Study in Canada? Demonstrate your command of English with CAEL!

CAEL is the only Canadian exam designed specifically for academic purposes and is accepted by more than 180 Canadian universities and colleges.

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

CAEL is the only Canadian exam designed specifically for academic purposes and is accepted by more than 180 Canadian universities and colleges. You are also officially accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for Student Direct Stream (SDS), meaning you can 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 at Canadian post-secondary institutions and is one of the best tools for identifying students with the appropriate English skills for academic success. Provides an authentic representation of language use in a Canadian academic context. Examinees read articles, listen to a lecture, answer questions and write a short essay, as they would be expected to do in a first-year classroom at a Canadian university or college.

CAEL is available both online and at test centers, at test centers across Canada, and from your home computer internationally. Both versions of the CAEL exam are completely computer-based and cover all four language components: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The test takes approximately 3.5 hours and requires no additional speaking appointments. Each language component is integrated into the exam questions, meaning that as a test taker you will complete a variety of tasks. Some of these tasks will require examinees to use what they have heard and read to answer a question orally or in writing.

Learn more about the CAEL test format

Who accepts CAEL?

CAEL is officially accepted by more than 180 Canadian universities and colleges, as well as professional organizations and employers as proof of English language proficiency. CAEL is accepted by all major universities and colleges in Canada for undergraduate and graduate programs. To find out if your institution accepts CAEL, see our complete list of accepting institutions.

Institutions that accept CAEL

We are pleased to support our CAEL test takers with a wide range of free study materials, including webinars, free practice exams, 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 from 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 familiarize yourself with the exam format, exam day procedures, study materials, and more.
  • CAEL 200 – Each of these sessions provides in-depth details on the writing, reading, listening and speaking components of the exam, and includes the opportunity to have your questions answered by our CAEL experts.
  • CAEL 300 – These sessions each focus on the written and spoken components of the CAEL exam and provide valuable strategies for test takers who need in-depth focus on these sections of the exam.

Practice tests: There are two free online sample exams available to help you familiarize yourself with the format and content of the exam, and they are a useful way to learn which of your English skills need the most attention.

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

CAEL Scholarships: With $10,000 CAD available to CAEL scholarship winners, this program is another way we support CAEL examinees on their journey to study in Canada. The application is easy and can be completed online. To learn more about eligibility requirementsVisit our website.

To learn more about the CAEL exam and register for an exam session, visit our website.

More information about CAEL


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