No… As I mentioned, I did some exploring around online. But seriously considering it.
What are your thoughts on this?


Honestly I never considered it just went with IELTS I found a center easy enough. I’m updating this answer with some research I did around how one can think through choosing one of these tests. I personal did not overthink this part and just went for the IELTS but people other there might be weighting their options. The information provided by @singla.vineet is very useful this might add to it or overlap.


  1. Designed specifically to assess key language skills required for Canadian PR and citizenship.
  2. The test uses Canadian English and accepts both British and American English spellings
  3. Similar length of test except for the listening section which is about 30 minutes longer
  4. Speaking test involves 8 short-answer questions
  5. Price of test is similar
  6. Entirely on the computer


  1. Used for various purposes world over including study, work and immigration
  2. Recognizes both British and American English spellings and mixed accents
  3. Similar length of test except listening section shorter by 30 minutes
  4. Speaking test involves an informal conversation
  5. Price is similar
  6. Entirely using a pencil on paper

So who wins?

I will say it entirely comes down to if you’re more comfortable giving these tests on a computer or on paper. How hard one test is compared to the other is debatable. If I had to do it again I would still go with IELTS I am more comfortable giving tests with a pencil on paper (done it all my life) especially ones which require a fair amount of writing.


I took the CELPIP test a week ago and I would never recommend it to anyone. Although reading, listening and writing (despite harsh marking) are fairly easy, the speaking part is ridiculous. Here’s why:

  1. Unlike IELTS, this is not an actual conversation: you are talking to a computer and you need to spend the entire 30 to 60 seconds talking. Otherwise, you’ll be marked down.
  2. There are always a lot of other exam takers and you are all sitting side by side talking to your own computers, so make sure you have a great ability to focus on what you are doing.
  3. If you talk too loud, an exam invigilator will approach you and tell you to talk softer, thus wasting your time to prepare to the next question.
  4. Preparation time is usually 30 seconds.
  5. You get marked down for a foreign accent.
  6. If you think CELPIP is much cheaper than IELTS, make sure you are comparing the gross quotes as CELPIP has their quotes without GST. As of right now, IELTS in Alberta costs you $309 while CELPIP is $294 gross.
  7. If you have any concerns regarding your results, you need to pay an extra $120 for re-evaluation of your score. And it doesn’t mean that they will improve your score.

Summing up, out of the three English language exams I took in my life (IELTS, Cambrige CAE and CELPIP), this is by far the worst and the least professional.

Points not enough to apply. Need suggestions/lawyer

I took the CELPIP test last month and the score was extremely disappointing. To be honest, i performed extremely good and was expecting really a good score(L9 S9 W10-12 R10-12) but i ended up with 7s in all sections. I was so shocked after checking my scores. It literally took me so long to convince myself that those scores were mine. Now i am really confused with what to do. I didn’t get the score i deserved though i performed very well and i don’t think they would give me the score i deserve even if i retake the test. I totally lost faith in CELPIP’s evaluation standards. On the other hand, I purchased CELPIP material over their website which has ten practice tests with sample writing and speaking responses. I am telling you guys, never buy that material. Even If you buy that, never come to a conclusion about your score based on the sample responses given in the material. Speaking and writing sample responses are provided in the material for 5 practice tests out of 10. After going through all the sample responses they gave, i literally decided that i would score very high band as my responses were better than 10-12 level sample responses. I performed to the best of my skill on the day of test and was on cloud nine for my performance. I had been eagerly waiting for my scores and you know pretty well how i ended up. The only reason i opted CELPIP over IELTS was there were no immediate slots available in IELTS. Now i clearly understood why CELPIP slots are readily available. I am just sharing my own personal experience and opinions. It is up to you, what to choose!



Don’t worry, you’re not the only one disappointed with their results. They make this exam look easy and then mark you down on anything they can invent.
And that speaking part where everyone in the classroom is talking at the same time is just ridiculous.
DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY ON IT. Spend another $15 and go for IELTS.