Planning on living in Canada? Find out what you need to know about IELTS


Moving to Canada as an immigrant or student


IELTS General Training is on the list of English Language tests approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Canada (IRCC). It assesses your English language proficiency across four skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.


In addition, IELTS Academic is widely accepted by colleges, universities and several Designated Learning Institutes (DLI) across Canada.


What IELTS should I take?


You can take IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic on paper or on computer. Both options take place in official IELTS centres, located in more than 140 countries around the world.


IELTS General Training is suitable for those applying for skilled worker pathways such as Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program, and some studies below degree level. IRCC accepts both IELTS on paper and computer.


IELTS Academic is suitable for those wanting to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level in an English-speaking environment or a DLI (college, university, polytechnic). You can also take IELTS Academic for professional registration purposes.


In fact, IELTS is the only English language test that’s accredited by IRCC under Student Direct Stream (SDS). You can read more about both tests here.


Always be sure to visit the relevant government and university and other DLIs websites to confirm which test is required and other entry requirements.


IELTS is comprised of four different sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You receive a score for each section, and an overall band score. All of these scores are equally important. Each section of the test is designed to see how you will cope in everyday situations. Whether you choose to take an IELTS Academic test for study reasons, or an IELTS General Training test to allow you to live and work in Canada, the score is attributed in the same way.


What’s the best way to prepare?


It’s important you prepare for IELTS before you take it.

By practicing for your test and getting to know your score for each section, you’ll have confidence in your English language to help you adapt to your new environment. The band score isn’t just a number, the higher the number, the more easily you’ll be able to keep up with everyday life. Practice really does make perfect.


IELTS was created to indicate the level of a person’s understanding of the English language however, it’s become much more than that. It brings with it the confidence to hold conversations, helping you transition into your new life abroad.


You can and should be proud of your IELTS score. It is a trusted demonstration of your ability to communicate in English.

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