What is the CELPIP Test for Canadian Immigration?

Published on: May 23rd, 2022

CELPIP stands for the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program and is an English test that allows test takers to demonstrate their ability to function in English. The CELPIP Test has been designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for use by individuals who are applying for permanent resident status and citizenship in Canada.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

What to Expect

The CELPIP Test is completely computer-delivered at our partner test centres, takes about 3 hours to complete, and is done in one sitting. The test is divided into 4 components: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

Unlike other English proficiency tests, the CELPIP Test does not involve talking to a person for the speaking component. Instead, you will reply to on-screen prompts for the speaking portion of the test.

Because the test is completed on a computer, your test results will be delivered within 4 to 5 days of your test date, and your results are delivered to you online.

To learn more about the test day experience, watch our video here about what you can expect on your test day.

Where to Take the Test

With over 80 testing locations in Canada and around the world, the CELPIP Test is available at a location near you. To learn more about our test centre locations, and about available test dates, visit our website.

How to Prepare

With over 10 hours of free webinars, a free sample test, a free practice test when you create a CELPIP Account, and our additional tools, we have a wide range of study materials to help you prepare for your test:

  • Free Sample Test: Available on the CELPIP website, the free sample test includes sample test questions and answers to help test takers understand what to expect on each component of the CELPIP Test.
  • Free Practice Test: Available for free when test takers register for a CELPIP Account, this is a complete practice test, covering each component of the CELPIP Test, including detailed answer keys for each section.
  • Free Webinars and Workshops: Available online, a free CELPIP information session is hosted live each week, giving test-takers an overview of the CELPIP Test components, as well as an informal question-and-answer session. Recorded webinars and workshops are also available on the CELPIP YouTube page.
  • Paid Study Materials: Available in our online store, we have a range of practice tests, online learning programs, study guides and more available for purchase.

In addition to our free and paid study materials, our CELPIP experts have put together the following strategies to ensure that you meet your CELPIP goals:

1. Practice using a computer

The CELPIP Test is fully computer delivered, so ensure that you are comfortable with a mouse and keyboard. Practicing with CELPIP’s free online sample test and free online practice test are good ways to familiarize yourself with this format.

2. Remember that CELPIP is a test of general English proficiency

CELPIP assesses your ability to use English in everyday situations. It’s not a test of business English or academic English. One of the best ways to prepare is just to get out and use English as much as possible in your daily life.

3. Use a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures

Try to show the range of your vocabulary in your writing and speaking. Avoid using the same words over and over again. You don’t need to memorize the dictionary—just use words that would be natural in daily life. Remember to use varied grammatical structures and construct sentences that differ in length and complexity.

4. Manage your time

The CELPIP Test is fully computer-delivered, and you will see a timer on each screen, telling you how much time you’ve got left for that section. Keeping an eye on these timers can help you gauge how to pace yourself throughout the test.

5. Check your work

If you have any time left over while completing the Reading, Listening, or Writing components of the test, make sure to read over your answers and make sure that you have attempted to answer all questions as well as you can. In particular, try to spend a few minutes reviewing your writing, ensuring that you have no typos that could impact the clarity of your response.

6. Speak clearly and at a natural pace

Speak clearly into the microphone, which should be close to your lips but without touching them. It’s natural to speak quickly when you’re nervous—try to slow down and speak at a normal pace.

7. Don’t worry about your accent

Our raters are trained to disregard accents. Unless your accent prevents you from being understood, do not focus on it. Instead, concentrate on using good grammar, accurate and varied vocabulary, and providing complete answers.

8. Take notes

While taking the CELPIP Test, you will be provided with notepaper and a pen. You may use these to take notes during any point in the test, though you may find it especially useful to outline some ideas for your Speaking or Writing responses. It’s also a good idea to take notes about main ideas and specific details during the Listening Test.

9. Focus on what you know

You may come across some difficult words in a Reading or Listening passage. Don’t get stuck worrying about words you don’t understand. Focus on general meaning and the parts of the passage that you do understand. Sometimes it is possible to understand a new word based on your knowledge of the words that are around it.


For more information about preparing for your CELPIP Test, or to learn about the test itself, visit our website.