Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)

What is CLB?

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) is a 12-point scale of English as a Second Language (ESL) proficiency. It was first published in 1996  and is managed by the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks.

The CLB’s scale is divided into 3 main levels:

  1. Stage I: Basic Proficiency (1-4 points);
  2. Stage II: Intermediate Proficiency (5-8 points);
  3. Stage III: Advanced Proficiency (9-12 points).

CLB and CEFR side-by-side comparison:

CLB levelCEFR level
A1 (Beginner)
4A2 (Elementary)
5B1 (Intermediate)
6-7B2 (Upper-Intermediate)
8-9C1 (Advanced)
10-12C2 (Proficiency)

(You can find more information about English proficiency levels in a detailed comparison of CLB levels with CEFR levels, TOEFL, TOEIC, and Cambridge ESOL)

The language tests based on CLB benchmarks cover four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Workplace Language Assessment (WLA) and The Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) are the most popular low-stakes exams. The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) and Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) are the most relevant high-stakes exams.

CELPIP is one of only two English proficiency tests which can be used when applying for permanent resident status in Canada (together with IELTS).

In a similar way the CELPIP is using CLB,  the TrackTest English Proficiency Test uses the CEFR scale. TrackTest results and English language certificates are available immediately after the completion of the level tests. The evaluation of the optional English speaking and writing test is delivered 6 days after the test completion. TrackTest English certificates are valid for a lifetime.

CELPIP and TrackTest CEFR side-by-side comparison:

CELPIPTrackTest English Test
Scale/grading12-points CLB scaleSix CEFR levels, from A1 to C2
Assessed skillsReading, Writing, Listening SpeakingGrammar, Reading, Listening (+optional Speaking and Writing)
Duration of the testApprox. 3 hours45 minutes (+ optional Speaking&Writing 20 min)
Results availableIn 7-8 daysImmediately (+ identity verification and the Speaking&Writing in 6 days).
The validity of the English certificate2 yearsUnlimited
PriceApprox.  $265 plus taxApprox.10x less

Test your English