Useful Test-Taking Guidelines for Your IELTS Canada Exam

Moving to Canada from your home country has got to be one of the greatest experiences in the world, but before

we dive into the entire process, one of the most critical requirements needed to gain a Canadian visa is passing the IELTS exam.

In this article, we’re giving you helpful tips on

successfully passing your IELTS exam and what to expect! 

Becoming a Canadian immigrant doesn’t have to be a challenge.

With our help, you can take the test with the proper skills and confidence, and here’s how:

Table of Contents

What is IELTS?

For you to successfully immigrate to Canada, you’ll need to prove your English language abilities to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

This is done by taking the IELTS exam, a popular English language test used worldwide, to test the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers

who wish to move to a native English-speaking country.

How Does the Test Work?

The IELTS exam comes in two different modules: Academic and General Training.

You’ll need to pass one of the two modules to receive a visa, whether it’s for a new Canadian job or studying abroad.

The assessment is based on the following criteria:

🗣️ Speaking: 40 questions – 30 minutes

📚 Reading: 40 questions – 1 hour

✍️ Writing: 2 tasks – 1 hour

👂 Listening: 3 parts – 11 to 14 minutes

IELTS spelled out in blocks
You may choose from two modules: Academic and General Training.

Which IELT Types are Needed for Canada PR?

General is given to those who wish to immigrate to Canada (work, live, permanent residency, etc.)

cademic is for those who wish to study in Canada.

Whether student or foreign worker, passing the IELTS exam is an important step to your immigration journey and your main ticket to entering Canada temporarily or permanently.

Commonly Asked Questions

A minimum score of 6.0 is needed to pass the test for any immigration program, work visa, or student visa.


This is the fixed price for the Canadian IELTS exams everywhere.

Whether digital or paper, academic or general training versions, the fee will still remain at $300. 

Listening: 4.5 to 5 (Good) 8.5 to 9 (Great)

Reading: 3.5 to 4 (Good) 8.5 to 9 (Great)

Writing: 4 to 5 (Good) 7.5 to 9 (Great)

Speaking: 4 to 5 (Good) 7.5 to 9 (Great)

But do take note that IELTS score for any Canadian immigration program or visa should not be lower than 6.0.

To become a Canadian permanent resident through the Express Entry program, you’ll need a minimum language proficiency of CLB 7, which is a score of 6.0 for each section of the IELTS exam in 2021.

Registering for IELTS Canada

Not sure how to register for the exam?

Here, we’ve provided you with three steps to an easy IELTS registration.

1st Step

Locate your nearest IELTS test center.

There are over 1,600 IELTS testing sites in more than 140 countries, so it won’t be difficult for you to locate the nearest one within your area. 

2nd step

Register for your IELTS exam.

You may register and pay for the fees online or fill-out a printed application form to be filled up and submitted to your nearest local test center. out an application form to

Make sure to attach a copy of your valid ID to your form and bring it with you on the day of the test.

3rd Step

Wait for the booking confirmation for your IELTS test.

In the booking confirmation, your test center will provide you with information such as the date and time of your exam. 

There are over 1,600 IELTS testing sites in more than 140 countries!

Helpful Tips to Passing the Test

The IELTS may seem like an intimidating exam, but in reality, all it takes is just helpful information and preparation to pass with flying colors!

To receive a passing score, we’ve come up with necessary test-taking tips for you to keep in mind before the day of the test.

The IELTS exam is based solely on skill, not knowledge, which means that you’ll need to expect that the exam will contain various questions asking you to prove your English skills within different types of categories.

It’s important to focus on building your reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills to the point where you’re confident enough before booking a test date.

When trying to improve your English skills, it’s best to read or listen to authentic materials/sources.

Try reading reliable news articles, listen to songs, podcasts, or watch youtube videos in English for at least 1-2 hours a day.

Don’t think too hard about memorizing English; the best way to hone your skills is to learn it.

You can’t just take IELTS example questions and memorize them question by question.

The IELTS exam questions change per person and could ask you questions on any topic!

The only way to truly feel confident about taking the test is by putting in the time and effort to learn the language rather than memorizing questions that may not be present specifically in your test.

Research the format of the IELTS exam.

This will help you feel less overwhelmed and disorientated on the day of the test.

Once you’ve researched the format, try to participate in an online mock exam.

There are plenty of IELTS websites that offer mock exams online that you could use as a way to practice everyday before your scheduled test day.

Take your time and don’t rush during the exam. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and anxious, but it’s also very important that you double check all your answers

and make sure there aren’t any unanswered questions.

How Much Time Do You Need to Prepare in Advance for the Exam?

It all depends on how much you’ve prepared for the exam and what score you plan to aim for.

1 month to 3 weeks in advance should be good enough for you if you decide to dedicate at least 2-3 hours of your day to learning the English language. 

Try to increase the number of study hours a week before the exam and give yourself days off. 

You need to be in your best condition mentally and physically to answer each of the questions correctly.

So make sure not to overtire yourself before the test date. 

If English isn’t your first or second language or you’re not fluent, it’s good to start preparing months in advance to give you more assurance.

Clock and laptop
The amount of time needed to prepare all depends on how much you’ve spent studying before the exam.

On-The-Day Testing Advice

So you’ve prepared tirelessly for the IELTS, and you feel confident enough to take it?

Great! Now all you have to do is add an extra confidence booster by taking note of these valuable on-the-day testing tips. 😊

🛌 Get enough sleep and eat right.

👕 Please wear loose, breathable clothing before heading to the test center, formal attire is not a requirement for the test, so it’s best to feel as comfortable as possible.

💧 Make sure to hydrate! You’re allowed to bring a transparent bottle of any non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. 

⌚ Arrive early. It’s better to be early than to be late, or else you may be prohibited from entering the test room.

📰 The listening, reading, and writing portion of the test will be about 2 hours and 40 minutes long, so try to limit your liquid intake and head to the bathroom right before entering the test room. 

📵 Phones will not be allowed in the test room to prevent distraction or cheating amongst the test takers.

✏️ Prepare pencils and pens to use during the test.

💳 Don’t forget to bring your valid ID! 

🧐 Stay focused and relaxed. 

🦸‍♂️ Lastly, nothing is impossible, and as long as you’ve fully prepared for the test and keep a positive mindset, you’ll surely achieve a passing score! (We believe in you!)

Here at CanadaCIS, we wish you the best of luck on your IELTS Canada exam and we can’t wait to see you on your way to “The Great White North”!

Learn more about immigration to Canada: