If you're a non-native English speaker planning to study in Canada, you may wonder what English language proficiency tests are accepted in the country. While the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is Canada's most commonly accepted English language test, another option is available: the Pearson Test of English (PTE). In this blog post, we'll look closely at PTE and explore whether it is accepted in Canada.
What is PTE?
PTE stands for Pearson Test of English. It is an English language proficiency test developed by Pearson Education to assess the English language skills of non-native English speakers. PTE is recognised by universities, colleges, and governments worldwide and is accepted for visa and immigration purposes in several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
PTE is a computer-based test that measures a test taker's proficiency in four areas: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. The test assesses a test-takers ability to communicate effectively in English in academic and professional settings. PTE test scores are typically valid for up to two years after the test date.
Format of the PTE exam
The PTE exam is a computer-based test that consists of four main sections: speaking and writing, reading, listening, and an unscored section. Here's a breakdown of each section:
- Speaking and Writing: This section consists of several tasks assessing a test-takers ability to speak and write in English. Duties may include reading aloud, repeating sentences, summarising written text, writing essays, etc.
- Reading: This section consists of several tasks assessing a test-takers ability to read and comprehend written English. Tasks may include multiple-choice questions, re-ordering paragraphs, and filling in the blanks.
- Listening: This section consists of several tasks assessing a test-takers ability to listen to and comprehend spoken English. Tasks may include multiple-choice questions, summarising spoken text, and filling in the blanks.
- Unscored section: This section may include unscored items used for research purposes and do not contribute to the overall score.
- The PTE exam is typically three hours long and is taken on a computer at a designated test centre. Test-takers are provided noise-cancelling headphones, a microphone, and a computer interface to complete the exam. The exam is scored on a scale of 10-90, with a higher score indicating a higher level of English proficiency.
Scoring of the PTE exam
The PTE exam is scored on a scale of 10 to 90, with ten being the lowest and 90 being the highest. Each exam section (Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening) is scored separately, and the overall score is based on the combined performance across all sections.
PTE uses automated scoring technology to grade the exam, meaning a computer program assesses the test-taker's responses. The scoring system measures a test-takers ability to communicate effectively in English in academic and professional settings.
In addition to the overall score, the PTE exam also provides scores for individual communicative skills, such as pronunciation, fluency, grammar, vocabulary, and written discourse. These scores can help test-takers identify areas to improve their English language skills.
PTE scores are typically available within 48 hours of taking the exam. Test-takers can view their scores online and send them to universities, colleges, and other organisations as needed. PTE scores are generally valid for up to two years after the test date.
Popular PTE Accepted Universities in Canada
Canada has several universities that accept a PTE score of 50 or above. To provide more information on this, we have compiled a list of the top universities in Canada that accept a PTE score of 50 or above.
Estimated Annual Tuition Fees (CAD)
University of Ottawa
$23,000 - $29,000
$30,000 - $35,000
$27,000 - $31,000
$22,000 - $27,000
$24,000 - $28,000
Tips to ace the PTE exam
Here are some tips to help you ace the PTE exam:
- Please familiarize yourself with the exam format: Before taking the PTE exam, knowing what to expect is essential. Study the exam format, types of questions, and time limits to help you feel more confident on test day.
- Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll be with the exam format and questions. Use PTE study materials, practice tests, and online resources to help you prepare.
- Improve your English language skills: The PTE exam measures your English language proficiency, so it's essential to work on improving your skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Practice speaking and writing in English, read books and articles in English, and listen to English podcasts and videos to improve your overall proficiency.
- Manage your time effectively: The PTE exam is timed, so it's essential to manage your time effectively during the exam. Make sure to pace yourself and allocate enough time for each section.
- Pay attention to instructions: Make sure to read and follow all instructions carefully, as incorrect responses or failure to follow instructions can result in lower scores.
- Speak clearly and confidently: In the speaking section, speaking clearly and confidently is essential. Use intonation and stress to emphasise important points and enunciate your words.
- Review your responses: Before submitting your responses, take some time to review your answers and make any necessary corrections or changes.
Do Canadian universities accept PTE for admission purposes?
Many Canadian universities accept PTE scores as evidence of English language proficiency for admission purposes.
Which universities in Canada accept PTE scores?
Several universities across Canada accept PTE scores, including the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, York University, and many more.
Is PTE widely recognised in Canada?
PTE is widely recognised and accepted by Canadian universities, colleges, and other institutions.
What is the minimum PTE score required for admission to Canadian universities?
The minimum PTE score required for admission to Canadian universities varies by institution and program of study. Typically, a score of 50 or higher is required, but some universities may have higher requirements.
How can I send my PTE scores to Canadian universities?
You can send your PTE scores to Canadian universities by logging in to your PTE account and selecting the institutions you want to send your scores. There may be a fee associated with sending your scores.
How long are PTE scores valid?
PTE scores are typically valid for up to two years from the test date. However, it's best to check with the specific institution to determine their score validity requirements.
Can I take the PTE exam in Canada?
Yes, there are several authorised PTE test centres located across Canada where you can take the exam.