Taking your English and French Language Tests

Taking your English and French Language Tests

Taking your English and French Language Tests

Language tests are one of the eligibility requirements for all 3 programs under Express Entry:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
  • Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates are awarded CRS points based on their English and French Language ability, but you will have to take IRCC-approved tests to earn those points.

IRCC-approved tests

There two approved English tests and two for French:

  • IRCC-approved English tests:
    • IELTS: you must take the “General Training” option and not the “Academic Training”. There are tests location pretty much everywhere in the world (140 countries) and fees are around $320, depending on the country. You can find a location for your test here. You should get your results within 14 days.
    • CELPIP: you must take the “General Test” option and not the “General LS Test”. You can only take the test in Canada, Dubai, Chandigarh, Manila and New York, and fees vary between $265 and $340 depending on the country. You can book your test here. You should get your results within 8 business days (or 3-4 business days if you add a $100 to $150 fee, depending on your test location).
  • IRCC-approved French tests:
    • TEF Canada: you must take either the paper or online based (e-TEF) test. They have locations pretty much everywhere in the world and fees are around $300, depending on the country. You can find a location for your test here. You should get your results within 3 to 4 weeks.
    • TCF Canada: you can also take this test in various locations around the world, for a fees of around $300. You can find a location for your test here. Results will be available 15 working days after the CEIP receives your session material.

Don’t ask for your language test results to be sent directly to IRCC. You will have to upload a scanned copy of your results with your complete application.

Language test results validity

Your test results must be less than two years old when you (i) complete your Express Entry profile and (ii) apply for permanent residence.

How to convert your test results

For each test, there is a conversion table from the test mark per ability (speaking, reading, listening, writing) to the Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB). CLBs are the norm for assessing language ability by IRCC. Click on each test below to see the conversion table:
[mpc_accordion auto_indent=”true” title_background_color=”#e0e0e0″ mpc_icon__mpc_tooltip__border_divider=”true” mpc_icon__mpc_tooltip__border_css=”border-color:undefined;border-style:undefined;” mpc_icon__mpc_tooltip__padding_divider=”true”][mpc_accordion_tab title=”IELTS General Training”]
[/mpc_accordion_tab][mpc_accordion_tab title=”CELPIP General Test”]
[/mpc_accordion_tab][mpc_accordion_tab title=”TEF Canada”]
[/mpc_accordion_tab][mpc_accordion_tab title=”TCF Canada”]
Your results, when converted to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), can be used to calculate your CRS score.

Why are CRS language points so important?

Language tests are high points earners. You will see a significant rise in your CRS points with higher language scores. So it is wise to practice and give your best for the language tests.

Beside the fact that you will get more CRS language points with a better CLB (for example, for your first language and if you are single, when you improve your score from CLB 7 to 8 in each ability, you will get 6 x 4 = 24 more points), there are other additional points you could get from skill transferability factors and from French abilities:

  • You could get 30 additional points if you have CLB 7 in French and CLB 5 in English (in all abilities).
  • You could get 15 additional points if have CLB 7 in French and less than CLB 5 in English or no English test results at all.
  • You could get up to an additional 100 points from skill transferability factors.

How to practice your tests

There are lots of books and study sessions available in your country to prepare for the tests. However, they are not free.

For free material, you could check the following resources:

  • For IELTS:
    • Sample test questions from the IELTS website,
    • When you register for an IELTS test, you will be provided with two free mock tests,
    • IELTS Advantage
  • For TEF Canada:
    • With the Français 3.0 app, you have a few free mock exam questions,
    • Some tutorials here.
  • For TCF Canada: here.

Express Entry Step-by-Step Guide

To be eligible, you need to first check that you work experience, as defined by the NOC system, is eligible for Express Entry.

You need to get your foreign educational credential assessed by one of IRCC’s approved third parties.

For all the three Express Entry programs, you need to take English and/or French test(s) and score a number of points to be eligible.
Check if you eligible to Express Entry under one of the three economic immigration programs.
You need next to understand how to calculate your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. This score is the one you will be ranked with in the Express Entry pool.
After taking your language exam(s), and getting your ECA (if your credential is not Canadian), you need to verify your eligibility through the Come to Canada Tool and then create your Express Entry profile to get into the pool of applicants.
If you have enough CRS points, you will get an Invitation to Apply. You will have 60 days to fill additional forms and submit your supporting documents.
After receiving you Invitation to Apply (ITA), you will need to upload the requested supporting documents. Get ahead and make sure you will not have a problem gathering them.
After submitting your documents, learn about the process of approval of your application and the different updates that will let you have an idea on where you application is at.
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