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This article is an overview of the English tests that are accepted by the majority of Canadian schools and universities.

Designated learning institutions, which are authorized by Canada’s government to welcome international students, assess applicants in different ways. They typically assess your previous education and academic and professional recommendations, among other aspects. 

One important aspect learning institutions assess is a student’s language ability.

International students from most countries are required to prove their language ability by taking an English proficiency test.

Unfortunately, it has been difficult for many international students to take these tests because of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. However, many test operators are offering online tests to help students meet their admission requirements.

English language tests accepted by Canadian schools and universities include the following:

CAEL

Accepted: The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test is accepted by all English-speaking universities and most of English-speaking colleges. 

Availability: CAEL, operated by Paragon Testing Enterprises, is expected to be available in India, the UAE, the Philippines, and Canada by early June, according to their website.

Test results: Results will be available in 8 business days.

Cambridge Assessment Test

Accepted: The Cambridge Assessment Test is accepted by over 200 Canadian schools.

Availability: Test centres around the world are reopening as local governments allow. Students are expected to contact their local test centres.

Test results: Results are available in 2-3 weeks for computer based tests, and 4-6 weeks for paper-based tests.

Duolingo English Test

Accepted: The Duolingo English Test is accepted by 140 institutions in Canada.

Availability: The test is administered online and is readily available.

Test Results: Test results are available in two days.

IELTS Academic

Accepted: The IELTS Academic is accepted by around 400 universities and colleges.

Availability: It is usually administered in more than 140 countries. However, it is currently available in 30 countries.

Test Results: Results are available in 13 days for paper-based tests, and 5-7 days for computer-based tests.

Under the Student Direct Stream (SDS), students from China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal and Vietnam are able to obtain their study permit in just 20 days as long as they achieve a score of at least 6.0 on each IELTS skill (speaking, listening, reading and writing). 

IELTS have also introduced an online alternative that can be taken from home. It was introduced so that students meet their admission requirements. This test is called the IELTS Indicator. 

Please note that the IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic are the only tests that are accepted for the purpose of the fast-track option for SDS applicants.

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

Accepted: The PTE is accepted by 90% of Canadian schools and universities.

Availability: It is usually available in over 50 countries. However, it is currently available in 10 countries, including India.

Test Results: Test results are available in 2 days.

It is worth noting that Pearson is currently offering its online Versant English test to allow students to take English tests even if they are not able to travel to testing centres. Results are available immediately afterwards.

TOEFL

Accepted: The TOEFL is accepted by more than 400 Canadian universities and colleges, including 100% of universities.

Availability: The TOEFL internet based test (iBT) is usually available in 150 countries, but operations are limited due to the coronavirus. 

Test Results: Results are available within 6 days.

The TOEFL iBT is now available online with the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. It is available to students in all countries where TOEFL operates except for mainland China and Iran. Results are available in 6-10 days.

Make sure to verify with DLIs

Each Canadian designated learning institution has its own policies on which English language tests they accept from international students. Hence, you should check with the DLIs that you wish to apply to before deciding upon which English language test to take.

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