Language Test

Immigration Related Services Other Services

Most of the immigration applicants and work permit applicants need to prove their ability in English or French. To do so, they must take an approved language proficiency test. The tests usually assess all of the English skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is designed to reflect how applicants will use English at work in their new life abroad.

Canadian Language Benchmarks

Canadian Language Benchmarks, or CLBs, are a standard used in Canadian immigration applications to describe 12 levels of language ability in Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. For each language skill, a separate benchmark will be received, and this benchmark indicates how well the test writer can function in that language skill.

There are three stages in the CLB. Stage I covers basic language ability (benchmarks 1 to 4). Stage II covers intermediate language ability (benchmarks 5 to 8). Stage III covers advanced language ability (benchmarks 9 to 12).

The CLBs are not a test themselves – they are ways of describing the results you would get on a language test such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test d’évaluation du français (TEF) test. So there is no such thing as a CLB test, but you can use your language test results to determine your language level according to the CLBs. 

Language test equivalency charts

Equivalencies between the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) , and the results of language tests from designated testing organizations have been established and are summarized in the following tables.

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) – General Test score equivalency chart

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
1010101010
99999
88888
77777
66666
55555
44444

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – General Training – Test score equivalency chart

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
108.07.58.57.5
97.07.08.07.0
86.56.57.56.5
76.06.06.06.0
65.05.55.55.5
54.05.05.05.0
43.54.04.54.0

Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF Canada) Test score equivalency chart

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
10263-277393-415316-333393-415
9248-262371-392298-315371-392
8233-247349-370280-297349-370
7207-232310-348249-279310-348
6181-206271-309217-248271-309
5151-180226-270181-216226-270
4121-150181-225145-180181-225

Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada) Test score equivalency chart

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
10 and above549-69916-20549-69916-20
9524-54814-15523-54814-15
8499-52312-13503-52212-13
7453-49810-11458-50210-11
6406-4527-9398-4577-9
5375-4056369-3976
4342-3744-5331-3684-5
Designated language-testing organizations

English language-testing organizations

The following organizations administer the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP):

  • Paragon Testing Enterprises Inc.
  • University of British Columbia

The following organizations administer the International English Language Testing System (IELTS):

  • Cambridge Assessment English
  • International Development Program (IDP) Australia
  • British Council

French language-testing organizations

The Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry administers the Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF Canada).

The Centre international d’études pédagogiques administers the Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada).

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