Exam for immigration purposes
Dear Ms Powell,
IHEAR that there are exams you have to do if you want to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker? Is that true for persons living in Jamaica? Why is the test needed? I have a bachelor’s degree. What if I want to study? Do I need to do an exam if I’m studying too? How can I ensure I’m successful? Are the exams online?
Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires that persons who wish to live permanently in Canada will need to provide evidence of their language skills. Therefore, you must prove your language ability in at least one of the two official languages in Canada, English and/or French, regardless of country of origin.
Proof of language ability is demonstrated by providing examination results from either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), General Training or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General Exams. The IELTS is one of the three recognised language tests that will be accepted by IRCC. It is therefore mandatory that your language test result be known before you apply. This exam is offered at The University of the West Indies campus in Jamaica and Trinidad. Other test centres can be found via https://www.ielts.org/.
The other recognised language tests acceptable are CELPIP and TEF (Test d’evaluation de Français). The French exam can be done via your local Alliance Français office or in Canada. You can sit the CELPIP exam in Canada and the USA. Find test centres online at https:// www.celpip.ca/.
WHY IS THE TEST NEEDED?
Canada is constitutionally a bilingual country, with English and French as the official languages. The submission of the test results assures IRCC that you can adapt and quickly integrate yourself into the Canadian society. It also gives the government of Canada a fair indication of your ability to become economically established in Canada. It also allows the government to assess each applicant, based on the same criteria.
The language tests must be done in person and evaluates an applicant’s level of proficiency based on his listening, reading, writing and speaking skills.
WHAT DOES YOUR SCORE MEAN?
Please note that for Federal Skilled Worker Class, the minimum benchmark that will be accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada is Canadian Language Benchmark 7, which is the national standards used in Canada for measuring the English language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants. The overall band result is not the determinative factor. You should therefore strive to get at least seven in each category to enter the pool and a minimum of eight in each category to be competitive.
STUDY IN CANADA
If you are from an English-speaking country, most Canadian schools do not require you to do the English exam. However, if English language results are required, you must sit the IELTS Academic exam. Each school will let you know the test required and the minimum required score.
HOW TO ENSURE SUCCESS IN THE EXAM
The examinations are not a walkover. You must practise and remember that you will need to impress the examiner with your eloquence and writing skills. You should pay attention to all skill areas. However, strive to get above 8.5 for your listening and reading skills to improve your chances of being selected. The only way to pass an exam is to prepare. Put in the extra time and effort practising. There are several practice tips online, so use all the available online resources. YouTube is a valuable resource channel.