Can you Study in Canada Without Taking the IELTS?

Published on: May 21st, 2019
Last updated: April 12th, 2022

Most colleges and universities require international students to show they are comfortable working in English or French, but there are some exceptions. Hopeful international students should familiarize themselves with the language requirements before applying to study in Canada.

Find out if you're eligible to study in Canada

Requirements set by schools

In Canada, post-secondary schools set their own requirements for the language proficiency of international students. Some schools have very strict requirements for English proficiency and other schools have very relaxed requirements for English proficiency.

If you are planning to study in Canada, you should research the requirements for the colleges and universities where you want to study. Some schools, like Concordia University and Memorial University, have very low IELTS requirements for some programs, allowing students to complete some English courses after they start at the school.

Exemptions for English speakers

In certain cases, international students are exempt from needing a test to prove their English proficiency. If you can prove that you come from an English-speaking country or that you’ve already completed study in English, then you might be exempt from the IELTS requirement.

Again, exemptions are determined by each school, so make sure you check the requirements of the schools where you want to apply!

Usually exemptions fall under one of these two categories:

English dominant countries: If you come from a country where the dominant language is English, then chances are you will be exempt from needing to take the IELTS. However, you will likely be asked to submit copies of your grades from English class in high school (also known as secondary school).

Previous education in English or French: If you have previously completed education in English at the post-secondary level, then you may be exempt from needing a language test. Many schools offer an IELTS-exemption to those who have already shown they can study in English.

Accepted tests

Most schools in Canada will accept the IELTS exam in order to prove English proficiency. However, it is important to note that schools usually only accept the Academic IELTS exam. There is another type of IELTS, known as the General IELTS exam, but this is usually not accepted by academic institutions.

In addition to the IELTS exam, many Canadian schools also accept test results from both the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) assessment.

 

Interested in studying in Canada? Complete our free assessment for international students! We’ll take a look at your eligibility for Canadian studies and contact you to discuss your options.

Student Assessment

Recent articles

Immigration Tips

What is the CELPIP Test for Canadian Immigration?

CELPIP stands for the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program and is an English test that allows test takers to demonstrate their ability to function […]

Canada Permanent Residence

How Soon Should You Move to Canada After Your PR is Approved?

If your overseas Express Entry permanent residence (PR) application has been approved, you will eventually need to move to Canada. Many new confirmed PRs choose […]

Canada Work Permit

Top In-Demand Jobs in Canada for 2022

The job vacancy rate in Canada was at an all-time high at the end of 2021. While various jobs are in-demand across Canada, several have […]

Canada Permanent Residence

How Does Canada Verify Work Experience for Immigration?

When applying for Canadian permanent residence, immigration officers may use several methods to verify your work experience history.

Study-2-Immigrate

5 Ways to Stay in Canada After Your PGWP Expires

With FHS Express Entry draws paused indefinitely, many international graduates feel limited in their options to remain in Canada after their PGWP expires.

Study Permit

Do I Need a Permit to Study Online in Canada?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education across the globe; with online learning becoming the new norm, there has been some confusion surrounding whether a permit is required to study online in Canada.

Inadmissibility

Crimes That Will Make You Inadmissible to Canada

If you have a criminal record and are planning to come to Canada, it is important to understand the types of crimes that will make […]

Canada Permanent Residence

Top Four Best Provinces in Canada for New Immigrants

A question we are often asked is, “What is the best province in Canada for immigrants?” With Canada being the second-largest country in the world, […]

Study Permit

Can a Study Permit be Changed to a Work Permit in Canada?

Looking to change from a study permit to a work permit? The process will depend on where you are at in your program.

Canada Permanent Residence

Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR to PR) Pathway (closed)

As of May 6, 2021, essential workers and international graduates currently working in Canada can apply for Canadian permanent residency under favourable new Immigration programs.

Canada Work Permit

Canada Launches New Open Work Permit for Hong Kong Residents

Starting February 8th 2021, eligible Hong Kong residents can apply for a 3 year Canadian open work permit, designed to give highly educated Hong Kong residents the opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience.

Canada Permanent Residence

Landing in Canada During COVID-19

In order to finish your application process for Canadian permanent residency, you need to land in Canada. As of June 21, 2021, applicants who have […]

Canada Permanent Residence

How to Immigrate to Canada From Nigeria

Nigerian immigration to Canada has become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, Nigeria is one of the main source countries of Canada’s immigrant population; […]

Canada Permanent Residence

How to Immigrate to Canada From Lebanon

The Lebanese population in Canada is one of the fastest growing demographics. In 2001, there were nearly 144,000 Lebanese in Canada. According to the 2016 […]

Canada Permanent Residence

Best Ways to Immigrate to Canada From India in 2022

There are many options to immigrate to Canada from India. In fact, Indian nationals have the highest success rate when applying for Canadian immigration compared […]

Work in Canada

The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Job in Canada in 2022

Many foreign nationals look to Canada as a land of opportunity, hoping to secure a comfortable life for themselves and their families. One of the […]

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP): How to find a job offer

Canada’s Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) has been growing in strides since its introduction in 2017, and has quickly become a promising option for those interested […]

International Students

PNP Immigration Options for International Students in 2022

If you want to come study in Canada as an international student, you might be wondering which province you should study in. Are there benefits to […]

Study Permit

5 Steps to Getting your Canadian Study Permit

Canada is becoming an increasingly popular destination for international students coming from all over the world. Before you can come to study in Canada, there are a few […]

Living in Canada

Best Places to Relocate in Canada From the US

Considering making the move across the border from the U.S. to Canada? You’re not alone. In 2019, more than 10,000 U.S. residents made the move […]

International Students

Studying in Canada vs the USA: Six Big Reasons to Choose Canada

Speedy processing times for study permits, top-quality educational institutions, and an open and welcoming society are just some of the factors that influence international students […]

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

How to Get a Canadian Provincial Nomination Certificate

Provincial nomination certificates have become an increasingly popular way to immigrate to Canada. There are dozens of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), each with its own […]

International Students | Study Permit

5 Reasons Canadian Study Permit Applications Get Refused

Studying in Canada is a dream come true for many international students. When you receive a letter of acceptance from a Canadian school, it might […]

Immigration Tips

How to Write a Reference Letter for Canadian Immigration

To be eligible for most Canadian economic immigration programs, you need to have some work experience. For many streams, that work experience needs to be […]

International Students

How to Bring Your Family With You While Studying in Canada

There are a lot of great benefits to being an international student in Canada, including the ability to bring family with you while you study.  […]

Work in Canada

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Tech Worker

Canada’s tech sector is booming and needs labour to sustain its growth; for this reason, the Canadian government offers ample immigration options for tech workers […]

Canada Permanent Residence

Immigrating to Canada as a Single Parent

If you are planning to immigrate to Canada as a single parent, there are few things you should know before you start the process.

Uncategorized

Immigrating to Canada as a Recent Graduate

Canada’s low employment rate, high quality of life, and boundless opportunities make it a great country for new graduates. If you’ve just completed a foreign […]

Immigration Tips

What is an AOR in Canadian Immigration?

An Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) is an official document that confirms that Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has received your application. IRCC issues an AOR […]

Free assessment

Discover your Canadian immigration options. Get your free assessment now!