CELPIP – v2020 – EN

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The CELPIP Test

CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program

CELPIP is a computerized language proficiency assessment that is ideal for proving English competency for immigration to Canada or for Canadian citizenship. It's administered by Paragon Testing Enterprises, a subsidiary of the University of British Columbia, which is one of Canada's top universities.

CELPIP is well-known and accepted by many professional institutions, universities, and colleges for those who need an English language certification. The test's four components (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) evaluates a test taker's ability to use everyday English and comprehension to be able to navigate comfortably within Canada.

There are two types of CELPIP tests: CELPIP-General offers an accurate measurement of English proficiency in day-to-day situations, and CELPIP-General LS provides listening and speaking proficiency.

Immigrants are encouraged to take a language proficiency test as a way to earn extra points to improve their opportunities to settle in Canada either through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or Express Entry. A proficiency test is recommended because work experience and education may not translate well into Canadian standards.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is another English proficiency test that is also acceptable for immigration and citizenship applications. Both have similar structures, so which exam should you choose?

CELPIP is recommended for prospects who have a weaker writing foundation but strong spoken or reading comprehension. You may also consider CELPIP if you have taken IELTS previously and was unsuccessful in achieving a satisfactory score.

CELPIP

  • The two types are: General and General-LS.
  • General has all four sections (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
  • General-LS is only focused on listening and speaking.
  • Questions are oriented towards daily life and are solely multiple-choice.
  • The entire exam is computer-based and can be done in one sitting.

VS.

IELTS

  • The two types are: Academic and General.
  • Academic is designed for students who need it to apply for a post-secondary institution.
  • General is for immigrants and is divided into two parts: written and oral. The content is also divided into daily life and academic.
  • Some regions offer a computer-based IELTS exam, but it is often a written one.

Listening

A great difference between CELPIP and IELTS' listening section is that CELPIP only uses Canadian colloquialism and accents. IELTS uses multiple accents that can be difficult for test takers, especially if they struggle with English comprehension themselves.

Each question is timed and the timer is visible in the top-right corner of the screen. This will give test takers a visual representation of how they should pace themselves, and they have the option to click to the next question or let the computer do so automatically after time has run out. All questions are multiple-choice, so it's important to read the questions carefully to select the best answer.

Listening topics are the same, no matter the exam. They include listening to problem solving, daily life conversations, information, an oral news item, a video about a conversation, and viewpoints. The content is often related to Canadian cultures or traditions.

Listening Section

Parts:6
Questions:38
Time:45-55 minutes
Question Type:Multiple choice

Reading

IELTS have different subject matters that vary from exam to exam. This can range from daily life encounters to historical accounts. On the other hand, CELPIP has a fixed structure, and its content is related to Canadian cultures and traditions.

The first part requires test takers to read correspondence and answer multiple-choice questions. The second is a diagram, which can also be a flyer, menu, website, or advertisement that can be found in the community, and test takers will need to fill in the blanks to a prewritten passage. The third section is the most difficult as it requires reading for information, and the last section focuses on opposing viewpoints.

Again, all questions are multiple-choice. Each question is timed and test takers will be able to see the time allocation on the top right-hand corner of their screen. It is important not to rush but to pay equal amounts of attention to each question.

Reading Section

Parts:4
Questions:38
Time:60 minutes
Question Type:Multiple choice

Writing

The writing compositions in IELTS have two different word requirements. One needs 150 words and the other needs 200 words. Since the entire exam is handwritten, test takers may find this task difficult to accomplish within the time limit. CELPIP, on the other hand, has the same word limit of 150 - 200 words for both of its writing sections, and test takers will be able to type them out.

The advantage of being able to type these responses is that a word counter will track your response as you type. There is also spell-check, which will alert you of any errors. The formatting is standardized and you are only responsible for using the correct structure and fulfilling the necessary criteria.

Although the word requirement is lower for CELPIP, it is important to be specific and use your words wisely. The sections are also timed, so if you finish early, review your work and ensure it’s the best quality that you can create!

Writing Section

Parts:2
Questions:2
Time:55 minutes
Question Type:Written

Speaking

The speaking section is the most difficult task in both IELTS and CELPIP. Another great difference between the two tests is that IELTS requires a separate face-to-face appointment with an examiner that takes about 15 minutes. CELPIP’s speaking section is done within the same sitting and is recorded by a microphone.

Many may find the IELTS speaking section more natural because you’re having an actual conversation with another person. However, it can also be stressful because the examiner will observe more than just your response, like your body language, intonation, and accent. You will also not know what the questions will be beforehand.

The CELPIP speaking section is predictable and can be practiced. You may feel uncomfortable talking to yourself, but an examiner will not hear your responses until after your test is completed. It takes about 20 minutes to complete, but you will have time in between responses to think about the question and formulate your response.

Speaking Section

Parts:8
Questions:8
Time:20 minutes
Question Type:Spoken word

Grading

07: Adequate proficiency in workplace and community contexts

  • Can understand common daily conversational topics.
  • Able to apply the daily life activities into your own life.
  • Can identify problems and solutions that may arise in conversation.
  • Understands non-professional audio like social media posts or recordings.
  • Can retain keywords and phrases that may help answer some questions.
  • Able to summarize dialogue or speeches in one or more sentences.
  • Can identify different perspectives by guessing.
  • Can identify different types of text and their purposes after careful consideration.
  • Able to find the main points and factual information, especially for everyday topics.
  • Familiar with simple grammar, sentence structures, and context to help you understand the information.
  • Can locate information within a graphic or diagram.
  • Able to identify where ideas may be within a written structure even if the subject is one that you are not familiar with.
  • Can make inferences depending on the text.
  • Can grasp the author’s position in text depending on the vocabulary.
  • Can understand social issues, business, or politics without needing too much background information.
  • Able to write responses following a basic paragraph structure.
  • Can use proper basic vocabulary and their correct forms.
  • Uses the appropriate vocabulary depending on the situation.
  • Able to provide a suitable response in writing.
  • Can organize information in a clear and logical format.
  • Familiar with most writing formats.
  • Can organize and vary sentence patterns.
  • Can use basic and common vocabulary and occasionally accurate terminology to express ideas and meanings.
  • Able to express thoughts and opinions with basic vocabulary.
  • Familiar with social practices and can pick up social cues when possible.
  • Able to give advice and persuade others with slightly complicated reasoning.
  • Can provide concise descriptions of familiar situations and contexts.
  • May also be able to describe unfamiliar situations.
  • Can provide a personal narrative.

08: Good proficiency in the workplace and community contexts

  • Is familiar with common daily conversational topics.
  • Able to apply personal experiences with daily life activities mentioned in conversation.
  • Can identify problems and solutions that may arise in conversation.
  • Understands non-professional audio like social media posts or recordings.
  • Can retain more than keywords and phrases that may help answer some questions, like context, feelings, or moods.
  • Able to summarize dialogue or speeches in one long sentence.
  • Can identify different perspectives based on feeling.
  • Can identify different types of text and their purposes after brief consideration.
  • Able to find the main points and factual information, no matter the topic.
  • Familiar with varying types of grammar, sentence structures, and context to help you understand the information.
  • Can locate information within a graphic or diagram with ease.
  • Able to identify ideas and opinions on topics that you are not familiar with.
  • Can make inferences depending on the text and provide evidence.
  • Can grasp the author’s position in text depending on the vocabulary.
  • Has a basic background to help understand social issues, business, or politics.
  • Able to use complex sentence and paragraph structures.
  • Can use slightly more difficult vocabulary and their correct forms.
  • Uses appropriate or more advanced vocabulary depending on the situation.
  • Able to provide an effective and detailed response in writing.
  • Can organize information that follows a progression or consistent manner.
  • Familiar with most writing formats.
  • Can organize and vary sentence patterns and grammar.
  • Can use slightly advanced vocabulary and correct terminology to express ideas and meanings.
  • Able to express thoughts and opinions with accurate vocabulary.
  • Familiar with social practices and can follow social cues when appropriate.
  • Able to give advice and persuade others with complicated reasoning.
  • Can provide concise descriptions of familiar situations and contexts.
  • May also be able to describe unfamiliar situations with clarity.
  • Can provide a structured personal narrative.

09: Effective proficiency in the workplace and community contexts

  • Is knowledgeable on common daily conversational topics.
  • Able to apply personal experiences with daily life activities mentioned in conversation.
  • Can ascertain the problems and solutions that may arise in conversation.
  • Familiar with different audio formats like radio shows, podcasts, news reports, etc.
  • Can retain keywords and phrases, as well as identifying features of the speakers like their tone, word choice, or viewpoints.
  • Able to summarize audio in one sentence.
  • Can identify different perspectives based on the language used.
  • Can easily ascertain the different types of text and their purposes.
  • Able to find the main points and factual information with ease.
  • Familiar with different styles of grammar, sentence structures, and context to help you understand the information.
  • Can easily locate information in a graphic or diagram.
  • Able to identify ideas and opinions for all topics regardless of your prior experience.
  • Can make inferences depending on the text and provide evidence.
  • Can determine the author’s position in text depending on the language or structure.
  • Able to provide your own commentary on topics like social issues, business, or politics.
  • Able to use complex sentence and paragraph structures.
  • Can use difficult vocabulary appropriate for the situation and their correct forms.
  • Uses more advanced vocabulary to express your opinions or thoughts.
  • Able to provide an appropriate, detailed, and valid response in writing.
  • Can effectively express your attitudes, suggestions, and criticisms in a constructive and appropriate manner.
  • Can organize information in a logical and consistent manner.
  • Familiar with many writing formats, including unconventional ones.
  • Can use different sentence patterns and grammar to articulate ideas.
  • Can use advanced vocabulary and appropriate terminology to express ideas and meanings.
  • Able to express thoughts and opinions with advanced vocabulary.
  • Familiar with social practices and can follow social cues when needed.
  • Able to give advice and persuade others with clear and concise reasoning.
  • Can give concise descriptions no matter the situation or context.
  • Can provide a structured personal narrative.

10: Highly effective proficiency in the workplace and community contexts

  • Familiar with different daily conversational topics.
  • Able to apply personal experiences with daily life activities mentioned in conversation.
  • Can create your own solutions to problems that may arise in conversation.
  • Familiar with different audio formats like radio shows, podcasts, news reports, etc.
  • Can retain keywords and phrases, as well as additional features like mood, tone, word choice, or viewpoints.
  • Able to summarize audio in an effective sentence or less.
  • Can identify different perspectives based on the language used.
  • Can identify different types of text and their purposes with a single glance.
  • Able to find the main points and factual information with ease.
  • Familiar with advanced styles of grammar, sentence structures, and context to help understand the information.
  • Can easily locate information in a graphic or diagram.
  • Able to identify ideas and opinions no matter the topic or prior experience.
  • Can make inferences depending on the text and provide evidence to back them up.
  • Can determine the author’s position in text depending on the language or structure.
  • Able to provide your own commentary on topics like social issues, business, or politics.
  • Able to use complex sentence and paragraph structures.
  • Can use difficult vocabulary that accurately describes your thoughts and impressions depending on the situation and their correct forms.
  • Uses more varied and advanced vocabulary.
  • Able to provide an appropriate, detailed, and valid response in writing.
  • Can effectively express your ideas, suggestions, and criticisms in a constructive and appropriate manner.
  • Can organize information in a logical and consistent manner.
  • Familiar with many writing formats, including unconventional ones.
  • Can use a variety of sentence patterns and grammar to have an articulated response.
  • Can use advanced and new vocabulary and terminology to express ideas and meanings.
  • Able to express thoughts, opinions, and viewpoints with clarity.
  • Familiar with social practices and can initiate them without prompts.
  • Able to give advice and persuade others that is realistic and difficult to contest.
  • Can give accurate descriptions no matter the situation or context.
  • Can provide a structured personal narrative with a beginning, middle, and end.

11: Advanced proficiency in workplace and community contexts

  • Able to engage with routine communications and exchanges of information in day-to-day communicative contexts.
  • Can understand conversations relating to day-to-day activities and recognize indicators of the speakers’ attitudes.
  • Can understand informal or semi-formal conversations about unfamiliar topics.
  • Can understand audio presentations on non-specialist topics in social and news media.
  • Can understand the topic and much factual information in more formal presentations of complex topics such as social issues, business, or politics. You are also able to discern differences of opinion expressed in such presentations and many aspects of the argumentation that support the opinions.
  • Knows different types of texts and their purposes to be able to identify them.
  • Able to find the main points and factual information swiftly.
  • Capable of identifying complex styles of grammar, sentence structures, and context within a text and knows how they present the information.
  • Can easily locate information in a graphic or diagram.
  • Able to identify ideas and opinions for all topics regardless of your prior experience.
  • Can make inferences, analyze the text, and provide evidence.
  • Can determine the author’s position in text depending on the language or structure.
  • Familiar with topics like social issues, business, or politics to inform your understanding of the text.
  • Able to use sophisticated sentence and paragraph structures.
  • Can use advanced vocabulary that accurately describes your thoughts and impressions depending on the situation.
  • Uses a wide range of vocabulary in their proper forms.
  • Able to provide an appropriate, detailed, and valid response in writing.
  • Can effectively and formally express ideas, suggestions, and criticisms in a constructive and appropriate manner.
  • Can organize information in a logical and consistent manner.
  • Familiar with many writing formats, including unconventional ones.
  • Able to construct sentences with moderately complex and often complex syntax.
  • Able to express your intended meaning with precise or figurative vocabulary and idiom.
  • Usually able to express a broad and precise range of feelings and preferences and also express your attitudes towards a broad range of objects and circumstances.
  • Familiar with social conventions and effectively adjust to suit the social circumstances.
  • Able to provide advice and also use persuasion. Can support your point of view with reasons that are often sophisticated or subtle.
  • Able to provide clear, precise and often sophisticated descriptions of familiar situations and contexts. Able to clearly inform others about unfamiliar or unusual situations or experiences.
  • Able to provide detailed, precise, and often complex or sophisticated narratives about personal experiences.

12: Advanced proficiency in workplace and community contexts

  • Able to engage with routine communications and exchanges of information in day-to-day communicative contexts.
  • Can understand conversations relating to day-to-day activities and recognize indicators of the speakers’ attitudes.
  • Can understand informal or semi-formal conversations about unfamiliar topics.
  • Can understand audio presentations on non-specialist topics in social and news media.
  • Can understand the topic and much factual information in more formal presentations of complex topics such as social issues, business, or politics. You are also able to discern differences of opinion expressed in such presentations and many aspects of the argumentation that support the opinions.
  • Knows different types of texts and their purposes to be able to identify them.
  • Able to find the main points and factual information swiftly.
  • Capable of identifying complex styles of grammar, sentence structures, and context within a text and knows how they present the information.
  • Can easily locate information in a graphic or diagram.
  • Able to identify ideas and opinions for all topics regardless of your prior experience.
  • Can make inferences, analyze the text, and provide evidence.
  • Can determine the author’s position in text depending on the language or structure.
  • Familiar with topics like social issues, business, or politics to inform your understanding of the text.
  • Able to use sophisticated sentence and paragraph structures.
  • Can use advanced vocabulary that accurately describes your thoughts and impressions depending on the situation.
  • Uses a wide range of vocabulary in their proper forms.
  • Able to provide an appropriate, detailed, and valid response in writing.
  • The response given is realistic, believable, and logical.
  • Can effectively and formally express ideas, suggestions, and criticisms in a constructive and appropriate manner.
  • Can organize information in a logical and consistent manner.
  • Familiar with many writing formats, including unconventional ones.
  • Able to construct sentences with moderately complex and often complex syntax.
  • Able to express your intended meaning with precise or figurative vocabulary and idiom.
  • Usually able to express a broad and precise range of feelings and preferences and also express attitudes towards a broad range of objects and circumstances.
  • Familiar with social conventions and effectively adjust to suit the social circumstances.
  • Able to provide advice and also use persuasion. Can support point of view with reasons that are often sophisticated or subtle.
  • Able to provide clear, precise and often sophisticated descriptions of familiar situations and contexts. Able to clearly inform others about unfamiliar or unusual situations or experiences.
  • Able to provide detailed, precise and often complex or sophisticated narratives about personal experiences.

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