exam for study in Canada

Which Exams Are Required to Study in Canada in English

Study in Canada can open doors to excellent academic opportunities and a globally recognized education. However, before embarking on your educational journey, it is important to understand the exams you need to take for admission to Canadian universities.

This comprehensive guide will provide insights into the English language proficiency exams, academic entrance exams, and other required tests for studying in Canada in English.

English Language Proficiency Exams

To demonstrate your proficiency in English, Canadian universities often require international students to take standardized language tests. The most common exams are:


IELTS is widely accepted by Canadian universities and measures your English language skills across four components: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. It uses a band scale to assess your proficiency, and each university sets its own minimum score requirement. Prepare for the IELTS by practicing sample tests and using study materials available on the official IELTS website.


The PTE exam is another widely recognized English proficiency test accepted by Canadian universities. It assesses your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills through various tasks, such as multiple-choice questions, essays, and oral response recordings. The PTE exam is known for its use of artificial intelligence and automated scoring, providing quick and reliable results.


TOEFL is another popular English language proficiency test accepted by Canadian universities. It assesses your proficiency in English across four sections, namely Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Similar to IELTS, each institution sets its own score requirements. Utilize the official TOEFL website to access study resources, including sample tests and practice materials.


CELPIP is specifically designed for Canadian immigration and citizenship purposes, but some universities in Canada accept it for admissions as well. It assesses your proficiency in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The CELPIP website offers practice tests and study materials to help you prepare effectively.

Academic Entrance Exams

In addition to language proficiency exams, some Canadian universities may require academic entrance exams. The two common tests are:


The SAT is an entrance exam widely recognized in North America. It assesses your readiness for undergraduate programs by evaluating your skills in Reading, Writing and Language, Math, and an optional essay. Check with individual universities to determine if they require the SAT and the minimum scores they expect. The College Board website provides valuable study resources and practice tests to excel in the SAT.


Similar to the SAT, the ACT is an alternative entrance exam accepted by Canadian universities. It measures your proficiency in English, Math, Reading, and Science, with an optional Writing section. Some institutions may prefer the ACT over the SAT, so ensure you research the requirements of your chosen universities. The ACT website offers comprehensive study guides and practice tests for your preparation.

Other Required Exams

Apart from language proficiency and academic entrance exams, certain graduate programs or business schools in Canada may require additional tests:


The GRE is a standardized test commonly required for admission to graduate programs. It evaluates your abilities in Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Research the specific requirements of your desired program and utilize the official GRE website for study materials and practice tests.


If you are applying for an MBA or other business-related programs, Canadian universities may require the GMAT. This examination assesses your proficiencies in Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The official GMAT website provides resources, including study guides and practice questions, to help you prepare effectively.

Final Thought

Preparing for the exams required to study in Canada in English is a crucial step towards securing admission to your desired university. Make sure to check the specific requirements of each institution, allocate sufficient time for preparation, and utilize the official resources and practice materials available for each exam. By acing these exams, you enhance your chances of fulfilling your academic aspirations in Canada. At ESPI Consultants, we have an experienced team of Canada study visa consultants that will help you in your study visa process.

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