The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) is a widely recognized language proficiency test designed to evaluate an individual’s English language skills for immigration, citizenship, and professional purposes in Canada. Developed by Paragon Testing Enterprises, CELPIP is known for its accuracy and fairness in assessing a test taker’s ability to communicate effectively in real-life situations. 

Features of the CELPIP test

  • It is available in two formats: General and General LS.
  • The test is conducted in written and oral form. The written part of the test is conducted in a computer center and the oral part of the test is conducted with an examiner.
  • It is scored on a scale of 0 to 12, where 12 is the highest level of language proficiency. An English language proficiency of at least 7 in each section is required to immigrate to Canada.
  • Results are available online within 3-4 business days after the test date through your CELPIP account.
  • The test uses a uniform North American accent, and the question types and vocabulary are drawn from real life and work situations.
  • The cost of the test is $280. 
  • The test can be taken in person at more than 100 centers around the world.
  • The CELPIP certificate is valid for two years. It is issued in paper or electronic format. 
  • To take the test, you need: a valid photo ID and a test confirmation letter.


Format of CELPIP

The CELPIP test is divided into four modules: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each module assesses specific language skills, and the overall test duration is approximately three hours.

Listening (60 minutes):

  • The Listening module evaluates a candidate’s ability to understand spoken English in various contexts. It comprises eight parts, including listening to conversations, talks, discussions, and more. Test-takers are required to answer questions based on the information they hear.

Reading (60 minutes):

  • The Reading module assesses reading comprehension skills through various text formats. It includes reading emails, maps, graphs, and articles. Test-takers must answer questions that measure their ability to extract information, make inferences, and understand vocabulary in context.

Writing (60 minutes):

  • The Writing module evaluates a candidate’s ability to express ideas in written form. It consists of two tasks: Task 1, where test-takers respond to a situation by writing an email, and Task 2, which involves writing an essay on a given topic. This module focuses on language proficiency, coherence, and organization.

Speaking (20 minutes):

  • The Speaking module assesses a candidate’s ability to communicate verbally. It consists of eight tasks, including describing a scene, expressing an opinion, and participating in a discussion. Test-takers are evaluated on pronunciation, vocabulary, and fluency.

Also in the test there are Tasks without grades.

Important: Within the listening and reading tests, there are tasks that remain ungraded, intended for test development purposes. These ungraded tasks are seamlessly integrated throughout the listening and reading assessments and share the identical format as the graded tasks. It is not possible to differentiate between items that contribute to your score and those that are not scored.

Differences between CELPIP General and General LS

  • CELPIP General: This version includes all four modules—Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. It is commonly required for immigration purposes, as it provides a comprehensive evaluation of a candidate’s English proficiency. The cost of the General test is $280 + Taxes. Total testing time is about 3 hours.


  • CELPIP General LS: This version assesses only the Listening and Speaking modules. It is generally accepted for Canadian citizenship applications and certain professional designations, where a complete language evaluation is not necessary. The cost of the General LS test is $195 + Taxes. Total testing time is about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Assessment of CELPIP results

CELPIP scores are associated with proficiency levels ranging from 1 to 12, with higher scores indicating higher proficiency.

Proficiency levels are categorized as Novice (1-2), Intermediate (3-4), Advanced (5-8), and Expert (9-12).

The written and oral components of the CELPIP General Test are scored by qualified examiners.

CELPIP scores are often correlated with the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB), which is a framework used to assess language proficiency in Canadian immigration processes.

Who accepts CELPIP

CELPIP tests are accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), British Columbia Financial Services Authority (BCFSA), Student Direct Stream (SDS), a number of governments, professional organizations, colleges, universities and employers.

The primary categories of individuals taking the CELPIP test include:

Immigrants: Individuals applying for Canadian permanent residency or citizenship often take the CELPIP test as part of the immigration process. It serves as a measure of their English language skills, which is a crucial factor in the selection criteria for immigration.

Temporary Residents: Some temporary residents, such as those applying for work permits or study permits in Canada, may also be required to take the CELPIP test to demonstrate their proficiency in English, especially if English proficiency is a requirement for their specific visa category.

Professional Designations: Certain professional regulatory bodies and organizations in Canada may require individuals to demonstrate their English language proficiency as part of the process for obtaining professional designations or certifications.

Academic Purposes: Individuals applying to Canadian educational institutions for academic programs may take the CELPIP test to meet language proficiency requirements for admission.

Job Applicants: Job seekers, particularly those aiming for positions where strong English language skills are essential, may take the CELPIP test to demonstrate their proficiency to potential employers.

Personal Development: Individuals may choose to take the CELPIP test as a means of assessing and improving their English language skills for personal development and growth.

Tips for CELPIP Preparation

  • Familiarize yourself with the format of each module. Knowing what to expect in terms of question types and time constraints will help you manage your time effectively during the test.
  • Regular practice is key to success in CELPIP. Practice listening to various English accents, reading different types of texts, and writing essays on diverse topics. This will enhance your overall language skills.
  • Expand your vocabulary to express ideas clearly and precisely. Focus on words commonly used in academic, professional, and everyday contexts.
  • Develop effective time management skills by practicing under timed conditions. This will help you complete each module within the allocated time.
  • Use official CELPIP materials, which include study guides, practice tests, and assessment criteria guides. These materials can be purchased from the CELPIP website.
  • Practice speaking and writing with native English speakers or teachers.