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If you have been nursing the ambition to study in one of the universities in any of the English-speaking countries like Australia, Canada, the USA, and others, you will likely be required to present an English language proficiency test as part of your visa and admission process. These English proficiency tests are IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, etc – IELTS and TOEFL are the most widely accepted.

The prerequisite of producing an English proficiency test to get admission seldomly deters most students from pursuing their dreams of studying in that particular country, this is because the test is always expensive and a bit stressful. This now brought about the question: how can I study in Canada (for instance) without having IELTS or TOEFL?

Though lots of universities in English-speaking countries required language proficiency tests before offering a student admission, however, some universities don’t require you to produce either IELTS or TOEFL to be offered admission. So, if you have been looking for universities that offer admission to international students without IELTS or TOEFL, particularly in Canada, this article is written for you.

What is the IELTS?

IELTS which stands for International English Language Testing System is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. The test is used for educational, immigration, and occupational purposes, and is accepted by over 10,000 institutions across 140 countries.

The IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English. The test is structured to test individuals’ ability to listen, read, write and speak in English. 

What is TOEFL?

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is a standardized test that measures a test taker’s mastery of the English language. It is primarily required from individuals who want to study in most universities in English-speaking countries or work.

Categories of Individuals that Requires English Proficiency Test

English proficiency test is particularly needed by these categories of individuals: 

1. Non-native English speakers seeking admission into a high school in an English speaking country; 

2. Students attending 2-year community college programs in an English speaking country

3. Individuals looking to be licensed or certified in a particular field

4. Individuals who need to demonstrate their mastery of the English language for immigration purposes.

5. Individuals who simply want to assess their English language skills in a formal setting.

Main Differences Between TOEFL and IELTS

As you can see, both TOEFL and IELTS are tests required from non-native English speakers seeking the opportunity to study or work in an English-speaking country. Both tests are the most widely accepted but there are some slight differences and these are contained below:

  • TOEFL generally requires that you only use either US English or UK English during your test and not mix the two, while IELTS seems to permit you to use both as you deem fit.
  •  TOEFL examinations are longer compared to IELTS exams. 
  • TOEFL consists mainly of multiple-choice questions while  IELTS has more variation in how questions are formed and answers need to be given.
  • TOEFL speaking section isn’t face-to-face with the examiner while the IELTS speaking section is done face to face with an examiner.

Securing Admission into Canadian Universities Without IELTS or TOEFL

Generally, to study in Canada as a non-native English speaker, you will need to produce an English language proficiency test either IELTS or TOEFL. However, the universities in Canada have adopted varied factors to assess the English language proficiency of the candidates seeking admission which makes it possible to study in Canada without IELTS or TOEFL.

While some universities in Canada exempt citizens of some countries from producing English language proficiency tests during admission, others provide alternatives for IELTS and TOEFL.

The following are the general ways in which you can study in Canada without IELTS or TOEFL:

1. Proof of English Medium Education: One of the ways to skip IELTS or TOEFL requirements while seeking admission to study in any of the Canadian universities is to submit a proof of English medium education for at least 5 years. This means you must be able to prove that you have for at least five years studied using English as a medium of instruction.

2. Proof of Being a Native of an English-speaking Country: Another way is that you must be able to prove that you are a citizen of an English-speaking country. You will need to submit the evidence while seeking admission if you want to be considered.

3. Apply for an English Language Course: Registering for an English language course in any of the Canadian universities (this might be a unique program from the university) will make you exempt from submitting English language proficiency tests during admission to any higher institutions of learning in Canada.

4. Provide Alternative English Proficiency Tests: Though IELTS and TOEFL are the most widely accepted English proficiency tests worldwide, but you are aware that there are many other language proficiency tests like Duolingo English Test and PTE. Any of these can be submitted instead of TOEFL and IELTS while seeking admission into some universities in Canada.

List of Canadian Universities that don’t Require IELTS or TOEFL

The universities in Canada that can offer you admission without the need of submitting IELTS or TOEFL are:

1. The University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is a Canadian public research university that was founded in 1907. It is ranked as the 458th best university in the world and accommodates up to 25,000 students of which 3,084 are international students. Some of the courses offered at the university are Engineering; Law; Teaching & Education; IT & Software; Nursing; Accounting & Commerce; Architecture & Planning; Medicine & Health Sciences; ScienceBusiness & Management Studies; Humanities & Social Sciences; Arts etc.

This university though includes IELTS or TOEFL among its admission requirement for students but it is not mandatory. However, you need to prove your English language skills by submitting the following documents to be considered:

  • Certificates of Higher Secondary education and higher education studies 
  • Completion of standardized tests like iBT, CanTEST, CAEL, MELAB, PTE Academic, CAE, and Duolingo English Test. 
  • Completion of an approved English Language Proficiency (ELP) program by the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre and the University of Regina. 
  • General Certificate of Education of A/AS/AICE Level English.
  • Completion of any of these qualifications; Advanced Placement (AP) English, International Baccalaureate (IB) English A1 or A2 Higher Level, International Baccalaureate (IB) English B Higher Level, and GCSE/IGCSE/GCE O-Level English.

2. University of Winnipeg

The University of Winnipeg is a public research university located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and was established in 1967. The tertiary institution is otherwise known as UWinnipeg and offers degrees in science, arts, business & economics, kinesiology, education, and graduate studies. There are about 9419 students in the school of which 700 are international students from 130 countries.

IETLS or TOEFL isn’t specifically included in the University of Winnipeg’s admission requirements but admission seekers from non-English-speaking countries must produce proof of English language proficiency.

These alternatives are accepted: Duolingo English Test; Cambridge Assessment English: C1 Advanced; Cambridge Assessment English: C2 Proficiency; CanTest; Canadian Academic English Language Assessment; Pearson Test of English (Academic); Academic English Program for University and College Entrance; and English Language Program at The University of Winnipeg

3. Brock University

Brock University is another university in Canada that offers admission to students without the need for IELTS or TOEFL test scores. The school however created a program known as the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) which admission seekers can enroll in instead of an English proficiency test. Also, the university accepts the scores of CAEL Assessment, CAE (A1 Advanced), CPE (C2 Proficiency), Duolingo, and PTE, if you cannot enroll in the program or produce IELTS or TOEFL test score.

The Brock University of Canada is a public university in St. Catharines, Canada which was established in 1964. It is the only university in the country that is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, at the center of Niagara Peninsula of Canada on the Niagara Escarpment.

The university has more than 19,000 students who offer several undergraduates, graduate, post-graduate and doctoral programs. Brock University is ranked 1001 in QS World University Rankings by TopUniversities.

4. University of Regina

The University of Regina is a public research university located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and was founded in 1974. It offers more than 120 undergraduate programs and 78 graduate programs, including many specialized programs such as police studies and public policy. This Canadian university is ranked 601 in World University Rankings by Times Higher Education

It has IELTS or TOEFL as its admission requirements but it is not mandatory. It accepts other tests like CAEL, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CanTEST, MELAB, TOEFL, UofR ESL, and Duolingo.

5. Cambrian College

Cambrian College is a Canadian college of applied arts and technology which was established in 1967. It is the largest college in northern Ontario and has more than 7,000 students, of which over 1,600 are international students from 30 different countries. Cambrian College is among the best 50 research colleges in Canada.

It is not mandatory to submit IELTS or TOEFL to be offered admission in the college but accepts a bunch of other English proficiency tests. Cambrian college allows students to enroll in English for Academic Purposes Program (EAPP) which takes between 4 – 10 months depending on the level of their expertise. After the program, they will be accepted into the Diploma or certificate programs.

6. Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Memorial University of Newfoundland, another called Memorial University or MUN is a public university in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and was established in 1925. It is one of the largest universities in Canada, that offers more than 300 courses. MUN has 6 faculties and 6 schools. It currently houses over 18,000 students from more than a hundred countries.

It is among universities in Canada that do not require IELTS or TOEFL is a must but accepts other English proficiency test scores. If you didn’t meet the minimum scores in the proficiency tests as an applicant, you can enroll in an Intensive English Program at the university’s St. John’s or Grenfell campuses. If you complete the program successfully, you will be accepted to study at the university.

7. Okanagan College

Okanagan College is a public tertiary institution located in Kelowna, British Columbia of Canada. It was established in 1963 and is very famous for its Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) Programme. It currently houses up to 9,000 students of which 100 are international students. 

The school gives priority to students whose English is a second language. It is among Canadian higher institutions that don’t applicants to submit IELTS as language proficiency proof. The alternative test accepted is the Duolingo test.

8. Concordia University

Concordia University, which is otherwise called Concordia, is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was established in 1974 and offers over 400 undergraduate and 200 graduate programs and courses. It has a total enrollment of 51,000 making it to be among the largest universities in Canada in terms of enrollment.

This university accepts DET, CAEL, CAE, CPE, PTE as alternatives for IELTS or TOEFL. In case you couldn’t provide any of the tests mentioned, you can provide proof that shows that you have completed at least four years of study with English as the medium of instruction at a secondary or post-secondary institution, or International Baccalaureate in English Literature with specified levels, our Intensive English Language Program (IELP) offered by the university on conditional admission.

Conclusion

Universities found in English-speaking countries normally require students who are not from countries that speak English as their native language to produce a language proficiency test like IELTS, TOEFL, etc to be considered for admission.

This normally hinders many students not to being able to pursue their studies in those countries. To tackle the issue, we have helped a list of universities particularly in Canada that don’t require IELTS or TOEFL before offering admission.

We hope this will help you navigate your way to pursue a course of your choice in Canada without having to go through the stress of writing IELTS or TOEFL. Kindly drop a comment below, if you have any questions.


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