If you are looking to study in Canada this fall, here is an overview of English language tests that are widely accepted by Canadian universities and colleges.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, language testers have had to scale back their operations to comply with government lockdown orders around the world. However, they are also offering online tests to help international students meet the admissions requirements of Canadian schools.
Here are language testing options widely accepted by Canadian DLIs, discussed in alphabetical order:
The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) It is accepted by over 180 universities and colleges across Canada, including all English-speaking universities and 82 per cent of English-speaking colleges. CAEL is set to once again be available in India, the Philippines, the UAE, and in most of Canada by early June.
Test results are available within 8 business days.
Cambridge Assessment English
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency exams offered by Cambridge Assessment English are accepted by over 200 schools in Canada including nearly all public universities.
Test results are available within 2-3 weeks for computer-based tests, and 4-6 weeks for paper-based tests (both of which must be completed at a Cambridge test centre).
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency certificates are valid for life, which means that some institutions in Canada accept results that are older than 2 years.
Duolingo English Test
The Duolingo English Test is accepted by almost 140 Canadian post-secondary institutions. It can be completed in just 1 hour and results are available in 2 days. The test is administered online.
The IELTS Academic test is operated by three partners: IDP Education, the British Council, and Cambridge Assessment English. This test is accepted by some 400 Canadian universities and colleges. It is currently available in over 30 countries, but is usually administered in more than 140 countries.
Results are available after 13 days for paper-based tests and within 5-7 days for computer-based tests.
In response to the pandemic, the three partners recently introduced the IELTS Indicator as a temporary measure to help international students complete their English test online. IELTS Indicator is taken online from the candidate’s home.
IRCC accepts both paper-based as well as computer-delivered IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training test results.
Pearson Test of English (PTE)
The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is accepted by 90 per cent of Canada’s universities and colleges. Normally available in over 50 countries
Test results are available for most people within 2 days.
Pearson is also offering its Versant test online during the coronavirus period so that international students can get their English assessed at home. Versant test results are available immediately after the test has been completed.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is accepted by over 400 Canadian universities and colleges including 100 per cent of universities.
Test dates are becoming more available for students in locations around the world in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL Special Home Edition iBT to international students in every country where it runs tests except for mainland China and Iran.
Results are available after 6-10 days.
There are other options available to international students. For instance, there are tests that are offered by individual institutions themselves.
Before registering for an English language test, make sure that the DLIs you are applying to accept the test. In addition, make sure to confirm that the DLIs will accept online tests that are currently being offered during the COVID-19 period.
IELTS General and CELPIP for Canadian immigration
Many international students go on to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit and then apply for Canadian permanent resident status. Before submitting your Canadian immigration application, you need to take another language test, and the two English tests accepted by IRCC are the IELTS General and the CELPIP.