International students applying to programs taught in English must provide proof their English proficiency as part of their applications. This ensures that they have the necessary English skills to understand academic writing, produce scholarly writing, and communicate effectively with their supervisor.
The TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, ACT, etc. are the most widely-accepted English proficiency tests.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is probably the best-known and most commonly used English proficiency test. Along with the IELTS, it is one of the two tests that are usually accepted by American universities. The TOEFL was designed specifically to test knowledge of English as it is used in a college or university setting. The current test is called TOEFL iBT.

Length: Three hours
Format: There are currently three format options for the TOEFL iBT: the traditional testing centre format, the home edition, or a paper edition. With the exception of the paper edition, the TOEFL is done entirely on a computer either at your home or at a testing centre. Your answers to the speaking portion of the test are recorded and then sent to graders for evaluation.
Sections: Reading, listening , speaking, and writing
Scoring: Each section is worth 30 points for a maximum score of 120. Scores are valid for 2 years.
Commonly required score: Many universities require scores in the range of 90-100, which is equivalent to B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) proficiency levels. Some universities also require a minimum score in each section in addition to a minimum overall score.

IELTS – Academic Version

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is widely recognized by universities and employers around the world. There are two versions of the test: an academic version and a general training version. While universities require the academic version, the general training version is used by some government bodies for work and immigration permits.

Length: Two hours and 45 minutess
Format: The test is offered in either a paper format or a computer format. Unlike the TOEFL, the speaking portion of the IELTS is done in person with an examiner either on the same day as the other sections of the test or up to three days before or after. The IELTS has more diverse question formats as well, with a mix of multiple choice, diagram labelling, matching, short answer, and sentence completion.
Sections: Listening (30 minutes), reading (60 minutes), writing (60 minutes), and speaking (11-14 minutes)
Scoring: Scores range from 1 to 9 (including half scores) and are valid for two years.
Commonly required score: Many universities require scores in the range of 6-7, which is equivalent to B2/C1 in the CEF proficiency levels.


The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test created and administered by the College Board. It is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions.
The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student's readiness for college, and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants.
College admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. Length: Three hours
Format: Each section of the SAT is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale. Your total SAT score is the sum of your section scores. The highest possible SAT score is 1600.
Sections: Math and Evidence-based Reading and Writing
The highest SAT Score: 1600
Commonly required score: How important SAT and ACT scores are in the college application process varies from school to school.

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