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Canada Exams 2023: Guide To Exams Required To Study In The Country

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Canada is known for its high-quality education and research opportunities from elementary to post-graduation studies. Whether private or public university, Canada prioritises education over all other sectors.

 As per U.S. News Best Countries Rankings 2022, Canada is currently the best country to study for quality of life. This consistent top ranking is attributed to its affordable cost of studying and high-quality education blended with a mix of social and cultural diversity. Resultantly, the benefits of pursuing higher education in Canada are enormous. 

However, students wanting to reap the benefits of studying in a Canadian university must stay informed about the standardised Canada exams. These tests hold substantial importance and decide whether one is eligible to study at a chosen university.

Exams that make you Eligible for Canadian Universities 

Students planning to study in Canada must have all the information regarding the various exams that make them eligible to study in Canadian universities. Furthermore, these Canada exams depend highly on what study level a student wants to enrol in. 

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Canada Exams 2023: Guide To Exams Required To Study In The Country

Depending upon their type, Canada exams can be distinguished as language tests and academic tests. Various college and degree programs require different entrance examinations. The most popular admission tests include SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, and LSAT. Language tests are essential in proving one’s English language proficiency. On the other hand, academic tests determine a student’s knowledge of various areas. Below are the various exams that make a candidate eligible to study in Canada.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language is one of the important language proficiency exams students must take to enrol in Canadian universities. It measures the candidate’s ability to communicate in the English language. The test has four sections: reading, writingspeaking and listening

Candidates must apply to a test centre to take the test on a given date. Furthermore, the test duration is around 3 hours and 30 minutes. The candidates are scored between 0 and 120, with each section entailing a score of 0 to 30. 

The TOEFL exam pattern is in the table below:

Exam DurationSectionsModeTotal questionsFees (USD)
3 hours 30 minsReading, Listening, Speaking, WritingOnline and offline64-85190

The TOEFL exam comes in two versions – paper-based and computer-based. The latter only applies to areas where the internet connection is unsteady or unavailable. 

This Canada exam is conducted by ETS, which rolled out the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. This new exam version follows the same syllabus as the actual exam. Upon completing the test, candidates will receive their results within 6-10 days. Students should note that they will not be getting a hard copy of the test results for this test. Instead, the results will be available on their official website.

The TOEFL examination has two formats:

TOEFL iBT test (Online) – This is an internet-based TOEFL exam scored on a scale of 0 to 120. Each section consists of 30 marks. The test duration is 203. The acceptable TOEFL iBT score by Canadian universities ranges between 90 and 100.  

Paper-based test (PBT) (Offline)  â€“ The paper-based test is evaluated on a scale of 0 to 677. It comprises three sections, namely listening, speaking, and reading. The writing section is scored on a different scale of 0 to 6. Most Canadian universities seek a minimum score of 580 in the TOEFL PBT.

Also Read: TOEFL Exam Eligibility 


IELTS is another important exam required to study in Canada. The international English language testing system (IELTS) is an internationally recognized and owned direct English language assessment exam. IELTS is accepted in popular study destinations, including Australia, the U.K., the USA, New Zealand, and Canada. 

The exam measures the student’s ability to communicate in the four basic language areas – reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 

IELTS is also the most popular English language proficiency Canada exam conducted by IDP. As of 2018, the IELTS test reached a whopping 3.5 million. Most universities in Canada consider either the Academic or online version of IELTS.

DurationSectionsScoreMode of examNo. of questionsFees
2 hours 45 minsReading, writing, listening and speaking1-9Online and offline82 and oral interview245-255

Further, there are two types of IELTS exams, namely IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic, and students can complete the registration for the same through offline or online modes. The test lasts for around 2 hours and 45 minutes. Students can receive their test results 13 days after completing the test. In addition, the IELTS scorecard is valid for two years.

The IELTS results are scored within a range of 1.0 to 9.0. Depending on the course and the university, the score requirements vary. To get into renowned Canadian universities, one needs a minimum band score of at least 7.0. To obtain a Canadian visa, you must obtain a minimum score of 6.0.

Verbal Reasoning(Paper based)(Computer based)20253035
Quantitative(Paper based)(Computer based)20253540
Analytical Writing(Paper based)(Computer based)226030
Research(Paper based)(Computer based)1NAVaries/NA
Unscored(Paper based)(Computer based)1NAVaries/NA

Also Read: Types of IELTS Exam 


The Graduate Record Exam is one of the most prestigious Canadian exams. GRE is a standardised test considered by many colleges and universities in Canada. ETS, one of the world’s largest assessment programs, conducts the exam. Moreover, there are over 1000 test centres set up by ETS for conducting this exam, and more than half a million candidates register for GRE from across 160 countries.

The exam is computer-based and evaluates the key areas, including quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, analytical writing skills, and critical thinking. This exam is unique because its syllabus is not associated with any specific field of study. 

SectionsDurationNo. of questions
Verbal Reasoning(Paper based)
(Computer based)
Analytical Writing
(Paper based)(Computer based)
(Paper based)(Computer based)

In Canada, GRE is mainly required for admission to the Master’s level of study. While the exam may not be mandatory in all universities, some may even require a good score on this test too. This test helps colleges and universities in determining the ability of candidates for advanced education.The eligibility to appear for this exam is simple. The candidate must be a graduate or should be graduating within 6 months of taking the GRE.


GMAT is the most preferred entrance exam for study in Canada for management programs. The Graduate Management Admissions Test is commonly referred to as the GMAT exam. It is a standardised test in Canadian universities for MBA aspirants that evaluates students’ potential in the business and management fields. Initially, the test was prepared for only U.S. universities offering management and business courses.

However, with time, over 1700 universities and colleges around the world have adopted the GMAT exam as a core criterion in admitting international students. The GMAT exam is a computer-based test that assesses the candidates’ knowledge of quantitative aptitude, verbal aptitude, analytical writing, and reading skills.

 The exam duration is 3 hours 30 minutes, including breaks and test instructions. One of the interesting features of the GMAT is that it allows students to choose the section order in which they prefer taking the exam. 

SectionDuration (in mins)ScoreNo. of Questions
Verbal Reasoning656-5136
Quantitative Reasoning62 6-5131
Analytical Writing300-61
Integrating Assessment301-812

Also Read: Top GMAT Scholarship for Indian Students

Applicants need to score well on these exams to get admission into a top Canadian university. 


LSAT is a three-and-a-half-hour paper and pencil exam required for admission to most law schools in Canada. The test, which has about 125 multiple-choice questions and includes a writing sample, is meant to evaluate the analytical thinking, data management, and critical reading abilities necessary for success in the first year of law school.

The LSAT is the most significant admissions test, influencing up to 50% of applicants applying to the most selective universities. Every year, over 110,000 students take the LSAT. Your LSAT score is good for five years.

ModeDurationTotal MarksQuestion TypesSectionsMedium
Online2 hrs 20 mins120-180Objective or MCQ4English

Eligibility to Study Master’s in Canada

There needs to be more than just knowing the Canada exams to get admission into a top Canadian university. Prospective students must also know about the eligibility for studying for a master’s degree in Canada. 

To fulfil the eligibility, candidates must:

  • Provide test scores of exams like GMAT or GRE depending upon the choice of program
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 in the related U.G. degree, equivalent to 65-70%.
  • Non-English speakers must provide the required language proficiency test results, such as IELTS, TOEFL, or other related exams.
  • A few master’s programs like business and management also require 1 to 3 years of work experience.

Students must also note that although most of the programs are in English, a few programs may also be taught in the French language. To study a program in French, the candidate must prove French proficiency by taking the TEF or DELF exam. 

Documents Required for Master’s in Canada

After students are done with their Canada exams and have met the required eligibility, they must submit these documents as a part of the application package:

  • A duly filled-in application form
  • Academic transcripts and certificates from all attended educational institutions
  • Resume
  • Letter of recommendation or reference letter
  • Statement of purpose
  • Scores of the standardised tests accepted by the university
  • Payment for the non-refundable application fee
  • Passport copy
  • Proof of funding or scholarships, if any

Costs of Studying Master’s in Canada

Before deciding to study abroad, students must make a cost estimate. The total cost of studying Master’s in Canada will include one-time pre-arrival costs, tuition fees, and living costs.

The pre-arrival cost generally includes admission application fees, standardised exam registration fees, visa expenses, etc. The table below will give individuals an in-depth idea about the various pre-arrival costs related to studying in Canada.

ExpenseCost (in CAD)
Application FeeVaries according to the university
Airfare Varies as per students
Student visa150 + 85 (application for study permit + biometric fee)

As far as the tuition fee is concerned, Canadian universities provide high-quality education at a low tuition fee. For instance, studying for an MBA program in Canada may cost around Rs. 11 lakhs to Rs. 59 lakhs, which again depends upon the type of university.

According to the latest report by Statistics Canada, the average tuition fee for international students in Canada is around CAD 17,744. This figure is comparatively lower as compared to its peers.

In addition, the cost of living in Canada is economical. The average accommodation cost in the country is around CAD 850 – 1000. Other expenses can be related to food, books, leisure activities, etc.

Refer to the table below to get an idea of how much a student spends monthly on personal expenses.

ExpenseMonthly cost (CAD)
Groceries & Food250-300
Supplies & books327

The above table shows the estimated monthly expenses of an average international Canadian student. However, these expenses may alter depending upon the spending habits of individuals.

Benefits of Studying in Canada

Canada has been welcoming international students from around the globe for decades. Here are some of the many benefits of studying at a Canadian university:

High quality of education

Canada is recognised worldwide for its world-class education – from elementary school to post-secondary education. University professors are highly trained and cultivate diverse perspectives in the class. Moreover, as many as 10 Canadian universities fall under the top 250 universities globally, as per THE World University Rankings.

Excellent quality of life

International students in Canada enjoy a high quality of life, added to a decent standard of living, and the utmost safety. As per the World University Rankings, Canada has four of the world’s 100 best student cities globally. 

Promising future

During the past decade, Canada has created as many as 1.6 million new jobs for its graduate students. Under the guidance of industry professionals, students get long-term exposure to face real-world situations and compete in this ever-challenging job environment. Moreover, one of the biggest reasons to consider Canada for higher studies is the country’s extended focus on research and development. The government of Canada offers ample opportunities for students in research disciplines like agriculture, telecommunications, medicine, science, etc.

Affordable cost of studying and living

Canada is known for some of the lowest university tuition fees among other English-speaking countries. With a diverse range of programs, students can always find something that fits their budget. 

Cultural diversity

The ‘warm and welcoming’ stereotype of Canada is indeed true. Canadians welcome international students from all ethnicities with diverse cultures and lifestyles. This multicultural environment provides a sense of friendliness and safety among international students. 

Scholarships Available for Master’s in Canada 

International students can apply for several scholarships after completing the Canada exams to make their stay more affordable in Canada. These scholarships may include funding from universities, the government, private organisations or agencies, and much more. 

Here are a few famous scholarships awarded to international students by top-rated Canadian universities.

Name of the scholarshipScholarship amount (in Canadian Dollars)Awarded to
Graduate Entrance Scholarship3,500Students pursuing Master’s in Taxation at the University of Waterloo
Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship5,000Full-time students pursuing a thesis-based Master’s program at the University of British Columbia
International Entrance AwardsUp to 20,000MBA students at McGill University
Ontario Graduate Scholarship10,000-30,000Offered to graduates enrolling in universities in Ontario
Master’s Entrance Scholarship17,500 + 10,000Offered in the form of a stipend to full-time graduate students at the University of Alberta
Graduate Scholarship1,000Master’s degree students at the University of Waterloo
JN Tata Endowment Scholarship1,650-16,500 (approx.)Indian students wanting to study abroad 

If you plan to pursue higher education in Canada, you must stay informed about these exams because they are the backbone upon which your enrolment will depend. You can prepare for these tests through various available resources according to your preference.

Preparing for these standardised Canada exams is one of the most important things you should consider before studying abroad. Moreover, this is the first stepping stone for your study abroad dream in a sublimely affordable country. However, it is also true that tuition fees in Canada have been on the rise for the past year. Given the rising costs, it may become a bit challenging to finance your Master’s program, which is where Leap Scholar comes to the rescue.

We have helped more than 3000 students to pursue their study abroad dream by providing education loans at the lowest interest rates. Our education loan requires no collateral and covers living and studying costs. So, pour your stress regarding studying overseas with us, and dream for a better future ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is GRE mandatory to get admission into Canadian universities?

    No, GRE is not mandatory to get admission into Canada. However, some universities may ask for this exam, and some may even demand a good score.

  • What are the other English language proficiency tests that Canadian universities accept other than IELTS and TOEFL?

    The following tests are widely acceptable in Canadian universities other than IELTS and TOEFL:Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) assessment
    Pearson Test of English (PTE) assessment – academic

  • What is the minimum amount that I need to have in my bank account to immigrate to Canada?

    Candidates need to show proof of funds amounting to CAD 10,000 for staying outside Quebec. On the other hand, students who stay inside Quebec must have CAD 11,000.

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Manisha Angre

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.

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