Canadian Exams 2024: Guide To Exams Required To Study In The Country

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In the heart of North America lies a nation often known as the land of opportunities that has consistently been among the most desirable destinations for international students. Canada’s appeal as a study centre must be allowed. The country is known for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse culture, and a great reputation for offering world-class education, continuously attracting international students.

In 2023, pursuing the Canadian exam has never been more attractive, providing lots of opportunities. However, the journey to academic excellence in Canada is a challenge. It has its part of challenges, too.

There are vast requirements of Canadian educational requirements and several tests like language proficiency tests and academic exams, which play an essential role in securing a college in Canada.

In this comprehensive blog, we will navigate you through the Canadian exams required to unlock the doors of Canada.

Why choose Canada?

Canada is a top choice for international students who wish to make the most of their educational career. It offers a combination of top-notch quality education and promising future opportunities. Canada’s education system is respected worldwide and committed to preparing you for the competitive job market. The universities and colleges in Canada are ranked among the best worldwide and provide a range of courses and programs.

The country is a research and innovation hub that offers ample opportunities to contribute to technological advancements. Apart from this, students of different cultures are warmly embraced and exposed to multicultural skills greatly valued globally.

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Canadian Exams 2024: Guide To Exams Required To Study In The Country

The country has a strong market, and you can expect a high salary, which ultimately increases the standard of living. With the post-graduation work permit (PGWP) option available in Canada, you can also work while pursuing their PG courses, providing a way to achieve valuable international work experience.

Additionally, with its beautiful landscapes, the country offers more than just education. With several beautiful national parks, mountains and beaches, you can make your educational experience unforgettable. Canadian society is welcoming and inclusive, making it one of the safest countries and ensuring a safe environment for your career and personal development.

Canadian Exams required for admission

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Canadian Exams 2024: Guide To Exams Required To Study In The Country

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Many international students dream of Studying in Canada due to the high-class universities, diverse environment and abundant career prospects. You must appear for standardised Canadian exams to get admission into a Canadian college. You should know a few tests if you intend to study in Canada.

The Canadian exams required for admission are divided into language proficiency and academic tests. The language proficiency tests are necessary to determine your English proficiency, whereas the academic tests evaluate your knowledge in various areas.

English Language Proficiency test

The English language proficiency test in Canada constitutes an essential component of Canadian exams if you wish to study there. English proficiency is crucial as it is one of the country’s official languages. The Canadian authorities recognise a few of the standardised English language tests. Let’s understand them

1. IELTS: It stands for International English Language Testing System, a globally recognised test to assess your English language skills.

The top study-abroad destinations like Canada, the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand accept the test score.

  • This test comprised four sections, namely Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, with a score scale of 0-9 for each section.
  • A score of 6.5 is generally accepted, whereas, for Canadian universities, a score of 6 per section is essential.
  • IELTS is further distinguished as a) IELTS Academics and b) General training. Both exams’ listening and speaking sections are the same, whereas the reading and writing sections differ.
  • The duration for the exam is 2 hours 45 minutes, and the exam is conducted in both online and offline mode.

The number of questions asked in the exam is 82 with an oral interview, and the fees to apply for IELTS is around INR 16,250-16,500

2. PTE: The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is another English language proficiency test accepted by Canadian universities that assesses your language skills, specially designed for non-native English speakers. However, you must verify the exam status for the university you are applying to.

  • PTE is a computer-based test that uses your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
  • It is divided into 3 parts: Part 1- Speaking and Writing, Part 2- Reading and Part 3- Listening.
  • The average PTE score required for admissions is 60 overall, with a minimum of 60 in each section.
  • The examination fees for the test cost around INR 15,900.

3. TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a widely accepted English language proficiency test accepted by Canadian universities for academic admission.

  • This test assesses your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
  • The exam lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes, with total questions between 64-85.
  • The candidates are scored between 0-120, scoring each section between 0-30.
  • Tier-1 universities accept a score of 110 and above, and a score of 80-90 and above is taken by some Tier-1 and Tier-2 universities.
  • The examination fee to apply for the test is around INR 15,815.

The TOEFL exam is based on two formats:

●      TOEFL iBT test (online) – It is a computer-based test score on a scale of 0-120. The total exam duration is 2 hours 30 minutes. Canadian universities accept a score of 90-100 in TOEFL iBT.

●      Paper-based test (offline) – The paper-based Test comprises three sections: listening, reading, and writing, which are given in a test centre, whereas the speaking section is taken at home.

Academic Test

Academic tests or standardised tests for graduate programs are assessments that are essential to be taken if you wish to apply for advanced degrees like master’s or doctorate. These tests measure your abilities and readiness for the PG programs. However, before appearing for a particular assessment, you must check the program requirements you want to apply for.

Some of these very common academic tests are:

1. GMAT: The Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT, is designed for applicants pursuing business and management programs. This test tests your quants, reasoning, analytical writing and verbal skills. This test is necessary if you seek admission to MBA and business-related courses.

GMAT is a computer-based test that lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes. Each section comprises four sections, and one of the best features of the GMAT is that it allows you to switch between the different sections as per your preference.

Each section has a different time duration, score range and number of questions asked, which are as follows:

  • Verbal Reasoning section: This section consists of 36 questions and has to be attempted in 65 minutes. The section has a score band of 6-51.
  • Quantitative Reasoning section: The section has 31 questions to be completed in 62 minutes, and the score band for this section is 6-51.
  • Analytical Writing: With just 1 question and a sectional timing of 30 minutes, the section’s performance is evaluated on the score band of 0-6.
  • Integrating Assessment: 12 questions need to appear in a sectional timing of 30 minutes, and performance in this section is evaluated on the score band of 1-8.

You must score around 600-650 on the GMAT to secure admission to a good medical university. An average score of 550+ will help you land a good college in Canada.

2. GRE: Graduate Record Examination or GRE is widely recognised by Canadian universities to apply for admission in the various graduate programs, including in subjects such as science, humanities and social sciences. This test also values your verbal, reasoning, quantitative, and writing skills.

  • This is also a computer-based and unique test as its syllabus is not associated with any particular subject of study area.
  • This test consists of 3 sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing.
  • There are two types of GRE tests: General and Subject.
  • There is no GRE paper-based test in India.

3. MCAT: MCAT stands for Medical College Admission Test, a must if you are pursuing medical degrees and MD programs from Canada. This test checks for your knowledge of natural sciences, behavioural sciences and critical analysis.

  • This computer-based test consists of 4 sections and requires approximately 7.5 hours, including the breaks.
  • Each section is scored on a scale of 118-132; the total MCAT score is calculated as the sum of scores in each section.
  • To get admission to a good medical college in Canada, a score ranging from 500-508 is considered good.

4. LSAT: If you seek a law degree in Canada, you must appear for the LSAT or Law school Admission test. The test evaluates your logical reasoning, critical reading and analytical thinking skills.

  • The LSAT exam is a 2-hour and 20-minute paper-based test with 125 multiple-choice questions and one writing sample to evaluate your analytical writing skills.
  • This test has several sections, including Logical Reasoning, Analytical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and an unscored writing sample.
  • LSAT score is scored on a scale of 120-180 with a median score of 150.

5. SAT: The Scholastic Assessment Test or SAT is less preferred by Canadian universities than the USA. However, some universities in Canada consider SAT scores valid for the admission process. This year assesses your ability for UG programs and measures math, evidence-based writing and reading skills.

Top universities to study in Canada and their requirements

Canada has established itself as the best destination for higher education because of the presence of world-class universities and academic offerings fulfilling the needs of every possible individual. Whether you want to pursue a graduate degree or a postgraduate degree. Canadian universities serve the academic passions of everyone. However, each university has predefined requirements to fulfil before securing a seat there. Hence, checking the specific needs of the university you want to apply to becomes essential.

While the specific requirement of each university differs, here are some of the basic requirements that you must consider before applying to your dream college:

  • Academic documents: Each university would ask for your high school or previous academic documents and certificates. So, make sure you have all the required authentic documents.
  • Standardised tests: Almost all universities require academic scores such as the SAT, GMAT or GRE from international students applying for graduate and postgraduate programs.
  • English proficiency test: If English is not your first language, you must appear for English proficiency. Let’s kike IELTS or TOEFL to prove your proficiency in the language.
  • Recommendation letters: A letter of recommendation from your school professors or professionals is necessary to apply for graduate programs in Canada.
  • Statement of Purpose: Some universities even ask for a personal statement. You must specify your motivation, goals, and what makes you a strong applicant for the course.

Top Universities to study in Canada

As we have understood some of the basic requirements that universities must meet, it’s time to delve into some of the top-class universities in Canada and the specific requirements of each of these:

University of Toronto

Based in the vibrant city of Toronto, the University of Toronto ranks among the best universities in Canada. It is well known for exceptional research and academic courses or offers. Apart from the city’s beautiful landscapes and rich culture, it is one of the top choices for international students. However, getting admission to this college is highly competitive.

  • Applicants are evaluated for admission to undergraduate programs based on their high school and SAT or ACT scores.
  • Whereas for graduate programs, admission requirements of academic test scores vary as per the applied program. Students must also be required to have strong academic references.
  • You must also prove your English language expertise through tests such as IELTS or TOEFL.

University of British Columbia

One of Canada’s most prestigious and prominent universities, the University of British Columbia is well-known for its rigorous academic standards. It is situated on the beautiful west coast of the city of Vancouver. With its commitment to research, innovation and sustainability, the university allows you to explore the various fields of study.

  • You must submit your high school grades and standardised test scores to secure admission to undergraduate courses.
  • Graduate program requirements differ as per the applied program. However, the basic requirements are a bachelor’s degree, a letter of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.
  • Apart from this, an English proficiency test score is a must.

University of Alberta

The University of Alberta is renowned for its vibrant campus life and academic excellence. Situated in Edmonton, Alberta, the institution offers a range of courses and consistently ranks among the top institutions globally. This institution offers diverse academic programs, research facilities and a supportive learning environment.

  • Undergraduate applicants are assessed based on their grades and standardised test scores.
  • The evaluation process for you varies per the program, with the basic requirements of a bachelor’s degree and a letter of recommendation.
  • Additionally, TOEFL or IELTS scores are required to prove English language proficiency.

McGill University

McGill University is among Canada’s most prestigious institutions. Situated in Montreal, Canada, the institution is known for its robust academic programs and rich culture. It is one of Canada’s oldest and most esteemed universities and has maintained its top position. Fulfilling its requirements can open doors to one of the prominent colleges for you.

  • Undergraduate applicants must submit their academic documents, certifications, and standardised test scores.
  • Graduate applicant assessment differs as per the applied program. However, each must have a bachelor’s degree, a letter of recommendation and a statement of purpose.
  • Along with this, valid scores in IELTS or TOEFL are also required.

Future Opportunities in Canada

Canada offers you many opportunities if you plan to appear for Canadian exams to secure admission to top universities. The country promises a great future for international and domestic students and is home to some of the best universities, which consistently rank among the top universities worldwide. One can experience highquality education, which equips you with valuable knowledge and skills highly sought after by employees globally.

Canada has a strong and stable economy with a high demand for trained professionals across various sectors, including technology, healthcare and finance. The beautiful landscapes and diverse culture here broaden your horizons and prepare you to face the incompetent world. Along with these, the safe environment, amazing landscapes and great public services contribute to the high quality of life.

The universities here primarily look at international perspectives within the students, preparing them for a globalised world. A combination of academic excellence, practical experience and the opportunity to work and live in a culturally diverse environment makes Canada an attractive location for a prosperous future. In conclusion, your prospects for higher studies are great and promising.

Comparison between India and Canada

As a developing country, India is no less than other countries worldwide. But a few sectors still require keen attention to reach the standard. Hence, regarding higher education, Canada is a potential destination for students. Both countries offer unique advantages and opportunities but differ in many aspects. 

Let us look into a detailed comparison that makes you choose Canada over India as your preferred education destination:

Quality education

The education quality of Canadian universities is of top-notch quality. Some of the best universities worldwide are known for their academic excellence, like the University of Toronto and British Columbia in Canada. The education system greatly emphasises research and innovation, exposing you to technological advancements. Canadian universities hire professors who are experts in their disciplines and students with valuable insights and great mentorship.

Some Indian universities, like the IITs and IIMs, are globally recognised and are well-known for their academic rigour. Many Indian institutions face challenges such as overcrowded classrooms and outdated teaching methods that ultimately affect the quality of education.

Research Opportunities

Canada is a global leader in various technology, research and innovation fields. The Government of Canada funds research programs and motivates institutions leading to cutting-edge technology. The features and Undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in research projects, providing them with practical experience, which allows students to work with experts along with their curriculum studies.

India is also involved in research and development projects. However, the country has a different infrastructure, funding and access to updated technology equipment than Canada.

Quality of Life

Canada offers a great and high quality of life to the individuals there. The cities in Canada are safe with the best public services and access to beautiful views and natural environment. The healthcare system ensures access to quality medical care, and a strong education system ensures opportunities for personal growth. With a blend of urban amenities and natural beauty, Canada is an attractive destination for everyone seeking an elevated life quality.

India provides a unique blend of modern amenities and roaring cultural experiences. The cost of living is generally lower than in Canada. However, the standard of living differs from region to region.

Wrapping Up

The path to study in Canada has many opportunities and academic excellence. This blog explores the Canadian exams students must apply for to pursue their dreams. Your preparation, determination and hard work are the factors that pave the way to success.

From English proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL, which assess communication skills, to academic tests such as SAT and ACT, which determine your readiness for university courses, each exam acts as a stepping stone towards a brighter future.

In addition, the GRE and GMAT exams are essential if you want to join graduate programs and business schools in Canada, showcasing your readiness for higher studies and leadership roles in the business world.

These Canadian exams act as opportunities to unlock the doors to world-class education, research opportunities and career prospects in one of the best inclusive countries globally.

So, all you need to do is embrace the challenges, set higher goals and invest in education. Studying in Canada promises academic growth and personal and cultural enrichment that will help shape the future. You can turn their dreams into reality with a perfect mindset, unwavering dedication and robust study plan. The opportunities are boundless, and the great country welcomes you with open arms.

Also Read: Best Place To Live In Canada For Indian Immigrants: Top Cities in 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. How to go to study in Canada?

    A. There are a few requirements that you have to fulfil to apply for a study visa in Canada. Here is a brief of all the required documents. To secure admission, you should have a valid passport and a university acceptance letter. Proof of funds to pay for your studies, personal statement and financial records of the last four months, payment receipt of student fees and letter of motivation to study in Canada.

  • Q. Which exam one has to appear for before going to Canada?

    A. To immigrate to Canada, one has to take IELTS- General Training. IELTS is an English language proficiency test that tests English language expertise. IELTS General training provides a score for language ability and overall band score. For Canadian Immigrants, only a language ability score is essential.

  • Q. Which intake is best for Canada?

    A. Fall/ September month is the most popular intake for international students wanting to study in Canada. More course options are available during this time, and the acceptance rate is also high. The fall intake in September is the primary intake, and most universities and institutions even offer scholarship opportunities to immigrants.

  • Q. Can one go to Canada without IELTS?

    A. The answer is yes; one can study in Canada without appearing for IELTS. There are a lot of other alternatives available if you do not have an IELTS score. The test is not compulsory, but you must have completed your high school education and have valid documents. But if you want to apply for a PR (Permanent Residency), IELTS becomes compulsory.

  • Q. Is it easy to get PR in Canada?

    A. Some of the provinces in Canada provide PR efficiently to immigrants. Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are some areas where you can quickly get a PR. These provinces work hard to make the process of immigration smooth and streamlined, making the cities welcoming for immigrants.

  • Q.  Is Canada a good option for Indian students in 2023?

    A. The prospects for Indian students are higher in Canada. As per the recently published report, The Global Vision Immigration Report, Canada is expected to welcome approximately 53,000 international students in 2023, representing that more students will get accepted and can pursue their dreams.

  • Q. What is the success rate for the Canadian study visa as of 2023?

    A. As per the discussion of recent studies, the acceptance rates of study permits in Canada have received around 60% in the January-June period, which is 3% higher than the previous year’s data for the same period. In 2022, the acceptance rate for study visas was only 57% from January to June.

  • Q. Is studying in Canada costly for Indian students?

    A. The cost of study depends on the program you are applying for and the institute you want to pursue your education with. On average, one would need approximately INR 25,00,000 to 30,00,00 a year. The approximate expense for Indian students wishing to study in Canada will be around INR 3,60,000 to 19,00,000 per year. However, the exact amount will depend on the course you are applying for.

  • Q. How are exams in Canadian universities taken?

    A. Canadian Universities and institutions evaluate your academic success through several methods. Some classes assess your performance by grades scored in the multiple choice questions-based tests; in some classes, you must write essays and writers. Some courses assess your performance by assigning percentages or grades on attendance and student participation.

  • Q. How much percentage does one need to score in 12th grade to get admission in Canada?

    A. Every institution has different requirements, and the percentage required to study in Canada also differs based on the college and the university you are applying for. Generally, the motto applies in most universities: a candidate should have at least 60% to 70% aggregate marks in the 12 grade or equivalent.

  • Q. What is the CAT exam for Canada?

    A. The CAT, or the Canadian Achievements Test, is a program that helps students prepare for the school admission test across various colleges. It conducts sessions and teaches students the strategies by making them aware of the different subject tests like reading, maths, language, writing, vocabulary development and spelling.

  • Q. Does Canada need IELTS for a job?

    A. IELTS, or the English proficiency test, is mandatory for everyone if they wish to apply for a Canada PR visa. The IELTS score scored by you will help create a good influence on your CRE score in Express Entry. Hence, it becomes necessary to appear for IELTS to get a Canada Work Visa; with one, you will be able to get one.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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