In a previous post on the Calver and Associates blog, we addressed some strategies for improving your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score for the Express Entry program. The Canadian government conducts Express Entry draws every two to three weeks, offering a number of applicants an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. Those applicants with the highest CRS score are most likely to be selected for an ITA. Your express entry profile will accrue points based on a number of factors, one of which is your proficiency in English and/or French. You can prove your proficiency in Canada’s official languages by taking a government-approved language test.
The government offers a number of different language tests for skilled immigrants to take prior to applying for the Express Entry program. The accepted English language tests include the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The accepted French language proficiency test is Test d’evaluation de francais (TEF). All of these tests evaluate individuals based on four main components: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
Language tests are high-point earners for Express Entry. You have the potential to acquire 150 CRS points through English and/or French language proficiency. Take advantage of this opportunity by striving to achieve a high score on your language test. Next, we will further explain how each of the tests evaluates your skills, followed by some tips for preparing for your examination.
There are two types of IELTS tests: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. IELTS Academic is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment. This test examines your knowledge, understanding, and ability to use academic language in order to determine whether you are ready to study in Canada. IELTS General Training is for those applicants who wish to relocate to an English speaking country for secondary education, work experience, or training programs. This test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts. Learn more about the testing format for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training by clicking the hyperlinks.
CELPIP was designed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); CELPIP was designed for Canadian English, which contains elements of both British and American English. You are only eligible to take the CELPIP test if you currently reside in Canada. This test is best for individuals who have immersed themselves into Canadian culture and have a strong grasp on Canadian English and accents.
TEF assesses the level of proficiency in French of Francophones and non-Francophones alike. If you are a native French speaker, or you would prefer to demonstrate your language skills in French proficiency, the TEF test will suit you best. TEF is a three-hour test split into four sections, which include reading comprehension, listening comprehension, written expression, and oral expression.
Five Test Prep Tips:
Give yourself plenty of time to study; don’t wait until the last minute to review materials.
Spend a small amount of time every day focused on preparing for your test (10-20 minute study sessions add up to make a noticeable difference).
Prepare for the written and oral portions of the test by practising discussing topics that interest you (i.e. sports, fashion, books, music, etc.).
Watch TV – television shows offer excellent examples of conversational English and French. You may find it helpful to view a show you would typically watch in your native language, in English or French. You will be familiar with the storyline, which will help you to make sense of new words and phrases. You may also choose to observe the show with subtitles; eventually, you can challenge yourself to watch without any text.
Complete practice tests using the links below.
In order to maximize the number of points you earn on your language test, you should prepare as much as possible in advance of your examination. The following links offer examples of test questions in addition to studying tips and reminders. Please consult these for preparation information:
In addition to the previously listed sources, new mobile applications were released in February of this year to help individuals prepare for the IELTS exam. The new mobile apps provide prospective IELTS test takers with speaking and listening tips, mock tests, videos of speaking interviews, quizzes, and assessment explainers. The apps also offer potential topics for speaking and listening tests, in addition to modules on vocabulary and grammar. The apps are available for free on Google Play and in the App Store. Simply search “IELTS Prep App” and/or “IELTS Word Power App.”
Are you curious to know what your CRS score may be?
Try using the CRS points calculator to get an estimate of what your score may be.
At Calver and Associates, we strive to help you overcome any obstacles to the immigration process. To find out how we can help you, contact us.
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