Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently disclosed adjustments to the English exam criteria for applicants using the Study Direct Stream (SDS) programme, which is a significant move. The new regulation will go into force on August 10, 2023, and will remove the requirement that test-takers receive a minimum score of 6.0 in each of the test’s distinct bands.
What are the updated SDS application IELTS Academic band score requirements?
IELTS Academic requires a minimum overall band score of 6.0 as a prerequisite. Before, test-takers had to score at least 6.0 on the four individual skills (Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking). Instead, there are no specified minimum scores for individual skills; test takers must obtain a minimum overall band score of 6.0. This demonstrates a more comprehensive evaluation of a test taker’s capacity to exhibit their English proficiency while providing room for candidates who might excel in certain areas but require more assistance in others. Additionally, it offers an inclusive path for foreign students to achieve their academic goals in Canada.
How is the SDS academic band score for the IELTS determined?
A minimum IELTS score criterion must be attained to qualify for SDS. However, specific universities could require greater test scores for admittance. The beauty of IELTS is how adaptable it is to different demands. IELTS works in your favour, whether trying to get the minimum score needed for SDS or pushing for a higher score to get into the institution of your dreams.
What changes have been made to the updated SDS IELTS Academic band score requirements?
Before, candidates for SDS had to get an IELTS Academic score of at least 6.0 in each skill area. However, in light of current modifications, this is no longer necessary. This is a testament to the IRCC’s unwavering faith in IELTS Academic, which has grown in credibility over time.
Some of the scores that test-takers can currently obtain to be eligible for SDS applications are displayed in the table below:
Note: Before this announcement, they would have had to repeat the IELTS Academic test and obtain a band score of 6.0 in each skill.
Has the IELTS General Training band score criteria for SDS been modified by the IRCC?
IELTS General Training is intended for professional and immigration needs and is also recognised for SDS. The test still has a minimum score criterion set by IRCC. IELTS General Training exam takers must score at least 6.0 on every band to be eligible for the SDS study visa programme. A band score of 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening is now equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is it now simpler to study in Canada because of the changes made to the SDS requirements?
Yes, it is now simpler for people to study in Canada thanks to revisions to the IRCC’s English exam criteria for SDS. The minimum score needed to pass the IELTS exam is no longer 6.0 in each.
Q. Is a CLB 7 equivalent to an IELTS Academic overall band score of 6.0?
No, the CLB does not have equivalent scores for the IELTS Academic or other academic-focused language tests that have been recognised for SDS. Instead, they have minimum score requirements. However, with the current SDS revisions, a band score of 6.0 in each skill for the IELTS General Training is comparable to a CLB 7.
Q. Can I still utilise my total band score of 6.0 for the SDS permit if I took the IELTS Academic test before the modifications took effect on August 10th, 2023?
Yes, provided that your valid IELTS Academic exam result is not older than two years when IRCC receives your SDS application.