Published by Gabriel Oliveira on May 10, 2020

Step 6 - English Exam

Canada has two official languages: English and French.

So, it is fair that it asks for future immigrants to speak at least one of them. And this is not one of those things that you need to have just move on the process. These languages will be extremely important for you to integrate the society, get a job, etc.

Of course, just saying you have a good English or French won't be enough. You must prove your language skills. For that, you can choose one of the 4 accepted tests.

Accepted tests

  • English
    • IELTS - International English Language Testing System (General Trainning)
    • CELPIP - Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (General)
  • French
    • TEF Canada - Test d'évaluation de français
    • TCF Canada - Test de connaissance du français

All these tests evaluate 4 main skills: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

Test results must be less than 2 years old when you submit your application.

Minimum Score

Doesn't matter which test you choose to do, there is a minimum score required to be eligible on the Express Entry.

If you didn't go as well as expected on a test, you can do it again - bad part is you'll need to pay necessary fees and wait for another test availability.

These are the minimums for each test, according to IRCC :

Speaking Listening Reading Writing
IELTS 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
CELPIP 7 7 7 7
TEF Canada 310 249 207 310
TCF Canada 10 458 453 10

All four tests have a different scales for scores, so the minimum score absolute values should not be compared among them.

Which test should I take?

You can choose whichever exam you prefer, as long as you score the minimum points on it. The dificulty is about the same for all, so your criteria should be something else (like price, availability, etc). Here are some differences between the two English exams:

Test environment Paper or Computer Computer
Listening 30 min 47-55 min
Reading 60 min 55-60 min
Writing 60 min 53-60 min
Speaking 11-14 min 15-20 min
Time for results 13 days (paper)
5-7 days (computer)
4-5 days

So your decision must be made based on personal preferences. Ashton College has a good article comparing IELTS and CELPIP.

How to do the test

You will need to check availiability in a place near you, pay the fees, and attend on the scheduled day.

Price and availability change according to the location. Visit their official websites for more information:

IELTS | CELPIP | TEF Canada | TCF Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don't get the minimum results?
You won't be eligible and will need to redo the test.

If I take 2 different English tests, will it improve my score?
No. But if you take one English and one French, you do get more points for it. More details here.

I did one of these tests, but a long time ago, is it still valid?
The test must be less than 2 years old by the time you apply for Permanent Residency, so if you think it will be expired by then, you should do another one now.

Does my spouse need to do a language test too?
Not necessarely, but you might get more points if you both do it. More details here.


Jaqueline Volpe 2021-04-14T20:31:42Z

eu posso fazer uns 3 testes e considerar o de maior pontuação ou obrigatoriamente o último feito será o elegível?

Gabriel (Author) 2021-04-15T15:14:30Z

Aham, pode fazer vários e escolher o melhor sim. Desde que o teste ainda esteja válido (acho que são dois anos), sem problemas. Então se voce fizer outro e piorar a nota, é só não atualizar o perfil do EE, e deixar o primeriro lá :)

Janaina Gerde 2021-06-09T12:21:35Z

Não seria interessante acrescentar que conseguindo CLB 9 we may have some extra points depending on our education and work experience? And it would also be interesting to mention that the higher the score we get, the more points we can have on EE :D Got the CLB 9 on IELTS btw!! I'M SUPER HAPPY :D

Gabriel (Author) 2021-06-09T14:20:42Z

Hey, good to see you here!! Love the mix of languages ahahahah Yeah, that's a great idea, to add the skills transferability points here (language combined with education and work experience). Will also consider to add a table maybe, showing how many EE points you get for each score, makes total sense! Thanks for the tips, added both to the little to-do list here!

Larissa Figueiredo 2021-07-04T14:32:10Z

Gabriel, o perfil criado no Express Entry tem prazo de validade?

Gabriel (Author) 2021-07-06T17:17:10Z

Oi Larissa, tem sim - 1 ano! Mas se expirar, voce pode fazer outro, nao te prejudica em nada :) Ah o IELTS tem validade de 2 anos tambem!

Thanasekar 2021-11-22T08:56:51Z

Does TOFEL can be accepted as language proficiency test. As a student, recently I appeared for that test.

Gabriel (Author) 2021-12-06T04:54:50Z

Hi, sorry for the delay. TOEFL is not accepted :\

Muhammad (Guest-361558) 2022-01-03T09:46:21Z

what if I get 6.5 overall in IELTS, do I get chance for immigration or do I need 8777?
About | Privacy |