Six Ways to improve your CRS score

Immiboards ― Whether or not you will receive an invitation to apply under Canada’s Express Entry system depends directly on your Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS Score).  

Let us discuss six ways on how you can improve your CRS Score.

To begin with, the average CRS cut off for invitation in 2020 is as below:

ProgramCRS Cut off 2020
Canadian Experience Class449
Federal Skilled Trades415
No program specified (FSW All Program Draws)472
Provincial Nominee Program729
Average534

Six Ways to increase your Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS Score)

If there is one attribute or skill that you must focus on to improve your score it is your language score (IELTS/CELPIP/TCF/TEF).

This is an extremely critical benchmark that influences various sections of the Comprehensive Ranking Score system.

Apart from directly influencing the Language points, the language score also plays a role in determining the points that you might get for Education and Work Experience.

Let’s discuss the six ways to improve your CRS score starting with the all important Language score.

Language

Language points are the key to increasing scores especially if you have scored less than expected on your English tests.

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per abilityWith a spouse or common-law partnerWithout a spouse or common-law partner
 (Maximum 128 points)(Maximum 136 points)
Less than CLB 400
CLB 4 or 566
CLB 689
CLB 71617
CLB 82223
CLB 92931
CLB 10 or more3234

From the above table we can see that the difference between CLB 8 and CLB 9 is 7 CRS points if applying with spouse or 8 CRS points if applying without spouse.

To put in perspective of your IELTS band scores, here is a comparison of CLB 8 vs CLB 9 score:

 CLB 8CLB 9
Listening7.58
Reading6.57
Writing6.57
Speaking6.57
Overall IELTS Band77.5
CRS Points (w/o spouse)2331

As you can see, just a minor improvement of 0.5 across all bands can help you increase your CRS score by 8 points.

Further, if you know French language, you can earn up to 24 bonus points with French as second language.

Maximum points for each ability (reading, writing, speaking and listening): 6

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per abilityWith a spouse or common-law partnerWithout a spouse or common-law partner
 FRENCH LANGUAGE(Maximum 22 points)(Maximum 24 points)
CLB 4 or less00
CLB 5 or 611
CLB 7 or 833
CLB 9 or more66

Also, as per recent changes to the Express Entry System, you can now earn up to 50 additional points for strong French language skills (even if French is your second language).

French language even as a second language gets you 50 bonus points

Figure 1

Thus, we can see that learning French language can be one of the guaranteed ways to increasing your CRS Score by up to 74 points.

Of course, it is easier said than done however when we compare it to other available options, learning the French language appears to be the most cost effective and fastest method to increase your points by a massive margin of 74 points.

Work Experience

The points for foreign work experience are also tied to the Language abilities. Hence it makes even more sense to focus on improving your English/French scores and try to score a CLB 9 or higher.

Years of experiencePoints for foreign work experience + CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, one or more under 9Points for foreign work experience + CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
 (Maximum 25 points)(Maximum 50 points)
No foreign work experience00
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience1325
3 years or more of foreign work experience2550

As you can see, if you have 3 years of work experience, the difference in your CRS score can be up to 25 points if you do not have CLB 9 in your language test result. This is a huge difference.

Study

The point for education is also directly related to your language abilities just like work experience. If you have a better score in language, you get more points for your education as noted below:

With good official language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 7 or higher) and a post-secondary degreePoints for CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, with one or more under CLB 9Points for CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
 (Maximum 25 points)(Maximum 50 points)
Secondary school (high school) credential or less00
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer Example: 1 year diploma post 12th Std.1325
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer. Example: Bcom + Mcom + PG Diploma2550
A university-level credential at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required. Example: Mtech or MBA2550
A university-level credential at the doctoral level Phd2550

Again, as with work experience, the difference in your CRS score can be up to 25 points if you do not have CLB 9 in your language test.

Spouse

You can add up to 40 points to your CRS score through your partners scores. 20 points through your partner’s first language scores, 10 points through foreign work experience. You can also add up to 10 points to your CRS score by getting ECA done for your partner’s education.

Spouse FactorsPoints per factor
 (Maximum 40 points)
Level of education 10
Official language proficiency 20
Canadian Work Experience 10

Provincial Nominee Programs:

You can get a boost of 600 points if you are able to secure nomination through one of the provinces. Learn more about provincial nominee program.

Job Offer

Arranged employment can help you increase your CRS score by up to 200 points depending on the NOC Code

Arranged employment:

  • NOC 00 – 200 points.
  • any other NOC 0, A or B – 50 points.

You can explore the CRS System in detail here. These were the six ways to improve your CRS score for Canadian immigration.

If there is one aspect to focus on, it should be to improve your language results. You can play around with various levels using our CRS Calculator to get an idea on how much your score will improve and then set your goals accordingly.

About the author

Vijay founded Immiboards.com in 2020 with a goal to effect positive change in people's lives. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complex immigration system of Canada. He loves being able to help others in a way that has been difficult for himself at times, and enjoys working with those who need it most as he knows what they are going through firsthand.

He has a masters degree in Political Science. His areas of interest include immigration law, policy research, settlement studies and economics of immigration.

In his free time, he enjoys learning about new technologies in the field of cloud programming, analytics and digital marketing.

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