IELTS vs PTE vs TOEFL: English Proficiency Courses to Study in Canada

English proficiency tests are considered to be a mandatory requirement for international students and migrants moving to Canada. There is a wide range of English proficiency tests available to students. International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Pearson Test of English (PTE), and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are the language proficiency tests taken up by students to study in Canada. All these tests aim to check their English reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities. These tests become critical in cases of student visas and permanent residency visas.

English Proficiency courses to study in Canada


IELTS is a popular and widely accepted test score measuring proficiency in the English language for non-native English speakers for students who are applying for a student visa. Over 10,000 organizations accept IELTS in 145+ countries as an indicator for English language proficiency test. IELTS Test has been accepted for decades by education institutions, universities, immigration agencies, professional, government departments, and industrial organizations.

IELTS Score Required For Canada


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the second major English language proficiency test structure developed for candidates applying for English-speaking academic institutions. TOEFL is administered by the ETS (Educational Testing Service).

English requirement-to-study in Canada


The PTE exam is an English language proficiency test to assess one’s writing, speaking, and reading skills. The Pearson Language Tests consist of two tests which are designed to test the English language proficiency of the students who are wishing to study or work abroad. There are two types of Pearson’s PTE exams. They are PTE Academic Exam and PTE General Test. The PTE Academic Test is an online English language proficiency test such that the students can take this course in any time throughout the year. Students’ reading, listening, writing and speaking skills are tested in an academic PTE format in this test.

Candidates with a valid PTE score can also apply for a Canadian. PTE is computer-based and focuses on real-life English usage. It’s known for its fast results and comprehensive assessment of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

There are many English proficiency courses to study abroad. Some common courses are IELTS (The International English Language Test), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), PTE (Pearson Tests of English), SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test), GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), etc. They are explained in detail below.

Frequently Asked Question

How do IELTS, PTE and TOEFL differ in terms of structure?

While three tests assess reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, their formats, question types, and durations differ. For instance, IELTS can be paper-based or computer-based, PTE is computer-based and TOEFL is typically internet-based.

Which test is more widely accepted?

All tests are widely recognized globally, but some institutions or countries might have a preference. It’s essential to check the specific requirements of the target institution or country.

How are the tests scored?

IELTS scores range from 0 to 9 bands, PTE Score ranges from 10 to 90 and TOEFL scores range from 0 to 120 points.

Which test is more challenging?

The difficulty is subjective and can vary based on an individual’s strengths. It’s advisable to review sample questions and decide which format feels more comfortable.

How long are IELTS, PTE and TOEFL valid for Canadian university applications?

Typically, IELTS, PTE, and TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date.

Who runs the test for IELTS, PTE and TOEFL?

IDP, British Council and Cambridge UniversityPearson PLC GroupEducation Testing Service

What is the different length of time, based on the test format?

Each test takes a different length of time, based on the test format.

IELTS tests have a total test time of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

TOEFL iBT tests take around 3 hours to complete.

PTE Academic tests are completed in one 2-hour session.

English Language Proficiency Test requirement:

TestAdv Diploma & DiplomaBachelor DegreePost Graduate CertificateMaster’s degree
IELTSMinimum 6.0 with no skill below 6.0Minimum 6.5 with no skill below 6.0Minimum 6.5 with no skill below 6.0Minimum 6.5 with no skill below 6.0
PTEMinimum score 58Minimum score 60Minimum score 60Minimum score 60
TOEFLMinimum 80 with no skill below 20Minimum 84 with no skill below 21Minimum 88 with no skill below 22Minimum 88 with no skill below 22

If you are interested in learning more about the various English proficiency tests that are required for studying abroad, please visit our office located in different locations and clear your queries!

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