Fulfilling English Language Requirements


Universities require English Proficiency Test scores from any student whose English language skills are in doubt. English Proficiency Tests determine whether a student has the English skills they need to study at university.


Many universities do not admit students until the English Proficiency Requirement has been satisfied.

The most popular tests you can take are:

  • TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language (www.ets.org/toefl)
  • IELTS – International English Language Testing System (www.ielts.org)
  • CAEL – Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (www.cael.ca)
  • COPE – Certificate of Proficiency in English (www.copetest.com) (can only be taken at the University of Toronto St. George campus and recognized for admissions to U of Toronto three campuses and OCAD University)
  • Duolingo – An online option and an alternative to other standardized proficiency tests and the scores are correlated to those of TOEFL or IELTS. (www.englishtest.duolingo.com)


NOTE: CIC is an official testing centre for IELTS, TOEFL and CAEL. It is highly recommended that you register the test as soon as possible in the External Testing Office (ETO) located in the Campus Store as test spots fill up quickly! If you have any questions about the test, go see the ETO staff or email to: eto@cic-totalcare.com.


For details about English proficiency requirements for Canadian universities, please refer to chart of “English Proficiency Requirements for Ontario Universities” and “Outside Ontario University Admissions – Winter/January Entry 2021” that are sent to you by email or via moodle.


Who Has To Write An English Language Proficiency Test? You likely have to write a language proficiency test if:

  • English is not your first language
  • You haven’t spent more than four years full-time in an English speaking education system (some universities may only require three years)
  • Even if you have spent more than three or four years studying in a full-time academic English language program, some universities may still request proof of English proficiency. You can appeal the request, and please talk to or email your University Placement Counsellor for assistance.


How Do I Send English Language Proficiency Scores to Universities?

  • You must arrange to have your English Proficiency Scores sent directly from the testing centre as universities only accept official documentation from the language testing centre.
  • You cannot send your scores yourself nor can you ask your University Placement Counsellor to send these scores for you. Contact us if you have questions on sending your test scores to universities.




About the test: www.englishtest.duolingo.com

Duolingo is an affordable and convenient language certification option accepted by hundreds of  universities and colleges for admissions. It’s an alternative to other standardized proficiency tests and  the scores are correlated to those of TOEFL or IELTS. Visit its website to find out these institutions.

  1. Take the test online anytime, anywhere
  2. Finish in 1 hour and get results in 2 days
  3. For detailed information of the test, how to register, pay and prepare for the test and other questions,  please browse its website.


Score interpretation:  

The test is designed to assess real-world language ability, by measuring reading, writing, speaking  and listening skills. Each test taker’s proficiency is reported as a holistic score on a scale from 10 – 160. Most of the post-secondary institutions accept a score of 110 or higher for admissions.


Score comparison: 

Based on the research that links Duolingo English Test scores to TOEFLiBT total scores and IELTS overall band  scores, Duolingo has developed the following comparison table to help understand the scores


Where and when to take the test: 

You can take the Duolingo test anytime and anywhere, as long as you have the necessary technical requirements and test environment. Refer to its website for more details.


How to set up and take the test: Please visit its website for details.


How much for the test cost and how to pay: US$49 

You pay for it right before you take the test. Major credit cards and Alipay in China is accepted.


Rules for test takers while taking the test: 

  • Make sure you are alone in a quiet, well-lit room
  • Make sure your ears are always visible and not covered (e.g. covered by hair, a hat etc.)
  • Make sure your face is visible and not obscured by sunglasses or other accessories
  • Do not wear headphones or earphones
  • Do not use any outside materials, including mobile devices, notes, or textbooks
  • Do not communicate with anyone else