Alternative International English Tests for Canada

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To enter university in an English speaking country, you will need to prove your skills with an international English test. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most popular language tickets in Canada, but what about potential students who cannot provide IELTS results?

Even if you are from an English speaking country, most universities require the results of an international English test which proves that you are speaking fluent enough to adapt to your course, as well as to life in Canada. The first step is to check the language requirements of the college or university you wish to apply to and see if your native language proficiency is accepted.

If you do not have an exemption and cannot pass IELTS, there are other international English tests for foreign nationals wishing to be admitted to Canadian universities. Here’s a quick overview of your options.

To study at a Canadian university, you must prove that you are proficient in one of the two national languages: English or French. Source: Fred Tanneau / AFP

Experience teaching in English

Being from an English-dominated country may not be sufficient for undergraduate admission, but this is more likely for postgraduate students who have also been educated in English. According to the Canadian Immigration Law Firm, many schools offer an IELTS exemption to those who have already shown that they can study in English. If you have completed your four years of high school in English, you may also be able to make your case.

Alternative international English tests

Did you know that the Duolingo English test (DET) is accepted as international English test in many countries ? Canada is one of them. You can take the DET online at home, as long as you have a reliable internet connection, a computer, a front camera, a microphone, a speaker and a browser taken in charge. The test takes less than an hour and you will receive the results within 48 hours.

Other international English tests accepted by some Canadian institutions include English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Canadian Academic English (CAEL). Other universities may offer their own test, such as the Intensive English Program (IELP). Ask your university which one is right for you.


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