CELPIP and IELTS, both are  English language tests to check a candidate’s proficiency in the language when he is going abroad for permanent residency or study purpose. CELPIP  is an abbreviated form for Canadian English Language Proficiency Index program and IELTS is an abbreviated form for International English Language testing system. Both the tests are similar in format, they assess you on your Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking skills, and are accepted for Canadian citizenship and Immigration, although the scores of the tests are assessed as per the Canadian Language Benchmark.  CELPIP and IELTS tests being very similar to one another in pattern and format, yet there are some marginal differences in both the language tests.

  • The CELPIP test is an English language test that is conducted by a subsidiary of British Columbia whereas IELTS test is conducted jointly by the British Council and IDP.
  • The CELPIP test is available in two different versions, CELPIP General test, and the CELPIP General LS test. On the other hand, the IELTS test is also bifurcated into two versions, one is the IELTS General test and the other is IELTS Academic test.
  • The CELPIP test is a totally computer-based test i.e you have to attempt the test on the computer itself, on the other hand, IELTS is a paper-based test which implies that you need to actually write your responses on an answer sheet.
  • The cost to appear for the CELPIP test is around CAD $185 whereas the cost to appear for the IELTS test ranges between $215-240.
  • CELPIP test is an English general proficiency test which is majorly needed for Canadian permanent residency and Immigration and on the contrary IELTS is largely for higher studies abroad, immigration, work purpose.
  • To achieve a good score in the CELPIP test you need to practice a lot in all the sections and that too on a computer as it is a computer-based exam. But, IELTS is a written paper based exam, for that you need to practice all the sections by writing on a physical answer sheet.
  • The result declaration time frame of both the exams is different. The CELPIP test results are declared with a period of 7 to 8 days whereas the IELTS test scores are declared within 2 to 3 weeks.
  • The total duration of the CELPIP General test is 3 hours in which the Listening and Speaking sections take around 1 hour and 10 minutes and the total duration of the IELTS test is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • The test of all the sections of the CELPIP test is conducted on the same day whereas, in IELTS test, the reading, listening and writing sections are conducted on the same day except for speaking test which can be taken later on the same day or you can appear for it on some other day but it has to be within a week. IELTS test provides this much flexibility.
  • The candidates taking the CELPIP test doesn’t have to appear for an interview as the entire test is computerized. But in the IELTS test, in the Speaking section, a candidate has to appear for an interview with an examiner. It will be a two-way discussion round and an introduction round.

·         The scoring of the CELPIP test ranges from scores 1 to 12 for every section but in IELTS, the scores range from bands 1 to 9 for every section of the test.

Each section of the CELPIP test carries a different time frame and a different number of questions and the IELTS test also has different time frames and number of questions. Let’s see the format:

    • The CELPIP test’s  Reading section duration is 55 minutes to 1 hour having 38 to 45 questions in all on the contrary IELTS test’s Reading section duration is 1 hour having 40 questions in all.
    • The CELPIP test’s  Writing section duration is 53 minutes to 1 hour having various tasks like writing an email and giving a response to some survey questions.  On the other hand, the IELTS test’s Writing section duration is 1 hour long having tasks like writing a formal or informal letter, a discussion essay or an opinion based essay and a report making on the basis of a given graph, pie chart or line graph.
    • The CELPIP test’s  Listening section duration is 47 to 55 minutes having 40 to 46 questions in all whereas, in the IELTS test’s Listening section, the duration of the test is 30 minutes having 40 questions in all.
    • Lastly, the CELPIP test ’speaking section duration is 15 to 20 minutes in which you get 8 short questions that you have to answer. But in IELTS, the test duration is of 11-14 minutes where you have to give individual oration and both way discussion (you and the examiner).
  • In the  CELPIP test format the Listening and the Reading sections have some unscored questions instilled within the test whereas in IELTS all the questions in all the sections are scored.
  • Since the CELPIP test is entirely computerized so it becomes easier for the candidate to keep track of the time remaining whereas in IELTS it’s paper-based, it is a little cumbersome to keep track of the time.
  • The CELPIP test gives credence to Canadian, British and American English whereas the  IELTS testing system accepts British and American English but for the listening section IELTS takes into account all sorts of native accents.
  • In the CELPIP test, the total time includes the time a candidate takes for transitioning from one section to another, whereas this is not the case in the IELTS test. IELTS test gives a separate time frame to the candidate for transitioning from one section to another.
  • As the CELPIP test is a more recently developed language test than the IELTS test, so, the CELPIP test preparation material is limited online, still you can get a lot of preparation material. But IELTS test has a large number of online portals that offer a lot of practice material and the sample papers.

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