Immigration Canada - PanCanadian Immigration Law Group

IELTS to CLB Conversion - Understanding New Language Proficiency Requirements

Discussion in 'Federal Skilled Worker' started by Nomad, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad New Member

    I'm sure we are all aware of the revised criteria for the FSW program. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of a mandatory language threshold. This means that there is a minimum score required to be eligible to apply. This threshold has been set to CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 7, per the Canada Gazette:

    While trying to research what this meant, I realised that it was very difficult to obtain an equivalency chart comparing the IELTS exam to the CLB Benchmarks, which would determine my eligibility and hence, the potential points I could earn. The only resource I could locate was an equivalency chart in the guide for those applying for Canadian Experience Class. Per the webpage, the info was last modified on January 13, 2012. I was unable to find any other conversion table on the CIC website. In fact, I even called the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks :D to ask them if there was a IELTS/CLB conversion table. I was told that the info would come from CIC on their website. So, I have to assume that this info is correct. Does anyone else have any info to the contrary? Here is the link for the table for those interested:

    In the interest of making it easier to understand and interpret, to their table I added the points per ability that were provided on the Canada Gazette posting mentioned above. Please Note: I have re-ordered the different abilities/modules to appear in the same order as they do on the Results Slip for IELTS exam:)I also have assumed that any scores greater than those for CLB Level 8 will put you at CLB Level 9, as there are no scores on the table for Level 9.

    CLB Level 9: Points Per Ability: 6
    Listening: over 7.5​
    Reading: over 6.5​
    Writing: over 6.5​
    Speaking: over 6.5​

    CLB Level 8: Points Per Ability: 5
    Listening: 7.5​
    Reading: 6.5​
    Writing: 6.5​
    Speaking: 6.5​

    CLB Level 7: Points Per Ability: 4 ** MINIMUM THRESHOLD**
    Listening: 6.0​
    Reading: 6.0​
    Writing: 6.0​
    Speaking: 6.0​

    CLB Level 6: Points Per Ability: NONE - Ineligible for FSW
    Listening: 5.5​
    Reading: 5.0​
    Writing: 5.5​
    Speaking: 5.5​

    CLB Level 5: Points Per Ability: NONE - Ineligible for FSW
    Listening: 5.0​
    Reading: 4.0​
    Writing: 5.0​
    Speaking: 5.0​

    CLB Level 4: Points Per Ability: NONE - Ineligible for FSW
    Listening: 4.5​
    Reading: 3.5​
    Writing: 4.0​
    Speaking: 4.0​

    In order to calculate your language points, you need to:
    1. convert your IELTS Score to the Corresponding CLB level
    2.assign the appropriate number of points for that CLB level
    3.add all the points per ability to obtain your language score points.

    I will give you an example using my IELTS score. :)

    IELTS Test Scores:
    Listening: 8.5
    Reading: 7.5
    Writing: 8.5
    Speaking: 9.0

    Convert IELTS Scores to CLB level:
    Listening: 9
    Reading: 9
    Writing: 9
    Speaking: 9

    Assign Appropriate Number of Points Per CLB Level:
    Listening: 6
    Reading: 6
    Writing: 6
    Speaking: 6

    Add Points Per Ability to Obtain Language Points:
    24 :cool:

    Interpretation: From this excercise we are able to confirm that the New Maximum Nbr of Points one can obtain for their FIRST language is 24. More importantly, however, is that the Minimum Nbr of Language Points Required in order to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program is 16. (CLB Level 7)

    Also, and this is important, the IELTS scores are rounded DOWN, not up like in conventional math. This is very important because if you are on the edge, it could make a world of a difference btwn qualifying or having to redo the test in order to qualify. I found this information online regarding the rounding of IELTS scores on the website for the Canadian Bar Association. :

    It was written in 2009 and I was unable to find more current info regarding IELTS score rounding. In my humble opinion, I see the sense in rounding down, because it is better to be cautious and ENSURE you meet the threshold than being generous & rounding up and then receiving a rejection letter. Here is the link for anyone who would like to confirm. It can be found on page 5 of the document.

    Conclusion: Time is of the essence. It is imperative to know ones IELTS Test Scores and the potential number of points it would lend to your application process. You have until January to better your English scores (if you do not qualify or just need more points) and retake the exam. I would start NOW as the IELTS exam (depending on where you live) may not be offered as often as one would like and the seats could fill up if one waits til the last minute.

    I was able to create an excel spreadsheet that simplied this, but the format of this forum does not allow for the embedding of spreadsheets (to the best of my knowledge). I know this was an extremely long post. I hope you have survived all the same :) . I think, though, that it is a reflection of how truly important language skills are now as it carries the most weight in the points system. Any and all feedback is welcome. All the best! Try not to go crazy in the process. o_O
    sh4dow likes this.
  2. sh4dow

    sh4dow New Member

    I don't think rounding down makes sense, since if you have e.g. a score of 6.5 in writing, if you round that down, it would be 6.0 and that would be CLB level 7 instead of 8.

    But I feel like the updated "conversion chart" doesn't leave anything open for interpretation anyway.
    Well, except that "9 and above" thing. I suppose it means that the top IELTS scores are actually above CLB 9. But that doesn't matter for the score calculation anyway...
  3. judyk

    judyk New Member

    Are there classes offered anywhere that specifically prepare people to take their IELTS exams? If somebody fails their initial exam, how long until they can try again?

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