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Top six (6) Language Tests for Canada Study Visa

Explore the various language tests for Canada study visa and pick the most preferred.

Canada is no doubt a top most visited country in the world; the desire of prospective immigrants keeps increasing.

Certainly communication in Canadian official languages is inevitable for all categories of immigrants to the country (students, workers or visitors).

Basically the two official languages of Canada are English and French languages. These languages are used in almost all schools, workplaces and others so it’s important to communicate effectively in both languages.

This is because you will interact with both English and French dominated cities and municipalities while in Canada.

Fundamentally, Canada study visa likewise study permit are vital documents required before you can immigrate to Canada for studies.

These documents won’t be issued by IRCC until you have written and passed the language Tests for Canada Study visa. The language tests are also prerequisite to access your permanent resident visa in Canada.

Most importantly, understanding the difference between study permit and study visa will assist your preparation to study in Canada. So let take a look at the differences.

Study permit is a document that allows to study in Canada to study for certain duration, it is subjected to renewal. Study visa is a document with a sticker embedded in your passport that allows you to travel to Canada.

Moreover, this article will furnished you with details of the top six language tests for Canada study visa. Details like Canada study visa language requirements; language test required for Canada, Duolingo English test requirements etc.

Top 6 Language Tests for Canada Study Visa

So let’s take on the top six language tests that can easily grant you Canada study visa. They are:

  1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  3. Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
  4. Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL)
  5. Pearson Test of English (PTE)
  6. Duolingo English Test.

 International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

This is an English language based test taken by people with the intension to work or study in other country. The test is accepted by more than 11,000 relevant organizations like universities, employers of labor schools and immigration bodies globally.

On yearly basis, the number of taking IELTS increases, currently more than three million persons take this test yearly. Luckily, close to 500 universities and colleges in Canada accept IELTS but mostly final results are sent to them directly.

It is not expensive because with $245 to $250 you will write IELTS but check the cost for your country.

IELTS has about 1200 tests centres across 140 countries but if your country is not listed online option is available.

IELTS requirement for Canada student visa

Notably, you must meet the following requirements in your IELTS to secure the Canada study visa, so let move.

The IELTS has four bands which are IELTS speaking, reading, writing and written while Canada language Benchmark uses 12 scores.

Undergraduates: As at year 2021 minimum of 6 points in each band and overall of 6.5 points in all bands. The score vary from but universities like university of Toronto, of British Columbia, McGill and McMaster won’t accept 5.5 scores. Other universities in Canada may accept 5.5 score for each band and overall scores of 6 points

Post graduates: As at year 2021, applying for postgraduate courses in most Universities in Canada, you should meet these IELTS requirements:

Overall: Minimum of 6.5 IELTS

Each Band: No less than 6

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

This is an English proficiency test that is writing by non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities globally.  The test started in 1964; it currently has 4,500 test centers in over 190 countries and territories. Its accepted by more than 11,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 150 countries, it last for two years.

The cost of writing TOEFL is $180 and above, depending on country, on yearly basis 2.3 million people write TOEFL.

Interestingly, TOEFL has two formats through which the tests can be taken, the internet base test and paper based test

Minimum TOEFL score for Canada student visa

If you are applying for Canada study visa using the TOEFL language test, the minimum TOEFL score are:

  • 90 and above for internet based test (IBT)
  • 580 and above for paper based test (PBT)

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

This is a Canadian based English language proficiency test program; it is used basically to measures listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Paragon Testing Enterprises, is a subsidiary of the University of British Columbia (UBC).

It is the only Canadian company delivering Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) designated English proficiency tests.  It has about 33 test centers in Canada and United Arab Emirate.

The minimum CELPIP is 7, the cost of writing the test is $285 and above, it is fully computer based.

The CELPIP test is divided into two categories which are CELPIP-General, and CELPIP-General LS.

CELPIP-General: This category is meant for people who need proof of English-language skills when applying for permanent resident status in Canada. It is an express entry based test; recall that express entry has programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Also, those applying for Start-up Visa Program, and various Provincial Nominee Programs, or for employment can write this test.

The test is divided into four sections which are listening, reading, writing and speaking sections. They are mostly offered in seven components except for reading and writing also their durations differs, maximum of 60 minutes.

CELPIP-General LS: This category is meant for people who need proof of listening and speaking proficiency for Canadian citizenship. The CELPIP-General LS Test is accepted by IRCC as one of only two designated English language for Canadian citizenship.

The test in this category is divided into two sections which are listening and speaking, with 7 components each. The maximum duration for the test is 47 minutes and the minimum is 20 minutes.

Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL)

This is an English proficiency test is that you used to  test the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills of students intending to study in Canadian Universities and Colleges.

Interestingly, it is accepted in over 180 institutions across all the provinces in Canada and other international academic institutions. You can take the test online or visit the test centre close to your location. As at 2018 the cost of writing the test was CAD$268, so the price might have increased by now.

It is expected you score from 50 to 60 in each band in the test, anything less won’t be helpful.

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

This is an English proficiency based test that is meant for non native English speakers intending to study abroad. The test is computer based and it cut across four sections which are Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

The duration for the exam last for two hours maximum and the result is mostly ready within 48 hours. It is accepted by more than 3000 universities, colleges, agencies and others.

The test is not difficult provided you make use of the study pack, you can prepare for the test within a week. If you are well prepared you can score 79 and above because of ample materials and platforms available for preparation. The cost of writing PTE test is $170 plus additional 15% tax and other charges.

Duolingo English Test

This is an English Language proficiency test which is internet based, it available 24 hours on demand throughout the year. This test can be taken as many times as possible yearly but maximum of two times in a month.

Duolingo test is accepted by over 3000 institutions and results are delivered 48 hours after you have taken the test. The cost of writing it is $48 and the duration is an hour so it is cheaper and more accessible. The scores range from10 to 160. 120 scores in Duolingo is equivalent to grade 7 of IELTS.

Frequent Asked Questions

Is PTE valid for Canada study visa?

Yes, it is valid for study in almost all Canadian universities and College but not acceptable for permanent resident visa.

Is Duolingo Test Accepted for Canada PR or Study Permit?

Duolingo is not acceptable for PR but acceptable through student direct stream. Also, study permit doesn’t require language tests most times.

What English test required for Canada?

There are many English tests options accepted in Canada institutions but most candidates chooses IELTS because top Canadian universities.

What is the minimum TOEFL score for Canada student visa?

The minimum score for Internet base test (IBT) is 90 while for paper based test (PBT) is 580.


Undoubtedly, it will be easier for you to choose the best option amongst the top 5 language test for Canada study visa.

It will be highly appreciated if you find this guide useful and you share it for the benefits of others. You can also drop your feedback comment any time.

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