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Answers to How to Study for CELPIP and Other Burning Questions

By: Kailash Srinivasan

Published On: April 1, 2019

You just learned that you have to take CELPIP to prove your English language proficiency. Ugh! And you’ve been furiously Googling: How to study for CELPIP? What is CELPIP? Why CELPIP? Which test is easier – CELPIP or IELTS? Are you finding all this researching, studying, preparing frustrating?

Google results are out of control, some 30,000 links in 0.37 seconds. There are so many resources, websites to look at, which is excellent. But this is also a problem. Where do you start? Why can’t one website tell you everything you need to know? We are going to attempt to answer all the main questions that you may have about CELPIP.

What is CELPIP?

CELPIP stands for Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program.
But know that it is a recognized English language assessment tool. All components are entirely computer-delivered and can be completed in just one sitting.

How to study for CELPIP?

Let’s see…study! Stop scrolling through Instagram stories and scroll through some sample tests instead.

On a serious note, when prepping, focus on all the components of the test: speaking, writing, reading, listening. Watch English movies, TV shows: if anyone asks, well you’re preparing. Read novels, magazines, short stories: might be tiring in the beginning, but stick with it because by reading you pick up things subconsciously. Try conversing with people in English: it may feel awkward when you start. Your friends might say something like, “Oh, suddenly you’re very fancy,” so be it. When you pass your exam and go on to do awesome things, who’ll be laughing then?

Here’s a link to our blog where one of our students talk about what the experience of taking CELPIP was like and what they did to prepare for it.

Ashton has a wonderful CELPIP prep program that has helped thousands of students like you get their target scores in CELPIP, or improve tremendously on their previous scores.

Should I take CELPIP or IELTS? Which test is easier?

Someone once asked their barber: “How short do you think I should cut my hair?” The barber said, “Why is everyone always asking me? It’s your hair. You do what you want.”
But no, CELPIP isn’t easier than IELTS or vice versa. However, the only advantage and this could be a big one for some: IELTS behaves like it is still 1990, which is why it is entirely paper-based, while CELPIP is fully computer-based. So pick what you want to do: write with your hand for 3 hours or type on a computer keyboard for 3 hours.

If you need a little more clarity, here’s a helpful article that compares both CELPIP and IELTS exams and tells you which one to take.


Good question. Why tests, exams, interviews of any kind? They seem to be designed only to make us anxious. But what can be done? Our only option is to prepare, take the test, get it out of the way and forget about it, and hopefully, forever.

This resource here tells you more about the good and not so good things about CELPIP.

Is CELPIP accepted for Canadian immigration?

Yes, CELPIP is accepted by IRCC for immigration purposes. Thank god for Canada, am I right? Still one of the saner countries in a world of madness. Look at what the US is up to with its new immigration policies.

How long is the CELPIP exam? What about IELTS?

Longer than Bollywood movies of today! And that too without a break. It takes about 3 hours. IELTS is the same, with the added headache of coming another day for the speaking test.

How long does it take for the results? How do I check what my CELPIP score is?

Think back to the time when you were in school. Did you also have that one always-eager over-enthusiastic kid who reminded the teacher to give more homework, or constantly asked if the teacher had a chance to look at the math test you took last week? While you and your friends rolled your eyes so far back, it hurt? That kid would ask this question.

You can get your results online, like everything else today. Login to your CELPIP Account with your Registration Number and PIN. But don’t be an eager beaver because you will get an email telling you your scores are available. Also, don’t keep on refreshing your inboxes. Your results will take eight business days, unless you, yes, paid extra, in which case it will be three business days. You can view your CELPIP Test scores in your CELPIP Account for two years, from your test date, so if you did well, you could keep looking and admiring your scores. But if you didn’t, well, forget your PIN in a hurry and retake the test.

You also get two print copies of your score report by mail.

What is the minimum score required for Canada immigration / Express Entry?

Don’t we all think to ourselves sometimes: How nice would it be if I didn’t have to do anything in life and yet somehow every month someone promptly deposited money in my bank account? We dream.

We’d advise you to not even consider giving the test nothing but your best. Keep the larger picture in mind while you prepare, which means no Netflix, no Facebook, no nothing. Every time you get distracted, remind yourself why you’re taking the test and get back to it.

You can go here to read more about the score breakdown. Scroll down to key test components.

Where can I take the test?

It will depend on where you’re based. If you’re in Vancouver, Canada, you have several options. Choose a test center that is centrally located, like downtown, or if you live in Abbotsford, a center that is easily accessible from there. Ashton Testing Services, ATS offers two convenient locations for test takers and is also open on Saturdays.

How long are my scores valid?

For some reason, most of the exams only have a 2-year validity. Things change apparently, in two years, like your English language skills somehow regress or whatever else the logic is. So if two years pass and someone asks you for your CELPIP scores, you will have to retake the test. Sorry, our sympathies are with you.

Can I retake CELPIP?

Can you order more than one coffee at a café, or get an extra sandwich at a fast food outlet? Sure. What do they care? They need to see your money. So yes, you can retake CELPIP as many times as you like.

Who else accepts CELPIP?

It’s not just IRCC. A lot of organizations accept CELPIP today, and these numbers are likely to go up unless someone else comes with another test to make our lives difficult. CELPIP scores are accepted by:
Real Estate Council of Alberta and British Columbia (RECBC) | Association of Saskatchewan Realtors | Alberta Human Services – Child Care Staff Certification | BC Corrections | BC Health Care Assistant (HCA) Program | Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) | Professional Business Accountants’ Society of Canada | Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission |TLC-Edmonton Training for Foreign Caregivers | Organizational employment requirements

Do you have any other questions for us? Mention them in the comments below, and we will try and answer them for you. Alternatively, you can also visit the official CELPIP website, which has lots of helpful information and resources.

Good luck with CELPIP, keep your chin up! Doesn’t really rhyme, but then what does?


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