IELTS vs CELPIP vs Duolingo


You all must have dreamt about studying in Canada and must be aware that you have to clear English Language proficiency tests. The test applies even if you want Permanent Residency or Citizenship. IELTS is no doubt famous for proof of English proficiency, but CELPIP and Duolingo are also used for applying for permanent residency and education respectively.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to help you work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language. Your ability to listen, read, write and speak in English is assessed in this test.

There are different types of IELTS tests you can take. The test you choose depends on if you want to take it for the purpose of studying or if you want to apply for a Permanent Residency.

IELTS Academic Test

As mentioned above, IELTS Academic Test is for your higher education for undergraduate or postgraduate or if you want to work in an English speaking country.

IELTS General Training Test 

IELTS General Training is for those who wish to move or migrate to another country where English is the native language. This is aimed for those applying for Permanent Residency.

Following are the four sections of the IELTS Test:

  • The Listening module is the first part of the exam. This 30 minute part has four sections and they include 40 questions. 
  • The Reading section is the second part of the exam and you have 60 minutes to finish 40 questions. The Academic test involves graphs and diagrams while the general one has topics of general interest.
  • The Writing section is the third part of the exam where you have to complete two writing tasks in 60 minutes. In the Academic exam, the first task involves writing about a table, graph or diagram. For the General exam, the first task is writing a letter.
  • The Speaking section is the last part of the exam. You will have a one on one conversation with the instructor for about 11-14 minutes. 


The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) was specifically designed for Canadian English assessments. It is a general English language test that is similar to the IELTS; it’s a Canadian version rather. The CELPIP test can demonstrate a candidate’s ability to function in English. This test is intended to show English proficiency communicating at a personal and professional level.

CELPIP has two types of tests, General Test and General LS Test. The former one is used   for the purpose of permanent residency or employment in Canada, while the latter is used for Citizenship and employment.


This test is one of Canada’s most famous tests as a general English test for immigrants and work. Highlights of this test are:

  1. No separate speaking session

The test takes around 3 hours to complete and for speaking you have to reply to on screen prompts verbally. So, speaking all-inclusive makes it convenient. It also has features such as a personal timer, word count check and spell check so that you can take the test more effectively.

  1. North American accent only

Easy-to-understand English and words used on a daily basis 

  1. Quick online results

Results available online only 4-5 days after test date

  1. Free learning materials available

Free sample tests, videos, online briefings, preparatory courses are provided

Celpip General Test Time Break Up

Listening: 47-55 min

Reading: 55-60 min

Writing: 53-60 min

Speaking: 15-20 min

Also note that the General LS Test is just a one hour test and like the General Test this test also doesn’t have a separate speaking session. Both the tests are IRCC approved.

The table below shows the comparison of CELPIP and IELTS score:

Also, below are some other differences to note:

  • When it comes to Listening, IELTS tests use native speakers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US while CELPIP uses Canadian speakers.
  • IELTS Speaking includes a one on one conversation with the examiner, while CELPIP requires recording your voice on a computer.


Like IELTS and CELPIP, Duolingo is also an English Test and a modern language proficiency tool which is specifically for academic purposes. It offers a video interview, writing sample, and an English proficiency score in an accessible environment. The duration of the test is one hour. 

Please note that this test can’t be used for applying for citizenship or permanent residency in Canada.

What Makes Duolingo Different?

It is very convenient to take the Duolingo test because you can take it from anywhere as long as you have a computer and a suitable internet connection. It also costs $49USD, which is much affordable. You don’t need to physically go to the place to book and take a test. You can also take a sample exam for free. 

After completing the test, you have an option to send your score reports to as many schools as you want for free and the results are valid for two years. It includes one holistic score based on a scale of 10-160. Following is the chart for score comparison to other major English proficiency exams:

Duolingo English Test Use Examples

  • English proficiency requirement – This test has a high correlation with both the TOEFL and IELTS and results are available within 48 hours.
  • Interview Service – It assesses how applicants respond to random interview questions in relation to their ability.
  • Placement Test – Assess language ability prior to arrival with certified scores.
  • On Demand – This is for those who are lacking another proficiency test or have less scores, or if more information is needed—all without changing official admissions requirements.

Which Schools Accept Duolingo English Test’s Score in Canada?

Over 180 schools in Canada can accept Duolingo scores to meet English requirements.

If you want to see the full list of schools, please check here.

Please note that the Duolingo test scores may not be accepted by institutions due to the time of year and the institution. Please be sure to check the official pages of the English requirements of your desired university or college and the Duolingo English test website.

Disclaimer: The information has been gathered as accurately as possible at the time of writing, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check the institution and Duolingo official website. 

Source:CELPIP Overview  Duolingo English Test official website

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