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.

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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.

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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.

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.


Technically, neither is better, it just depends on how you test. IELTS grades on a half-point scale and tends to be more tailored towards the international crowd, I guess, while CELPIP is directly aligned with the Canadian language benchmarks such that your score directly translates to the equivalent CLB.

I was originally signed up for the IELTS but switched to CELPIP when I found out it was an option and offered near me. I actually lost money doing this since they only refunded a portion of the fee, but I felt a lot better after I switched. Doing everything in one 3-hour block of time on the computer felt way easier than having to do yet another pen and paper exam reminiscent of the SAT. I get nervous speaking in front of other people so I was also fairly interested in being able to just record my responses on a computer.

Honestly, I had a good experience. I only ever used their free practice materials online. The listening section was a little challenging for me (even as a native speaker), but I also moved so quickly through the material that I got to my speaking section before most of the other folks in the room got to it (although there were a handful doing it at the same time). It is weird talking to a computer, but I had also done some timed practiced with my boyfriend beforehand and just pretended I was speaking to him again. I wrote out a couple points I wanted to make sure I hit on the scrap paper they gave so that I could check it for additional things to talk about if I still had time towards the end of each exercise. I finished by the 2 hour mark and was free to leave to go meet up with friends for dinner. :slight_smile: I was not the first to finish, but I was among the earlier departures.

In terms of results, the reading and listening sections are essentially multiple choice answers graded by computer, so there is no point in having those sections re-evaluated since it’s just based on how many you got correct. For the writing and speaking sections, however, those sections are graded by a human and thus subjective. When I felt like my writing score was low for my level, I paid the $55 CAD or whatever it was to have it re-evaluated and they refunded me the fee because they found in my favor and brought my score up by 2 points. IELTS also has a re-mark mechanism that functions exactly the same way, so there is nothing different here.

If you need to study a lot, you might prefer IELTS because of the amount of resources available for it online. CELPIP is fairly new and not widely used, so it’s harder to find material to work off of. I have tried and failed to find an example of a CLB 12 writing sample and I have criticized the CELPIP in the past for its super short writing sections because there’s no way you can differentiate between the higher levels (CLB 9-12) in only 200 words. That said, they do a great job of making a very compact computer-based exam. With IELTS opening up their computer-based exams, though, the differences between the two may diminish.

Just my 2 cents.

Hi, As my experience, before taking any action you need to read the complete guidance or difference between CELPIP and IELTS. You can get the complete details by here.


I have given CELPIP Test and its done very well, hopefully I will get good scores. But the problem that I faced during preparation is that I was not with so much material to prepare infact I bought a book also but unfortunately I wasted my money on buying such book, then after lots for exploring on internet I found an Online Platform for Celpip preparation which is I found lots of Celpip Practice Material here with Vocabulary section too. I think should try this it is really helpful


I think CELPIP is a big joke! I am not even sure whether their graders have a basic degree in English! I have been in the USA for over 10 years, taken the GRE and the TOEFL, scored great and also got my Master’s degree from an esteemed University. I had been working for several years in the USA. While at work, I have to regularly write, speak, read, listen (every damn thing CELPIP tries to evaluate!) and guess what, the test made me look like a complete idiot!

L10, R12, W8(wtf!), S8(wtf! again!).

I was literally taken aback seeing the scores! I was questioning myself, am I really that poor in writing and speaking? Especially when I have always had a passion for writing since my school days and published several stories/articles in school, college magazines and even maintained my own personal blogs!

I had practiced for 2 weeks and bought all of their 6 sets of tests. When I compare my responses (writing and speaking) with those they have provided, I believe I am far far far better and should ideally score a 10 or 11!

I specifically chose CELPIP because of its computer-based format. I am not comfortable with the paper-based format in IELTS as I have given up writing on a pen/paper quite a while back. It’s difficult to get back to business with that now. However, I am thinking of practicing writing with a pen and paper and appear for the IELTS. They also have computer-based formats available in Canada and India and several other countries (not USA as of now). After reading a lot of forums and seeing the resentment of people against CELPIP I have completely lost faith in it.

I would not recommend CELPIP at all, they are new in business and their grading isn’t consistent at all!

Go for IELTS guys!

I need 10 in all 4 categories… I keep getting 8 in Writing with CELPIP! My english is strong and I get over 10 in all the rest. I’m starting to stress out as I need CLB 10 to have any chance of PR. I’m wasting $ on this shit… I can confirm CELPIP is definitely not legitimate in their markings. I would go for ILETS but nothing coming up ASAP. Starting to panic

IELTS may be a fairly previous check and you ought to seem for IELTS solely. Yes, there’s an issue that IELTS stops the writing score at vi.5 deliberately. Still you’ll get a seven in writing when 5/6 makes an attempt.

I am a college and that i have appeared for IELTS General, PTE tutorial, CELPIP and TOEFL.

Let ME tell you, out of all the tests, CELPIP is that the worst. My score is CLB ten in IELTS. My score is eighty five in PTE. However, my score in CELPIP is CLB seven.

If you wish to look for a pc primarily based check than choose the choice of IELTS pc check.

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