Canadian Express Entry: IELTS Points Scores

Approximately two weeks after you take your IELTS exams, you should already be able to see your scores on the official IELTS website. The actual hard copy of the results should available for pick-up (or delivered, if you chose that option) a few days after the online availability.

As you know, you can get a maximum of 160 points in Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System. To calculate your score, Express Entry will take your score in each of the IELTS test components and assess them based on the Canadian Language Benchmark system.

Sounds complicated right? Don’t you just hate it when people make simple things sound so complicated sometimes? Fortunately for all of us, despite sounding complicated, knowing your points in Express Entry from your IELTS scores is actually pretty easy.

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IELTS Testing Day: Listening, Reading and Writing Tests

The day after we had our IELTS Speaking exam, it was time to take the Listening, Reading and Writing parts of the exam to complete our IELTS.

Like our post on the Speaking exam, both N and I will share our experiences with you in hopes of giving you guys more insight into the IELTS test.

Here’s N

I wasn’t as nervous about this part of the IELTS as I was with the speaking exam. I was never good at one-on-one interview type situations, but this, I knew I could handle. In fact, I actually felt pretty confident about it, thanks to 9.0 Niners who prepare their students pretty well. (This is not a sponsored post! :P)

The only thing that bothered me was not knowing what to expect in a bigger scale (literally, as in taking the test in a bigger “classroom”). Concerns like “What if I can’t hear the recording, since the room’s way bigger than where we had our reviews?” or “What if it’s too cold that I can’t concentrate?” kept plaguing my mind the night before the exam. What I did to remedy that was to wear a sweater, and made sure that I cleaned my ears that morning! Heehee.

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IELTS Testing Day: Speaking Test

In our last post, we talked about how to book and prepare for your IELTS test.

In this post, we’ll be sharing our experience when we took the Speaking portion of our IELTS test last July 22, 2015.

Usually, one takes all the IELTS tests on one day, but sometimes, you may get scheduled on two consecutive days. In our case, we had our speaking test a day before the listening, reading and writing tests.

N and I were scheduled hours apart, she was scheduled at 9:30 am and I was scheduled at 11:00 am, but we were both already at the (location), bright and early at 8:30 am, before they even opened the doors since you won’t be able to reschedule a test if you missed it because you were late.

A few minutes after 8:30 am, the testing center doors opened and we were led into a room where they took our pictures and kept our stuff. Take note that while waiting for your turn to take the test, you will have to surrender all of your personal materials to them, so you’ll only have yourself and your imagination to keep you busy while waiting.

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Canadian Express Entry: Language Proficiency

Now it’s time for us to talk about the part of the Express Entry application that I personally enjoyed the most. Okay, maybe I feel this way now since we were able to get pretty good scores, but I remember being nervous as hell while taking the tests since it was like being back in the high pressure environment of university. Many people get pretty nervous about taking the IELTS, but with an average level of English proficiency and with the right amount of preparation, you should be able to get a good IELTS score.

So let me share our IELTS experience, I’ll be splitting this post into two, with the first one talking about what the test is and how we prepared while the next one will be more about our experiences during the test itself.

What is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Testing System) is basically a test that measures one’s proficiency in English. It grades your skills in Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening, with each skill having a maximum score of 9.0.

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There are two types of test, Academic and General. The harder Academic test is for those who are part of a regulated profession (nursing, engineering etc) and plan to continue this work abroad, while the easier general test is for… well, everyone else I guess? 🙂

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Express Entry Draw Update: Quit Playing Games With My Heart

Just to give you guys an update about our own application after the draw last January 13, 2016:

After the last draw, we are still waiting to get drawn and receive an ITA (Invitation To Apply) from CIC. We are hoping that the points needed will keep on going down since it has been on a downward trend for the past few draws. Currently, we are assigned a total of 440 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System, with the draw last January 13 needing at least 453 points.

Here is a little background on how the Express Entry rounds of invitation work:

After creating your Express Entry Profile on the CIC website, you will be assigned a score which will be used to rank you against other profiles in the pool of possible candidates. I am not sure how CIC calculates their draws, but they regularly select the highest-ranking candidates and give them ITAs. So in short, those with the highest points in the pool will receive invitations, depending on the predetermined allotted number of invitations that CIC has decided to give out at the time. I’m not really sure if it works this way, but we’ve been told that the draw works on something like an averaging system, the more candidates with higher points are in the pool, the higher the required to receive an ITA will be. In short, the more applicants with higher point totals there are in the pool, the higher the draw will be and vise-versa.

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Canadian Express Entry: Level of Education

Time to talk about getting your education assessed, here’s N to tell you guys about our experience since she spearheaded our ECA 🙂


One of the initial requirements for creating an Express Entry profile for Citizenship and Immigration Canada is an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). This means that if you carry a foreign (non-Canadian) degree, you must have this assessed to see its “value” relative to a Canadian education. As discussed in one of our previous posts, the better or higher your educational attainment, the more points you get towards your overall Comprehensive Ranking System point score in Express Entry.

I think there are several organizations that can do this for you, but we went with World Education Services or WES, as we heard that they are the fastest in delivering results. It’s a pretty straightforward process – just visit their website  and you’ll see the steps are listed down for you. But to help you guys, I’ll try to break it down for you with actual figures and timelines.

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How Did This Happen? Deciding to Move to Canada

I’ve written quite a bit about Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Express Entry over the last two posts. Next, I plan is to start sharing my personal experiences in going through the different aspects of the application. Before that though, I would like to spend a bit of time talking a little bit about how my fiancée and I decided to try and build our lives as a married couple in Canada.

Moving to Canada was already on her mind around four years ago when she was just about to graduate from university here. She had a Permanent Resident Card then and could’ve spent a few years in Vancouver with her brothers after college, working towards a citizenship. Admittedly, I was still pretty closed-minded at that time and told her that I wasn’t interested in leaving the Philippines. With the realities of a long distance relationship looming, she decided to forego that option and stay in the Philippines and in doing so, had to eventually give up her status as a Canadian Permanent Resident.

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