A Guide to Minimum TOEFL Score for Canada Student Visa

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Feb 12,2024 11:26 AM IST

TOEFL is a standardized and widely accepted measure of English proficiency. Almost all Canadian universities accept TOEFL as a standardized English language assessment test making it an important part of the Canada student visa process. Read this blog to understand the TOEFL requirements for a student visa in Canada and get insights on TOEFL fees, minimum score requirements and more.

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Most Canadian universities and colleges conduct their courses in English and immigration officers want to ensure that students can succeed in their studies and integrate into Canadian life. Therefore, meeting the country’s English language requirements is important for students to secure a Canada student visa. 

While there are many English language assessment test available, TOEFL ranks first among the three most widely used English language proficiency tests and is known for being the quickest among other major assessment tests. Accepted by leading universities in Canada and worldwide TOEFL assists individuals seeking to pursue academic or professional opportunities in English-speaking environments like Canada. 

What is TOEFL? 

TOEFL, stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language, is a standardized test that measures the English proficiency of non-native speakers who want to apply for English-medium academic programs or professional settings in English speaking countries. 

There are two main versions of the TOEFL:

TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based Test)This is the most widely used version of the test and is taken online at designated test centres.
TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based Test)This older version of the test is still available in some limited locations, but it is being phased out in favour of the iBT.

Who takes the TOEFL?

• Students applying to universities or colleges where the primary language of instruction is English.
• Professionals seeking employment in English-speaking countries.
• Individuals applying for immigration visas or other purposes that require proof of English proficiency.

TOEFL exam pattern.webp

TOEFL Test and Service Fees 

Following are the TOEFL test and service fees for Indian students

ServiceFees (USD)
TOEFL Test$205
Late Registration$40
Additional score reports (as per institution or agency)$25
Speaking or Writing section score review $80
Speaking and Writing section score review$160
Returned payment $30

TOEFL Test Sections Overview 

The TOEFL test can be taken both online and on paper, while both formats of the tests check for a student’s language proficiency using the same scoring scale, the online and offline tests differ in many ways. 

Delivery MethodComputer with designated platformPen and paper at test centres
ConvenienceTake from home or test centres Travel to test centres required
Total TimeApproximately 2 hours 30 minutesApproximately 3 hours 30 minutes
Scoring and FeedbackResults within 4-8 daysResults within 11-13 days
AdvantagesMore convenient, quicker results, less number of questions asked Wider variety of text types in reading. 
DisadvantagesTechnical issues possible, speaking section at home might differLess flexible scheduling, travel required

Online Test section overview 

Here is a brief overview of the online TOEFL test sections. The online TOEFL test can take anywhere between two to two and a-half-hours to complete. 

SectionEstimated TimingQuestions/TaskDescription
Reading35 minutes20 questionsRead the passage and answer the given questions
Listening 36 minutes28 questionsAnswer the questions asked about lectures and discussions
Speaking 16 minutes4 tasksTalk about familiar topic and answer the questions asked
Writing29 minutes2 tasksRead/listen to a passage/recording and answer. State and support an opinion in an online discussion

On-paper Test section overview

Here is a brief overview of the TOEFL test sections taken on paper. The reading listening and writing sections are taken on-site whereas the speaking section is conducted separately online at home. 


The reading, listening and writing sections combined can take anywhere between three to three and a-half-hours. 

SectionEstimated TimingQuestions/TaskDescription
Reading54-72 minutes30-40 questionsRead the passage and answer the given questions.
Listening41-57 minutes28-39 questionsAnswer the questions asked about lectures and discussions.
Writing50 minutes2 TasksRead/listen to a passage/recording and answer.


The online speaking section can take anywhere between 17-20 minutes to complete. 

Speaking17 minutes4 TasksTalk about familiar topic and answer the questions asked

Why take TOEFL for Canada student visa 

International students planning to pursue their higher education in Canada need to submit their TOEFL or similar English Language proficiency scores to prove their language proficiency. While Canada does not strictly require the TOEFL for student visa applications, demonstrating English language proficiency is important for securing a study permit. TOEFL counts among some of the most widely accepted language assessment methods, recognized by nearly all Canadian universities. 

There are several compelling reasons why choosing TOEFL to study in Canada could be a strategic move:

Worldwide AcceptanceMost of Canadian colleges and universities accept TOEFL scores, making it the most inclusive option compared to other tests. This gives the students flexibility in applying to any program without worrying about compatibility.
Preferred ChoiceOver 80% of Masters programs in Canada actually prefer TOEFL scores, indicating a higher level of trust and familiarity with the test format and assessment criteria. 
Global RecognitionTOEFL is the world's most respected and accepted English-language test, accepted by over 12,000 institutions in more than 160 countries. Making it helpful only for Canadian studies but also for future academic or professional pursuits beyond Canada.
Academic FocusTOEFL emphasizes academic English skills, specifically targeting the types of reading, writing, listening, and speaking tasks that students encounter in university coursework, directly preparing them for the language demands of their studies.
Additional BenefitsTOEFL iBT is the shortest English-language testing option among other major choices, and is valid for two years, offering flexibility and saving time. The Student Direct Stream (SDS) program for expedited study visa processing accepts TOEFL scores, potentially easing the entry process to Canada. Students need to remember that ultimately, the best test to prove their language proficiency depends on their individual strengths, weaknesses, and program requirements.  

TOEFL Cut-off for Canada Student Visa 

While there is no official cut-off score for a Canada student visa, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 80-100. This score demonstrates basic English proficiency for understanding and communicating in academic settings.

Students receive four scaled section scores and a total score.

• Each section has a score range between 0–30
• The section scores are added together to make a total score of 0–120

Here is a general overview of TOEFL scaled section scores and their proficiency level 

Reading• 24–30
• 18–23
• 4–17
• 0–3
Below Low-Intermediate
Listening• 22–30
• 17–21
• 9–16
• 0–8
Below Low-Intermediate

• 25–30
• 20–24
• 16–19
• 10–15
• 0–9

Below Basic

Writing• 24–30
• 17–23
• 13–16
• 7–12
• 0–6
Below Basic

How to send TOEFL scores to universities? 

There are two main ways students can send their TOEFL scores to universities

During Registration

This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to send the TOEFL sores to universities. 

• Students can choose up to 4 universities to receive their test scores for free when they register for the TOEFL iBT test. 
• Students can simply enter their institutional codes during registration. 
• Students can edit their chosen universities until 10 PM on the day before their test date.

After Exam

If students need to send their scores to more than 4 universities, they can order additional score reports through their ETS account.

• Each additional report costs $25 per institution.
• Students can order reports through their ETS account, by mail, or by fax.

Delivery time

TOEFL scores arrive in 4-8 business days for computer-based tests and 11-13 days for paper tests. How students receive their TOEFL scores depends on the test format and the chosen delivery method:

Delivery MethodInternet Based TestPaper Based Test
ETS Data Manager 4-8 business days11-13 business days
Server Feeds 8-10 business days11-16 business days
Postal Mail 10-12 business days10-12 business days

Scores are sent by postal mail within 10-12 business days, followed by an additional mailing time based on the destination: 

Within US7-10 Business days
Outside US4-6 Weeks

While the TOEFL is popular, there are some other English language proficiency tests  accepted by Canadian immigration authorities, such as:

• IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
• Duolingo English Test (DET)
• Pearson Test of English (PTE)
• Canadian English Language Benchmarks (CELPIP)


Depending on the student’s specific circumstances and preferences, other English proficiency tests like IELTS might also be suitable options. However, considering the widespread acceptance, academic focus, and global recognition, TOEFL stands out as a strong choice for pursuing studies in Canada and hence, a minimum TOEFL score plays a vital role. Students can connect with the experts at Canamprep to score high in their TOEFL exam and study in Canada.


Each section of the TOEFL iBT test is scored on a scale of 0-30. The total score is the sum of the scores from all four sections, ranging from 0-120.
The difficulty level of IELTS and TOEFL depends on individual strengths and test preferences. Both tests assess English proficiency for academic purposes but differ in format and content. The Reading and Writing sections may seem more familiar in the IELTS test for native English speakers as compared to TOEFL. Students are advised to research and choose the test that best suits their strength and interests.
There are several widely recognized and accepted English language certificate like, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo English test, however students are advised to check the specific requirements of the institutions or organizations they are applying to their preferred tests and score benchmarks.
Both tests are widely accepted, with recognition by thousands of universities and institutions worldwide. TOEFL might have a slight edge in sheer numbers, accepted by more institutions compared to IELTS. While TOEFL generally dominates, being preferred by most US and Canadian universities, IELTS tends to be the standard in UK and some universities in Australia.
Canadian immigration authorities do not specifically require or accept the TOEFL for PR applications. However, demonstrating English language proficiency is important for most PR pathways in Canada. This can be done through various accepted tests, including IELTS, TEF etc.

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