This post deals with how we applied and prepared for our IELTS and is a part of a series of posts called “Our Canada Immigration Journey“. We will be releasing a number of posts under this series in the next weeks.
We hope that this series will help guide you in your own journey of achieving that dream of living your life in Canada.
Another requirement that Canadian Immigration will ask from you will be the results of your English language test. In this case, the evidence that Canada looks for is the one from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
IELTS is arguably the world’s most popular English language test and is recognized in all countries you might be looking to apply. It assesses all of your English skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is designed to assess how you will use English at work or study in your daily life abroad.
In the Philippines, there are a number of organizations that administer the IELTS. Arguably, the British Council in Manila is the most recognizable among them.
Naturally, we went with the British Council. We’re shallow that way. And the fact that almost all of the friends we have went to them for their IELTS requirement.
Which IELTS exam to take for Canada Immigration?
There are 2 kinds of IELTS exams you can choose from:
For immigration purposes, you will need to take the IELTS General Test. The IELTS Academic Test is for students and academics looking to teach and study abroad.
Regardless of the option you choose, the IELTS exam will cost you P10,680.00 if you register and take it in the Philippines.
The IELTS General Test is made up of the following key exam areas:
Each of the 4 key areas introduce its own set of challenges. We highly recommend that you practice for each so you’ll know what to expect on exam day.
Be extra mindful of the Writing and Speaking areas.
For the Writing part of the exam, you’ll be asked to write a letter or an essay about certain day-to-day topics. The challenge here is that you only have a limited amount of time to structure your thoughts. So, practice your handwriting. Make sure it’s legible and properly punctuated.
Don’t be like me – my hand almost cramped up while taking this exam. Practice.
For the Speaking part, practice in front of the mirror. Practice a lot. This part is an informal test. It’s supposed to be very conversational. It should be clear and to the point. Avoid filler words.
Familiarize yourself with each of the test areas. The IELTS website dedicated a page about the test format. Go through it to help on your own preparations.
Some individuals I know registered and then took a flight from Manila to take their exam in Singapore or Malaysia. Their reasoning behind it is that the examiners from the British Council in Manila is stricter compared to their counterparts from other countries. This arguably results to a lower score in the Speaking exam if you don’t meet their higher standards. Your mileage might vary. In any case, it’s a good reason to take a vacation outside of the country.
Preparing for your IELTS exam
Booking your IELTS exam
Registering and booking your IELTS exam is easy and pretty straight forward. Go to the IELTS section of the British Council website. The page contains a wealth of information about the exam and other details. Take your time to go through it.
The British Council arranges and schedules IELTS exams across various cities and locations in the Philippines. At present, they have a number of convenient locations where you can take the exams – from Manila to Pampanga and Baguio up north to Cagayan de Oro and Davao down south.
We recommend that you book your IELTS exam as soon as possible. This is because slots are selling like hotcakes and your target date can be filled and closed quickly. Also, by booking and paying for it, it provides you with extra motivation to prepare and practice for the upcoming examination date.
Lastly, make sure you have a valid government-issued identification (i.e. passport). You will need to bring these during the exam date.
If you’re ready to schedule your exam, head off to the British Council’s exam registration page to book your slot. Remember to ensure that you’re registering for the General Test and not for the Academic Test. The British Council will not liable if you took the wrong test.
Final Thoughts on IELTS for Canada Immigration
Curious how IELTS scores translate to its CLB equivalent? Check the table below:
While preparing for and when actually taking the IELTS exam, aim to get a score of 8 or 9 in each of the exam areas.
Your IELTS results translates to a corresponding CLB equivalent. The higher your IELTS score, the higher the corresponding CLB equivalent. And the higher your CLB points, the more points it contributes to your Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) points.
Your total CRS points is the main criteria on which Canada Immigration determines if your profile qualifies for their much sought after invitation to apply for immigration to Canada.
Therefore, prepare for that IELTS exam to give yourself the most possible points for your CRS. Maximize Youtube and Google search to look for IELTS exam materials – there are a lot of resources online you can use.
Lastly, take note that your IELTS results are valid for 2 years upon receipt of the results. Remember that when timing your Express Entry submission.
This post deals with how we applied and prepared for our IELTS and is a part of a series of posts called “Our Canada Immigration Journey“. Check often with us here in Roadtripping Juans for more on this series.