All English language proficiency tests are aimed at determining a person's level of English language skills. There are different tests administered by different authorities, which may test slightly different skills. The main English language proficiency tests for international students are
- CAEL: Canadian Academic English Language Assessment
- TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language
- TOEIC: Test of English for International Communication
- IELTS: International English Language Testing System
These tests are administered online or at test centres around the world (for instance, IELTS tests are given in 120 countries) for students who want to study in an English environment. Language proficiency test scores are used by various educational institutions as a measure of a student's skills. Some schools require international students to achieve certain scores on certain tests in order to qualify for admission. In other cases, the language test serves more as a diagnostic, so the school will know at which level to place the student.
Not all schools in Canada accept all the tests: be sure to find out which language proficiency tests are used and accepted by the institutions you are applying to. Some language proficiency tests are given on certain dates or sittings, so be sure to find out how and when to take your language test so that you can get your scores to the schools by the appropriate deadlines.