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Tens of thousands of people from around the world immigrate to Canada annually. Many of these people are required to pass the IELTS test as part of their immigration process. Even foreign students attending university in Canada, are required to pass the IELTS test as part of their enrollment and acceptance processes.

Passing the IELTS test can seem a bit overwhelming when you first start preparing. Part of the reason people find it so challenging is that there are different minimum band scores one must attain on each of the four sections of the exam, along with a minimum overall score.

If the score you receive does not meet these requirements, you will have to retake the test until you get a passing score. Fortunately, you are able to take the IELTS test as many times as you need to pass it. However, you do have to pay another fee for each additional examination.

What if I applied for express entry?

Canada does offer some opportunities for immigrants with Express Entry programs. These programs are designed for specific types of jobs/industry classes and include:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Class

  • Federal Skilled Trades Class

  • Canadian Experience Class

All Express Entry applicants, even if they are immigrating from an English or French-speaking county must take the IELTS test or the equivalent TEF (Test d’Evaluation du Francais) and pass, to be considered for Express Entry.

Depending on which program class you apply for, you will need to attain a specific IELTS score on each section of the exam. For instance, if you applied for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Class, you must get a 6 or higher on each of the four test sections (Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening).

On the other hand, if you applied as a Federal Skilled Trades Class, then the minimum scores are slightly different. You will require a 5 in Speaking and Listening, a 4 in Writing, and a 3.5 in Reading to pass the IELTS exam.

Please keep in mind, even with the minimum passing scores, your Express Entry application could still be denied. This is because those that score higher in their exams are given a higher priority using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

For instance, two Express Entry applications took and passed the IELTS exam. The first applicant scored a 6.5 in Reading, Writing, and Speaking, and a 7.5 on Listening. The second applicant scored a 7 in Reading, Writing, and Speaking, and an 8 on Listening.

Once the scores are converted by the CRS, the first applicant has a CRS of 382 points, while the second applicant has a CRS of 464 points. As a result, the second applicant is very likely to secure their ITA (Invitation to Apply) for permanent residency.

Whether you are immigrating to Canada through the Express Entry program or other eligible options, it is essential to do your very best on your IELTS exam.

For IELTS test preparation materials, sample tests, or to find your nearest IELTS test centre location, please feel free to browse our website further or contact IELTS Canada directly.