🌎 #3 Which Engish test: IELTS or CELBAN?

Updated 2023

Dear Miss Kim

…the only thing missing to complete my requirements is the english test. thats my priority now to take the english test, im scared coz my english is not good enough, especially my diction, i need to study and practice, i dont know which test will i take. thats my concern for now.  – H

Dear H

English is a barrier to many. People that dedicate themselves to the language (and grammar) do much better, in a shorter amount of time. They save a huge amount of money. They reach their goals quicker. They make more money sooner. Note:

  • IELTS is usually the exam of choice, for immigration, as it is available globally.
  • CELBAN is usually the choice for the licensure process for RNs and LPNs.

Some people take the general IELTS for immigration, only to discover it is the academic version that is required for licensure. If it is possible to figure out how to take only one exam, for two purposes, it will save money in the end. But most people end up taking more than one. Usually, people work on achieving the score for immigration, and then worry about increasing the score to one of the colleges of LPNs or RNs once they get here.

That is when they switch from IELTS to CELBAN.


Problems IENs face while Preparing for the CELBAN

These are some of the problems I have seen happen for Internationally Educated Nurses preparing for the CELBAN:

  • Some people take the CELBAN without preparation and feel depressed when they are unable to reach the required scores.
  • Other people do not integrate the feedback they receive on their weaknesses. They keep taking practice tests and sample tests over and over again without learning the skills and competencies required to pass the CELBAN.
  • Others feeling overconfident in their score in one area focus only on the weaknesses only to get a lower score on what was once a strength.

At the end of the day passing your CELBAN or IELTS English exam, if you really want to make this happen, needs to be a first priority. It’s like taking medicine. It might taste bad, but it helps to make everything else better!

That is why I created the Grammar Essentials Series online course so that you can learn the transferable skills, when it comes to grammar, test taking, and the English language. There are two options:

  1. Buy books that are available on Amazon, or
  2. Apply for Self-Directed Training through the Resource Centre of CELBANPrep University.

Improving your competencies in these areas will assist you in increasing your score not only on every exam you take from here on in, but also your life and career as a whole!

They help you prepare for reading, writing, listening AND speaking: for the CELBAN, for the IELTS, for the CELPIP and any other English exam you will ever take!

Check out this tag:Β I passed the CELBAN on my first attempt!!!


…UPDATE: πŸ“‹ NNAS no longer requires CELBAN or IELTS scores!

So, instead of asking which exam to take: change the question. Ask, which CELBAN online courses, CELBAN online classes, CELBAN review materials will help me to prepare for my exams. The answer is: the Grammar series, which includes:

Remember, there are also FREE resources available on Amazon (in 100 countries through the 12 national sites) and that there are two parts to CELBANPrep resources:

  1. The textbook or workbook available on Amazon, and
  2. The companion teaching videos are available through CELBANPrep University.

You NEED BOTH! Why? Because the videos provides resources that could not be included in a print workbook/textbook. (Consider the membership like the old CDs and DVDs you used to get!)


P.S. You might like 6G*☺ You always makes me feel more confident and less stressful


Learn more about How to Prepare For The CELBAN.

16 responses to “🌎 #3 Which Engish test: IELTS or CELBAN?

  1. Pingback: 2G*!!β™₯ I just got my CELBAN test result today, I PASSED! | Dear Kim

  2. Pingback: 3G I would like to ask about writing and speaking if you can give me free prep. | Dear Kim

  3. Pingback: 3G* How can I get a writing practice test or any material for CELBAN writing practice exam | Dear Kim

  4. Pingback: 6G*☺ You always makes me feel more confident and less stressful | Dear Kim

  5. Hi Kim. You mentioned that the required score for LPN is lower than RN. Is this new / was it changed? As I know it was the same

    • Thank you, Mony, for your comment.

      This message is a re-post from several years ago, when there was a difference in the score for LPNs and RNs. It was chosen as a repost because over 3,000 people have read it; that is what the 3G means.

      I had updated the post, changing information pertaining to the changes with CELBANPrep, but I missed that point. After getting your message I also noticed I still referred to the CRNE; but, it is the NCLEX now.

      I appreciate your feedback and question. It has allowed me to improve, and to been more keenly aware as I repost other favorites.

      When it comes to encouragement and hope, time management and career development, there is no stale date for those kinds of topics. People can benefit from them now as much as they did when the e-mailed question was first received and replied to.

      I wish you the very best in your career; and, in obtaining your dreams of life in Canada!


  6. which is harder celban or ielits ? Please help me to find this ?

  7. I am a nurse here in KSA applying for RN in Ontario. which one is easier celban or ielts?

  8. I am a Nurse and did my Bachelors in Nursing. I just wanted to know the IELTS requirement in each of the components to become nurse in QUEBEC

    • Dear A.
      This is a good question, as the requirements can be different by province. In Alberta and BC the requirement are the Academic Version: can be located on the CARNA website> International Applicants. The requirements for Quebec may be very similar. My problem is I do not know french well enough to be able to read the College of Nurses of Quebec’s website. Sorry.

  9. I want to know whether I can apply for RPN/LPN in any province of canada with this score?

  10. i am a diploma nurse with IELTS score

    speaking -7

    • NOTE: this reply was written in 2012; changes have been made since then! KK

      Dear Sheelu,

      Thank you for your question.

      In What is the difference between being an LPN and RN I have explained the similarities and differences of being an LPN and an RN. One thing I note is that the required English score for LPN is lower than the required score for an RN. You can go to the websites of any of the provincial College of LPN or College of RN to get more information.

      Please note that the provincial Colleges of RNs require the Academic version of the IELTS.

      (What I mean by provincial college of RN is CRNBC, CARNA, CNO)

      For CARNA, in Alberta the requirements for Academic IELTS at this time are:
      Listening 7.5
      Reading 6.5
      Writing 7.0
      Speaking 7.0
      Overall 7.0

      It is also important to note that required scores do change, and that exams have a two year expiry date. It will probably take longer than two years to become a nurse so you will probably have to take an exam again before you become an RN.

      Does this help?

      NOTE: This was written in 2012. Requirements may have changed since then.

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