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CELPIP General Test Format

The CELPIP General Exam is officially pronounced for permanent Canadian residence applications and professional designations by the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The CELPIP General test evaluates a candidate’s English language skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

It is an IRCC approved exam which takes 3 hours to complete.

CELPIP General test can be completed in one sitting with no separate speaking session.

The CELPIP-General test comprises of four sections:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking


In CELPIP General Listening test, you will be required to listen to the given passages and answer the questions accordingly

You will be needed to read answer choices in the Listening Test and give answer

Allotted time:         47–55 minutes

Total no. of Questions:  38

Section componentsSkill tasksNumber of questions
Practice TaskAll listening skills1

Part 1

Listening to problem solving

Question types

Introduction to test-taking strategies

Introduction to vocabulary-building


Part 2

Listening to a daily life conversation

Establishing context5

Part 3

Listening for information

Note-taking strategies of Location and time, main ideas and supporting details6

Part 4

Listening to a News item

Using abbreviations for note-taking


Note-taking to record facts


Part 5

Listening to a discussion

Visual clues

Relevant vs. irrelevant information


Part 6

Listening to viewpoints

Recognizing facts and opinions

Differentiating between summaries and paraphrases

Identifying pros and cons



In the CELPIP General Reading test, you will be asked to read passages and answer questions accordingly

Allotted time:    55–60 minutes

Total Questions:  38

Section componentsSkill tasksNo. of questions
Practice Task
  • Active vs. passive readers
  • Previewing, skimming, and scanning
  • Getting meaning from context
  • Eliminating wrong answers
  • Improving your reading speed
  • Introduction to vocabulary-building

Part 1

Reading Correspondence

  • Skimming and scanning
  • Synonym-matching pair work activity
  • Timed reading

Part 2

Reading to apply a diagram

  • Understanding coherence and applying logic
  • Locating specific information
  • Recognizing a writer’s purpose and tone
  • Timed reading

Part 3

Reading for Information

  • Understanding paragraph components
  • Identifying main ideas in paragraphs
  • Timed reading

Part 4

Reading for Viewpoints

  • Understanding meaning based on context
  • Eliminating wrong answers
  • Identifying viewpoints
  • Fact or opinion
  • Timed reading


In CELPIP General Writing test, you will be required to respond to questions with written answers

Allotted time:    53–60 minutes

Total questions:  2

Section components

Skill tasks

No. of questions

Task 1

Writing an Email

  • Writing emails
  • Email conventions: Greetings, openers, closers, and sign-offs
  • Tone and register
  • Indirect questions
  • Email format
  • Paragraphing
  • Introduction
  • Synonyms
  • Avoiding repetition
  • Time sequencers


Task 2

Responding to Survey Questions

  • Note-taking
  • Expressing an opinion
  • Using conjunctions
  • Supporting details
  • Transitions
  • Concluding sentences
  • Timed writing
  • Peer feedback: Identifying common errors



In the speaking section, you will be required to read questions and reply to on-screen prompts verbally.

Allotted time:    15–20 minutes

Total questions:  8

Section components

Skill tasks

No. of questions

Practice Task

  • Understanding performance standards
  • Review of speaking skills
  • Developing ideas
  • Introduction to vocabulary-building


Task 1

Giving advice

  • Organizing your thoughts
  • Giving advice


Task 2

Talking about a personal experience

  • Using WH questions (what, when, where, who, whom, which, whose, why and how) for narratives
  • Time expressions
  • Transitions


Task 3

Describing a scene

  • Prepositions of location
  • Describing details


Task 4

Making predictions

  • Practice: Describing and making predictions
  • Making predictions from a scene


Task 5

Comparing and persuading

  • Choosing, comparing, and persuading
  • Inflection and intonation


Task 6

Dealing with a difficult situation

Giving effective reasons


Task 7

Expressing Opinions

Stating an opinion


Task 8

Describing an unusual situation

Weak vs. convincing reasons


According to the 2019 test pattern, the Listening, Reading and Writing tests are conducted on the same day while students might have to take the speaking module on the same day itself or within seven days prior to the Listening, Reading and Writing test. Tests need to be taken on the given days failing to do so have undesired consequences

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