IELTS for Canada Visa: How to Maximize Score in English to Boost Your Chances for Study or PR?

IELTS for Canada Visa

The academic and professional ambitions of candidates willing to settle in OECD nations can be realized through IELTS for Canada visa. In fact, it is well-documented that language proficiency in English or French act as a deal-breaker to entering Canada for professional career opportunities or study in Canada options.

Any economic-class immigrant aspirant who wishes to apply for Canada permanent residency, either through Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), must compulsorily come good in human capital factors like age, education, and work experience. While a prior job offer in Canada is not a mandatory requirement (and varies on a program basis), proof of English/French proficiency is compulsory.

IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and is one of two accepted language proficiency tests in English. The other is the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP).

The major difference between IELTS and CELPIP is the English accents. CELPIP uses Canadian accents for the speaking and listening portion of the test, unlike the IELTS, which uses English-speaking accents from other countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

Let’s explore more on how to maximize score in IELTS for study in Canada or even qualify for Canada permanent residency through various economic-class pathways.

Are Language Tests Compulsory for Canadian Immigration?

Yes, your level of language proficiency in English or French is one of the few deciding factors in gaining Canada permanent residency or temporary residence visas like study permits or work permits.

IELTS is a language test designed to prove English proficiency for students who wish to pursue post-secondary study in Canada or settle in Canada under Express Entry & other immigration programs. Whereas, CELPIP is exclusively designed to assess Canada permanent residency applicants.

Apart from English as a universal test of proficiency, Canada also considers French as its official language. Canadian provinces like Quebec, and British Columbia attracts a lot of french-speaking immigrants.

If you speak French, taking the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) or the Test de Connaissance du français (TCF) can significantly increase your chances in the Express Entry pool.

The language test results must meet the Canadian Language benchmarks (CLB) for English and Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) for French. Newcomers who speak English and French can earn up to a maximum of 28 points. If you only speak one of Canada’s official languages, you can still earn a maximum of 24 points.

How to Maximize Score in IELTS?

First & foremost, you need to be clear about which IELTS you need, Academic or General Training, and by when you need your results. The qualifying score of IELTS for Canada visa may vary as per the receiving organizations such as Canadian universities or immigration authorities.

IELTS is conducted on both offline & online modes. The proficiency test for English has four parts: Reading, Listening, Academic Writing & Speaking. The scores in IELTS for Canada visa are considered in terms of band levels. Each candidate is expected to score above the qualifying band, depending on the visa program.

For example,


Undergraduate level studies: Overall band of 6.5 in IELTS Canada

Graduate level studies: Overall band of 7.0 in IELTS Canada

Faculty of law: Overall band of 7.0 in IELTS Canada


An overall band of 6.5 in IELTS Canada


An Overall band of 6.5 in IELTS Canada


Required minimum score: An overall band of 7.0 in IELTS Canada

Nursing programs: An overall band of 8.0 in IELTS Canada

Other Graduate programs: An overall band of 6.5 in IELTS Canada


Required minimum score: An overall band of 5 in IELTS Canada


Required minimum score: An overall band of 6.5 in IELTS Canada

IELTS Reading

This section is designed to assess your reading skills like skimming and scanning through the text. You would deal with around 2,700 words and answer 40 questions in one hour. The recommended time that you should give each passage is 20 minutes.

IELTS Listening

This section is designed to assess your listening skills to understand native speakers and their vocabulary. Enough time is given to preview the questions before the audio starts. Hence, it is recommended to underline keywords in the questions and look at the gaps to predict the type of information or the type of words needed.

It is also important to get familiarized with a Canadian English accent. Useful sources include podcasts and Ted Talks available on YouTube.

IELTS Academic Writing

You will need to get used to a standard essay format to showcase your knowledge of Canadian English vocabulary and articulation skills.

IELTS Speaking

You are required to present at least a 2-minute monologue on any given topic. You will be assessed based on your fluency and confidence in speech.

Whatever the mode of examination and pattern be, it is important to get familiarized with the required format of IELTS for Canada visa, including knowing the timing, the number of parts, the types of questions and task types, and which Canada visa option you are applying for. It is always good practice to have done some IELTS practice tests before your actual test to keep your confidence high. These are available on IELTS.org.

Find the Best Immigration Consultant in Dubai

IELTS testing centers are active across 89 countries including the United Arab Emirates, India, and the Philippines among many other prominent nations. CELPIP is available across 6 countries – the United Arab Emirates, India, the Philippines, Canada, the US, and China.

Language proficiency through IELTS for Canada visa is one of many mandatory requirements to fulfill. Apart from this, you need to find a certified immigration consultant to handle all your documentation process as well as guide you throughout the process.

CanApprove is a certified immigration consultant by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Canada (CICC). We have a rich history of 20+ years of providing immigration and overseas education consultancy services.

Take this free assessment online to determine your eligibility for various Canada visa programs.

Check Your CRS Scores

You can book a free appointment with us to determine your eligibility based on your academic profile and work experience.

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