A standardized language test result, showing English or French language proficiency, is required for immigration to Canada under Express Entry. Three tests are currently recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Each test evaluates and gives scores for four abilities: reading, speaking, writing and listening.
Tabs at the top: These allow you to switch between the language test of your choice: International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF), or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP).
First Column: This represents the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), which is Canada’s equivalence of a given standardized test score.
Second Column: This offers a description of each language benchmark. A more detailed explanation will display if you click on the description.
Columns 3–6: These contain the test scores for the four abilities being evaluated.
Columns 7–9: These display the amount of points that can be assigned for each of the four abilities scores under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Class and the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
The converter below can convert test scores in one or multiple abilities into their corresponding CLB(s), or vice versa. It can also convert either test scores or CLBs into FSW or Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. Please enter at least one NUMBER in the first box, what you would like to convert FROM in the second box and what you would like to convert TO in the third box.
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Many of Canada’s immigration programs, including all three federal programs managed under Express Entry, require that candidates write a standardized language test and demonstrate a minimum language ability in at least one of Canada’s official languages, English or French. These federal economic programs include the FSW Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Canada has its own system for describing language proficiency according to Canadian standards. Canada ranks English language proficiency according to Canadian Language Benchmarks or CLBs. There are 12 CLBs that cover the range from the most basic ability (CLB 1) to complete fluency (CLB 12). In French, Canada’s classifies language ability in a similar fashion, with levels known as a Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC).
Candidates for Canadian immigration through a federal economic immigration program are required to demonstrate their proficiency in either English or French by way of a standardized test recognized by IRCC. Results of tests have a corresponding CLB for each of the four language components that are assessed: Speaking, Reading, Writing, Listening.
The three standardized tests that a candidate may take in order to prove language ability for a federal economic immigration program are:
- The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test, which candidates outside and inside Canada alike may sit, is the most popular standardized language test recognized by IRCC for immigration purposes. Candidates for Canadian immigration should ensure that they take the General IELTS test, rather than the Academic test. Results are given by what are known as ‘bands’ across the four abilities, with an aggregate overall band score determined as an average of these. The scores in each of the four abilities have a corresponding CLB.
- The CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) test is a Canadian test for English ability that may be taken by candidates for Canadian immigration who are taking the test from within Canada. CELPIP results correspond directly with CLBs, with results per language ability given as a score from 1 to 12.
- The TEF (Test d'Évaluation de français) is a test of general French ability, recognized as official proof of language proficiency by IRCC for immigration applications, as well as by the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la diversité et de l'Inclusion (MIDI) du Québec for Quebec Selection Certificate applications.
Note that though candidates for a federal economic immigration program are required to prove ability in one official language, they may be able to gain more points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for Express Entry by proving ability in both official languages.