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The Speaking Exam: IELTS vs CELPIP

One of the biggest differences between the IELTS and the CELPIP exam is the speaking section. Both of these exams are used for immigration and citizenship requirements for Canada. Most students who have tried both of them say that in Reading and Writing, the IELTS Academic Exam is harder than the CELPIP but that the IELTS General Exam is easier.

As far as Speaking goes, The CELPIP exam seems much more challenging than the IELTS as it requires more preparation.

Here are some of the main differences:

In general, i feel that recording your answer on the computer requires a lot of practice. Somehow, it seems more unnatural to me. In some cases, you even have to speak to the computer as if it is an imaginary person.

The evaluation system is similar in that both exams consider similar criteria. However, in the CELPIP, there is more of a focus on the content than in the IELTS.

If you need to take the CELPIP exam, it is essential to become familiar with each part of the speaking exam. It is also necessary to practice under exam conditions. Sometimes, the unnatural nature of the exam can make even excellent speakers become nervous or confused and therefore get a lower score than they may deserve if they do not complete any training previously.

In the IELTS, it is possible to get a good score just by having excellent speaking skills. Practice may not be necessary if you have already lived in an English speaking country for some years. I have recently seen many Canadian immigrants score very high on the IELTS without much preparation. However, most of these people are professionals who have lived and worked here for a number of years.

If you want to know more about these exams, have a look at my other blogs, or contact me for online lessons at

Otherwise, fill in the contact form to subscribe to my newsletters, which come out about 3 times a month.

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