Studying in Canada? Prove your English Proficiency with CAEL!

Published: January 10, 2024

CAEL is the only Canadian test specifically designed for academic purposes and is accepted by over 180 Canadian universities and colleges.

If you are an international student looking to study in Canada, applying to schools and for a student visa means providing proof of your English language proficiency.

CAEL is the only Canadian test specifically designed for academic purposes and is accepted by over 180 Canadian universities and colleges. It is also officially accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the Student Direct Stream (SDS), meaning you may be able to fast-track your study permit with a CAEL score! Let’s learn more about the CAEL format, accepting institutions, and free resources available to our test takers:

Test Format

The CAEL test is designed to measure the English language proficiency of students planning to study in Canadian post-secondary institutions and is one of the best tools for identifying students with the right English skills for academic success. It provides an authentic representation of language use in a Canadian academic context. Test takers read articles, listen to a lecture, answer questions, and write a short essay, as they would be expected to do in a first-year Canadian university or college classroom.

CAEL is available both online and in test centres, in test centres across Canada and from your home computer internationally. Both versions of the CAEL test are completely computer-delivered, and cover the four language components: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The test takes about 3.5 hours to complete and does not require any additional speaking appointments. Each language component is integrated into the test questions, meaning that as a test taker, you will complete a range of tasks. Some of these tasks will require test takers to use what they have listened to and read to answer a question in speaking or writing.

Learn About CAEL Test Format

Who Accepts CAEL

CAEL is officially accepted by over 180 Canadian universities and colleges, as well as professional organizations and employers as proof of English language proficiency. CAEL is accepted by every major university and college in Canada for both undergraduate and graduate programs. To learn if your institution accepts CAEL, please refer to our complete list of accepting institutions.

Institutions That Accept CAEL

Free Study Resources

We are pleased to support our CAEL test takers with a wide range of free study materials, including webinars, free practice tests, and study tips from our CAEL experts. In addition to these free materials, additional study resources such as practice tests and interactive online study programs can be purchased in our online store.

Webinars: Weekly interactive webinars are available and are free to attend. These include:

  • CAEL 101: Get The Facts – This introductory session is a great place to learn all about CAEL and will help you become familiar with the format of the test, the test day procedures, study materials, and more.
  • CAEL 200 – Each of these sessions give in-depth details about the writing, reading, listening, and speaking components of the test, and include an opportunity to get your questions answered by our CAEL experts.
  • CAEL 300 – These sessions focus each on the written and spoken components of the CAEL test and provide valuable strategies for test takers that need in-depth focus on these sections of the test.

Practice Tests: Two free online sample tests are available to help you get familiar with the format and content of the test, and are a helpful way to learn about which of your English skills need the most focus.

Study Tips: Building a study routine is a great way to prepare for your CAEL test, and with these tips from our CAEL experts, you’ll have the strategies you need to succeed. Each video helps you work towards your score goals, even with just a few minutes of study a day. These study tips also cover the other study resources available for free that you can use to prepare for your test.

CAEL Scholarships: With $10,000 CAD available to winners of the CAEL Scholarships, this program is another way we support CAEL test takers on their journey to study in Canada. Applying is easy and can be completed online. To learn more about the eligibility requirements, visit our website.

To learn more about the CAEL test, and to register for a test sitting, visit our website.

Learn more about CAEL

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