About the CELPIP Test

The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program®  is a test designed to assess the proficiency in the domain of English language. It is managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The CELPIP® is given to individuals applying for the Canadian citizenship, to prove their ability to function in English.  If you are taking the Canadian Citizenship test – see our Citizenship Study Guide

The test is designed to measure your knowledge of English, and abilities in everyday situations that involve communicating and interacting with others.

The CELPIP Test is meaning to assess your capability to develop in the Canadian society and to determine if you will be able to communicate effectively and correctly, so the questions are designed to assess your knowledge of English according to the normative of the Canadian English, including its accent. It’s important that you take this into account when preparing for it.


There are two versions of the CELPIP® Exam: the CELPIP-General Test® and the CELPIP-General LS® Test.

CELPIP Test (General)

This test assesses your functionality in 4 aspects of English:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

The CELPIP-General® Test is for those applying for permanent residence status in Canada. The time estimated to take this test is 3 hours.

CELPIP-General LS Test®

This test assesses your functionality only in Listening and Speaking, and is for those applying for the Canadian citizenship. The estimated time for this version of the test is 1 hour and 10 minutes.

The CELPIP® can be taken in 4 countries: Canada, Philippines, United Arab Emirates and United States.

Both tests are computerized tests, taken on a digital platform; the Reading and Writing section using the mouse and keyboard, and the Listening and Speaking sections using headphones and a microphone.
Tips on taking a Computerized Test

CELPIP General Exam Contents

4 components Listening Reading Writing Speaking


The time limit is 47-55 minutes, and there are 7 subsections with specific types of questions assigned for each:

  • 1 question of practice task
  • 8 questions regarding Listening to Problem Solving
  • 5 questions regarding Listening to a Daily Life Conversation
  • 6 questions about Listening for Information
  • 5 questions regarding Listening to a News Item
  • 8 questions referring Listening to a Discussion
  • 6 questions about Listening to Viewpoints


5 subsections to be completed in 55-60 minutes;

  • 1 Practice Task
  • 11 questions about Reading Correspondence
  • 8 questions regarding Reading to Apply a Diagram
  • 9 questions to assess Reading for Information
  • 10 questions about Reading for Viewpoints


Two subsections that must be completed in 53-60 minutes:

  • The first task is to write an Email
  • The second task is to respond to Survey Questions


9 tasks to be completed in 15-20 minutes;

  • 1 Practice Task
  • Give Advice
  • Talk about a Personal Experience
  • Describe a Scene
  • Make Predictions
  • Compare and Persuade
  • Deal with a Difficult Situation
  • Expressing Opinions
  • Describe an Unusual Situation

CELPIP-General® LS Test Contents

This test has 2 sections, where you demonstrate your ability to listen and speak in English.


8 sections, with specific question types in each, to be completed in 47 minutes;

  • 2 questions which assess your skills to Identify Similar Meanings
  • 8 questions about how to Answer Questions
  • 5 questions regarding Listening to Problem Solving
  • 6 questions about Listening to a Daily Life Conversation
  • 5 questions regarding Listening for Information
  • 8 questions about Listening to a News Item
  • 6 questions about Listening to a Discussion
  • 5-8 concerning Listening to Viewpoints


Nine tasks, to be completed in 20 minutes;

  • The first task is a Practice Task
  • Giving Advice
  • Talking about a Personal Experience
  • Describing a Scene
  • Making Predictions
  • Comparing and Persuading
  • Dealing with a Difficult Situation
  • Expressing Opinions
  • Describing an Unusual Situation
CELPIP Test Contents
What's on the CELPIP - Click to Enlarge -

Test Development Questions

The Listening section (in both tests) and Reading sections (in the CELPIP® General) have unscored questions that are used for test development. You won’t be told which one are the unscored control questions, so in order to pass the test you must do your best on all questions.

How to register

The CELPIP® offers online registration and mail registration, but they recommend for the candidates register online.

The first step is to download a CELPIP® Registration Form from the website, then fill it and submit it with every other documentation that’s required by mail.

The fees must be made in Canadian dollars (CAD$) and the amounts vary according to the country you are in and the region. Online payments are done through credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express) as well as PayPal. If you are registering by mail you must pay the fees by money order.


There is no minimum pass score, instead CELPIP® assigns you a level according to your score. There are 12 levels, being 1 the lowest and 12 the highest.

CELPIP® Test scores are available in 8 business days after your test date, and are available in the account on CELPIP’s® website that you opened when register. There is a Express Rating that has your tests results ready in 3 business days after your test date, but requires an extra fee.

Your CELPIP® Official Score Report will also be delivered by mail to your registered address, via Canada Post.

Retaking the Test

If you failed the test you have the chance to retake it, but you must wait at least 30 days before re-applying.

Your score report will specify areas where you failed.  Use this information to create a study schedule that focuses on those areas where you have difficulties.  Tips on what to do if you fail a test

CELPIP Practice Tips

Familiarize yourself with the test format   Most of the questions are multiple choice – how to answer multiple choice

Improve your English language skills Practice English grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, and writing skills.

Practice with sample tests  Use practice tests to practice and familiarize yourself with the test format, types of questions, and the level of difficulty. This will help you identify your weaknesses and strengths.

Take timed practice tests Practice taking timed tests to improve your speed and accuracy. CELPIP Course with timed tests

Listen to English Listen to English audio and videos to improve your listening skills. You can also practice listening to different accents to become familiar with different dialects.  Listening Comprehension Practice

Speak English Practice speaking English with friends or family, or find a language exchange partner. This will help you become more comfortable speaking English and improve your pronunciation and fluency.

Read English Read English texts, such as books, newspapers, and articles, to improve your reading skills. This will also help you improve your vocabulary and comprehension.  Reading Comprehension Practice

Common Mistakes on the CELPIP

Misunderstanding or not reading the instructions: A common mistake on any test is not reading or misunderstanding the instructions for each section. Make sure you understand what you are being asked to do or you could losing points unnecessarily.

Not managing time effectively A common mistake is not managing your time. Don’t spend too much time on any one question.  Tips for managing your time on a test

Neglecting grammar and spelling Neglecting grammar and spelling can result in losing points on the writing and speaking sections.

Not answering the question Make sure you answer what the question is asking!   This a careless mistake that will cost you points.

Using overly complex language Use clear and concise language to communicate effectively.  If in doubt – shorter is better!

Not practicing enough This is a common mistake for any test. Consistent practice is important to improve your English language skills and become familiar with the test format.

Not seeking help Not seeking help will not solve any problems!

Complete CELPIP Test Prep and Practice Test Questions

Printable PDF Version of Printed Version. Download after purchase. No shipping! No Waiting!

Learn More

CELPIP Online Course

Complete CELPIP Online Practice Course - Full audio, timed tests, hundreds of CELPIP practice test questions, tutorials and more!

CELPIP is a registered trademark of the University of British Columbia, who are not involved in the production of, and do not endorse this information or publications.
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Date Published: Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018
Date Modified: Tuesday, March 14th, 2023