IELTS for Canada immigration: common mistakes and top tips

Preparation for the IELTS test may be both stressful and challenging, which only makes things worse. Listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills are all examined in the process. With so much to prepare for proper IELTS scores, it may be a lot to handle.

In this article we’ll discuss the top 5 preparation mistakes that are commonly made by IELTS test takers and how you can avoid them. 😉

What is IELTS or International English Language Testing System?

The IELTS is an English-language exam that is required for various purposes, such as confirming your level of English for studying in Canada. It is also one of the major requirements for immigration to Canada.

You must show your English language proficiency to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada before you may be granted permanent resident status in Canada.

Non-native English speakers who want to relocate to an English-speaking country may take the IELTS exam to determine their level of English language competence.

There are also two types of IELTS available: General (for immigration) and Academic (for studying). You must choose the proper test that fits your purpose of entering Canada.

Published on October 13, 2021

Table of Contents

woman taking an IELTS Canada exam
You have the option to choose between two types of IELTS exam: General (for immigration) and Academic (for studying).

IELTS Top 5 Most Common Preparation Mistakes

Make sure you don’t put yourself under unnecessary stress by giving yourself plenty of time to study before the exam.

Remember to consider responsibilities, such as your job and social life. If you study all the time, you’ll never get anything done. Plan frequent pauses between your preparation to give yourself time to absorb the material.

Prepare ahead of time and schedule your exam so that you have plenty of time to study for your ideal IELTS score. 

Ensure that you’re familiar with the differences between the two kinds of exams. What’s the best exam for you to get into Canada, the Academic or the General? This will be determined by the purpose for which you need the outcome.

In addition, you must decide whether you will take the computer-based exam or the paper exam. Remember that the test’s content will not change. Most of the writing skills portion will be impacted by this choice. Is it easier for you to write or type?

Many candidates are more worried about doing well on the IELTS exam than they are about really learning the language. Recall that this is a language exam, so do your best to do well on it. Because of this, it is critical that you place a high priority on improving your language skills.

It’s critical that you understand the exam format before you begin preparing. Review the test’s content and question and task categories for each part to get familiar with it. Preparation should be done under timed circumstances so that you get familiar with the test’s speed.

An important aspect of your first preparation is to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to focus on both to establish a strong foundation for the official IELTS test by taking a practice exam.

Along with your exam preparation, it’s important to surround yourself in the English language as much as possible. Online publications or blogs are excellent places to start reading about topics that interest you in English.

You can also  make a daily effort to improve your English skills by writing a journal, updating a blog, or interacting with members of an online community, such as those in English-speaking Facebook groups.

Focusing only on the IELTS is a common mistake made by candidates. Even though they take many IELTS practice exams, they neglect to work on their English skills.

IELTS Scoring System

IELTS band scores are given on a 9-band basis, with bands ranging from 1 to 9.

A band score is given to each section of the exam based on how well the student performs on it.

The Listening and Reading sections of the IELTS exam are scored differently from the Speaking and Writing sections. There are 40 questions in each of the Listening and Reading sections, and each right answer is worth one point. The 40-point scale is translated to an IELTS 9-band scale. Candidates who take the IELTS Speaking test will have their speaking skills assessed in a face-to-face interview by certified IELTS examiners who will use an assessment criteria set in order to assign band scores for each of the four criteria: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range, and accuracy and pronunciation.

As for the IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2, they are both scored in the same manner, with the examiner giving band scores for each of the four criteria that best reflect the performance at each band level. Studying the evaluation methods can help you better prepare for the exam and approach each part of it.

Important Note: Immigration, work, and student visas all need a minimum test score of 6.0 to be eligible for admission.

Why take IELTS Exam? Importance of Language Skills for Canada Immigration

With the IELTS test, you will be evaluated on all four aspects of your English proficiency — reading, writing, hearing, and speaking — so it is critical to reflect how you will use English in your new country for study, work, and pleasure. This is because most immigration programs now require it, and as a result, it’s an effective way to increase your chances of moving to Canada.

Who can help in IELTS exam preparation?

If you need help preparing for the IELTS exam, there are IELTS preparation centers and language schools all around the globe. Alternatively, you may seek assistance from CanadaCIS and prepare for the IELTS with the help of our language exam preparation partners. If you want to do better on the exam, you may need to invest in a professional course and a qualified teacher. However, this isn’t a must.

woman helping immigration candidate prepare for IELTS
It's best to get assistance from an IELTS specialist at CanadaCIS.

Other Canadian Language Test Options


When compared to the IELTS, the CELPIP assesses competence in Canadian English, which has a blend of British and American influences, as well as a distinct Canadian accent. The General Test and the General LS Test are the two CELPIP test categories. If you wish to immigrate to Canada, it is required for you to take CELPIP’s General Test.

🇫🇷 TEF

TEF is required if you are a natural French speaker who wishes to immigrate to Canada. TEF comes in two forms: TEF and TEFAQ. TEF is the more common of the two. Normally, it is advised to take the TEF. However, only Quebec and federal immigration recognizes the TEFAQ.

Note: When choosing which test to take, it’s always best to be extra careful and check the requirements of your immigration program. You can do it on your own or by consulting immigration experts such as CanadaCIS. Making the decision to take the test on your own and choosing the test that is not recognized by Canadian immigration authorities may result into wasted effort, time, and money. 

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