Which Test Should You Take Between CELPIP and IELTS?

What is CELPIP Test?

CELPIP test is the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP). It is an English language assessment tool which measures your skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. CELPIP actually has two versions namely:

  • The CELPIP General Test
  • The CELPIP-General LS. This is the lighter version that is accepted by IRCC as one of the only two chosen English language tests for Canadian citizenship.

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What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), is the post popular English language proficiency test for global migration, particularly people who want to further their studies. IELTS is an international test of English language proficiency for people from non-English language speaking nations.

Now, we shall be comparing the CELPIP General Test and the academic version of IELTS.

1. What is the cost of taking the CELPIP General Test and IELTS?

Each testing center can charge their own fees since there isn’t a specified fee for taking IELTS. For instance, UK is one of the most costly places to take this test.

  • UK charge an average exam fees of around GBP 200.
  • Germany, Italy, and France charge about 240 EUR.
  • Canada charge about $300.
  • USA seems to be charge the cheapest fee to take IELTS, their rate is between $200 and $225.

The cheapest test between CELPIP General Test and IELTS is CELPIP. In Canada, the fee is about $280, including taxes. Though there are still some regional differences, for instance in the UAE, CELPIP will costs about CAD 340 including taxes. In the Philippines, CELPIP costs about CAD 215 plus taxes inclusive. Conclusively, the CELPIP General Test is more affordable or cheaper than IELTS.

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2. Between IELTS and CELPIP, which test is easier to prepare for?

This largely depends on the learning abilities of each applicant. Taking the availability of preparation materials around the world into consideration, those material on IELTS are more widely-available compared to those on CELPIP. Also, there are more IELTS prep centers and courses available globally, than those preparing English language learners for CELPIP.

Since IELTS is more popular than the CELPIP General Test, a person is more likely to be able to buy self-study materials from test and preparation center in their own country and in their currency.

Conversely, the free study materials obtainable on the official website of CELPIP Canada provide only a general insight into the nature of the test. There are some sample tests available online that you can try to check your ability. To buy the CELPIP material, you have to go to the paid section of their website to obtain a bundle of fourteen comprehensive practice tests with explanatory answers for CAD 150. The validity for subscription package is three months.

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You can also place an order for paperback study guides from their online bookstore. The CELPIP Study Guide to Reading and Writing costs $25, but you will have to buy the Guide to Listening & Speaking. This costs another 25 dollars. The CELPIP Focus series are a bit more costly, it is about $32 each. You will also include the postage expenses of each material.

Conclusively, the IELTS is way better than the CELPIP, if you are to take into consideration the availability and price of the test preparation materials.

3. Which of the two tests is more widely-accepted?

The clear winner against this criterion is IELTS because the CELPIP General Test is accepted only by a handful of professional organizations and colleges in Canada. Some of these colleges are, for example, Northern Lights College, Alberta Institute of Massage, and Canadian Arts & Sciences Institute. By contrast, IELTS is accepted by colleges and universities around the world. So, IELTS is the winner in terms of popularity and global acceptance.

4. Which test is more difficult to pass: The IELTS or the CELPIP General Test?

One of the CELPIP General Test is recorded by Canadian speakers, concerning the Listening sections of the two tests. The one of IELTS may comprise of speakers from the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. So, CELPIP to be a bit easier to understand for some candidates concerning the listening sections.

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For the Speaking section, CELPIP candidates record their own voice while answering a recorded question. This may be strange and demanding for some candidates. On the other hand, the IELTS have a live conversation with an examiner, this can be more encouraging compared to CELPIP recorded questions.

For the Writing section of both IELTS and CELPIP, they seem to be slightly similar. The two tests require the candidate to first write a letter (IELTS) or respond to an email (CELPIP), and then answer to review questions (CELPIP), or replying to a point of view (IELTS).

CELPIP’s reading section appears to be larger than IELTS as it contains 45 questions divided into four subdivisions. It takes about one hour to complete. For the IELTS Reading section, it takes about an hour to complete, however, it has 40 questions scattered into three subsections.

While CELPIP is a computer-based test, IELTS is a paper-based test. Some candidates may prefer the paper-based test, while others may go for the computer-based test. Both tests takes about three hours to complete.

5. Where can I take IELTS and CELPIP?

The CELPIP General Test outside Canada can currently be seated for in India, the Philippines, UAE, and the USA. The IELTS testing locations globally are more in number compared to the CELPIP centers.

6. Which test should I take, CELPIP or IELTS?

The test you should opt for depends largely on your future plans. For those planning to relocate to Canada with permanent residence or citizenship, then you should go for the CELPIP test.

However, if all you just want is an internationally-recognized test of proficiency in English for your work or studies, then you should opt for IELTS.

Bottom line

In a nutshell, IELTS is more popular than CELPIP. IELTS also has a higher availability of materials, and is more accepted globally when compared to CELPIP.

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