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Entrance exams to study in Canada

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Jun 04,2024 04:47 PM IST

  • Entrance exams are a mandate to kick-start your Canadian dream.
  • English Proficiency score is an essential factor which can flag off or approve your academic journey.
  • Specialized exams like GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, etc. are required to opt for certain institutions or programs in Canada.
  • Few Canadian institutions also require French Proficiency from international students. It is examined by exams such as TFI. 

Entrance exams to study in Canada.webp

Canada is a popular study-abroad destination among international students for its advanced education system, modern infrastructure, scenic landscapes and cultural diversity. In order to apply for education here, it is important for students to be well aware of all the admission requirements, including the standard entrance exams they need to clear before making an application. 

But what exams need to be cleared and how to prepare for them? Relax! The below write up answers all the questions. We will delve into the different categories of entrance exams and the key differences between all of them to make this Canadian adventure a little easier for the little enthusiasts. 

Before learning about the entrance exams to study in Canada, let's explore the compelling reasons on why one should study in Canada. 

Top Reasons to Study in Canada

Canadian universities are among the world's top institutions, offering internationally acclaimed education and worldwide recognized degrees. When an international student graduates from a Canadian institution, it is a symbol of trust and quality. Some of the reasons to study in Canada include:

  • Canada boasts a high standard of living, and international students enjoy the same rights and freedoms as Canadian citizens.
  • Canadian tuition fees are generally lower than those in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. Plus, you can access scholarships and work opportunities to help pay for your education.
  • Beyond academics, Canada offers a rich cultural experience.
  • Canadian universities are among a few of the top-ranked institutions globally.
  • Canada offers ample networking opportunities to international learners and helps them build industry connections. 

Entrance Exams Required to Study in Canada

To study in Canada, students must have IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE results. Aside from that, depending on the course and university you choose, results from several other examinations, such as the GRE, GMAT, and SAT, may be required. There are certain entrance exams for studying in Canada.

These entrance exams fall into three categories: -

categories of exams to study in Canada.webp

English Language Entrance Exams

The English language requirement is one of the most significant aspects of studying in Canada. International students whose native language is not English are needed to take one of the following English language tests.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)IELTS  is a widely accepted English proficiency test that evaluates a candidate's reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities. The test is for both study (IELTS Academic) and work & residency (IELTS General Training) purposes. Canadian Universities often require a minimum score of 6.5, with individual band requirements varying.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)This is one of the popular English proficiency tests conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Services). Designed to measure a candidate's four academic skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Aim for a minimum score of 90-100, depending upon the university requirements. TOEFL is offered in both paper and internet-based formats.
Pearson Test of English (PTE)The PTE is a recently introduced English proficiency test in Canada. It is computer-delivered and assesses skills similar to IELTS and TOEFL. The score depends on individual university requirements.
Duolingo scoreThe Duolingo exam is an English language assessment that measures your reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities in the language. Compared to other language tests, it is less expensive and more convenient, and the results are available quickly.

Major Differences Between the English Language Entrance Exams

Among all these English proficiency exams, students can opt for the exams their host country and institution requires and are best suited to their individual needs. The following table highlights the key differences between the English language tests required for entrance to Canadian Universities: -

FormatPaper & Computer-basedComputer-based onlyComputer-based onlyComputer-based only
Duration2 hours 40 Minutes4 hours2 hours1 hour
Score Scale9 Band Scale0-120 points10-90 points10-160 points
Approximate cost (INR)17,000 - 17,50016,800- 17,00017,000-17,2003000- 4,000
ProsFlexible test dates, human interaction in speaking testFamiliar with US admissionsConvenient and faster resultsAffordable and faster results

French Language Entrance Exam Requirements

French is the language of teaching at a number of universities in Canada. Quebec is the most popular city in Toronto that uses this language for training. In reality, the majority of their courses use French as the primary language of instruction. Similar to the notion of English language tests, students who do not have French as their primary language must take a set of French language examinations.

The Test de François International is the most often utilized French language test in Quebec. In contrast, most French institutions will administer one of three examinations issued by the French Ministry of Education (DILF/DELF/DALF).

The TFI is broken into two sections: hearing and reading comprehension. You will be asked to do a variety of activities, including completing sentences and answering questions based on recorded speech.

Academic Entrance Exams Required to Study in Canada

Other than these, there are few standardized tests which students need to take before opting for certain programs in Canada. These exams test your existing knowledge about the subjects you are opting for, and help institutions have a better understanding of the international students they are welcoming. Here are some of the popular entrance exams for admission into a Canadian academic institute:

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)It is a popular academic exam for students planning to pursue graduate studies abroad. It is a standard test for admission as this helps universities or colleges to evaluate the knowledge of students for advanced education. The test is conducted in two ways. The GRE General test assesses verbal & quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills not related to any specific discipline, whereas the GRE subject test weighs a student's knowledge in one particular subject like Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. 
Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT)As the name suggests, GMAT is conducted to assess the abilities and knowledge of students who wish to pursue post-secondary education in Business or Management in Canada. It is a computer-based test designed to check the analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal and reading skills of potential MBA aspirants planning to study in an English-speaking country.
Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)The SAT is a paper-pencil-based aptitude test designed to assess candidates' written, verbal, and calculative skills. It is an important admission test for students who aspire to study undergraduate courses abroad, particularly in Canada and the USA.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)The MCAT is a computer-based test that examines a candidate's analytical and critical abilities, knowledge of physical and biological sciences, and verbal reasoning. While most medical colleges require an MCAT score for a medical degree like MBBS in Canada, applicants with three or more years of experience may exempt themselves from these scores. 
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)This is a standardized test essential for students who plan to apply for a course in Canadian law school. This certifies a candidate's expertise in reading and verbal skills. On average, law schools in Canada demand an LSAT score of 160 or above. Schools and institutions may mandate that the LSAT be taken only during a specified timeframe. There may also be a cut-off period. This indicates that LSATs taken after the stated time period may not be accepted.


International students have always regarded Canada as a desirable place for higher education. During the application procedure, be sure to meet the requirements for the above-mentioned entrance exams. For further information, see Canada's entrance requirements.

Knowledge of these tests undoubtedly builds the foundation for admission into a university abroad, but it is not the only important aspect of making an application. To learn more about the application process and apply to your favorite institute in Canada, connect with the study abroad consultants at Canam today!


To study in Canada, student must have obtained IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE scores. Aside from that, depending on the course and university selected, scores on several other examinations such as the SAT, GRE, and GMAT may be required.
Yes, GRE is necessary in Canada. However, it is not essential. Many colleges consider GRE scores for entry into graduate programs.
As a result, there is no Canada-wide admission exam. Each university establishes its own admissions requirements and examines each applicant's qualifications independently.
The MCAT is a prominent medical admission exam that is necessary to study at any of Canada's top medical schools.
Yes, Canada recognizes the two most common examinations, TOEFL and IELTS, throughout the admission process.

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