For new immigrants to Canada, there are a couple of tests that can be taken to prove your proficiency in the English language. Whether you are taking a test for immigration, academic, or another reason,  you will no doubt be taking either an IELTS or a CELPIP test. Both of these tests are designed to provide a standardized method of proving your proficiency.


The IELTS test stands for International English Language Testing System and is one of the most popular methods of proving your English proficiency. The IELTS is designed to prove your proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The test is broken into four separate elements that are designed to specifically test each element of your English language proficiency.

There are two different types of IELTS that can be taken depending on your purposes for taking the IELTS. The is the IELTS Academic and the IELTS General. The difference in the two is that the academic version of the IELTS is for those that want to study at university, at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, or join a professional association where English is a prerequisite. On the other hand, the general IELTS is if you are interested in applying for Express Entry or other immigration programs in order to establish anywhere in Canada.


CELPIP stands for Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program. This test is an English language proficiency test that is designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada otherwise known as the IRCC. This test is designed to demonstrate that test takers have the ability to function in English. Unlike the IELTS, this test examines the takers ability to use English in everyday situations such as communicating in the workplace, interacting with friends, understanding newscasts, and responding to written materials.

Much like the IELTS, there are two versions of the CELPIP that test takers can take. There is the CELPIP-General and the CELPIP-General LS. The CELPIP-General is a test that examines the takers’ ability to listen, read, write, and speak English. On the other hand, the CELPIP-General LS is a test that only deals with the test takers ability to listen and speak in English.

While both tests are used to determine English proficiency there is a clear difference in how each test is conducted and the purpose that each test serves. The IELTS is more focused on those that are aiming for studying in Canada or in pursuing a professional career in Canada. While the IELTS are aimed at professionals or those that are pursuing the education in Canada, the CELPIP tests are aimed at the general or regular immigrant to Canada. Depending on what your purpose is for immigrating to Canada will affect what test you should aim to take.

If you are planning to take either of the English proficiency tests then you should consult with a professional who can ensure that you are ready and can prepare you to take the tests. If you are looking for professionals who can be there to assist with your test-taking process then look to the professionals at Discover English. The knowledgeable staff is there to assist you and ensure that you will achieve a passing grade.


All credit goes to DEA Education Center