CELPIP vs IELTS: Which is better for Canadian student visa under SDS category?

Canadian government presents four alternatives to IELTS for student visa under SDS

The Canadian government has recently put an end to the monopoly of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for student visas under the Student Direct Stream (SDS) category. This change makes other English tests, such as the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) Test equally relevant.

However, numerous students remain perplexed by the options available to them when applying for a Canadian visa under SDS, particularly when it comes to choosing between CELPIP and IELTS.

Before drawing any conclusions about which test is superior, it’s crucial to analyze the pros and cons of each.

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IELTS is the most renowned exam taken by students seeking to study abroad on student visas of various countries including Canada. This exam assesses students’ skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, awarding scores ranging from 0 to 9 bands.

While listening, reading, and writing components are administered in both paper and online formats, the speaking test requires students to converse with an examiner.

Recently, the fees for both the IELTS academic and general training tests have increased to Rs. 16,250.

In India, there is an extensive network of IELTS test centers spanning 75 cities, including three centers in Hyderabad.

CELPIP General

CELPIP General serves as an alternative English language proficiency test to IELTS. Until August 10, IELTS stood as the only English language test accepted for Canadian student visas under SDS. However, this monopoly has ended.

Similar to IELTS, the CELPIP test evaluates test takers in listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. However, all these tests are conducted online on the same day, and candidates are not required to speak to an examiner. Instead, they need to record audio on a computer.

The fee for the CELPIP general test is Rs. 10,845 + taxes.

IELTS vs. CELPIP General for Canadian student visas

Although the Canadian government presents four alternatives to IELTS for student visa under SDS, CELPIP General emerges as the preferable option for applicants because of various reasons. One of them is its acceptance for both Permanent Residence and Student Visa under the SDS category.

Furthermore, achieving a higher score in CELPIP is generally easier compared to IELTS.

Additionally, the cost of the CELPIP test is lower than that of IELTS.

Other alternatives to IELTS for Canadian student visa under SDS are

  1. Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL)
  2. Test Pearson Test of English (PTE)
  3. Academic Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Canadian student visa under SDS category

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) category is an expedited study permit processing program designed for international students planning to enroll in post-secondary designated learning institutions in Canada.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to process most SDS applications within 20 calendar days, provided all eligibility requirements are met.

To be eligible for the SDS category, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Legal residency in one of the designated countries.
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Brazil
    • China
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • India
    • Morocco
    • Pakistan
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Senegal
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Vietnam
  • An acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution.
  • Residency outside of Canada.
  • Payment of tuition fees for the first year of study.
  • Proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000.
  • Completion of a medical examination.
  • Submission of a police certificate.
  • Recent secondary or post-secondary school transcripts.
  • English language test results.

For more details, students can check the website of the Canadian government (click here)

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