Study in Canada without IELTS

Study in Canada without IELTS 2024: Alternative Exams & Top Universities


03 November 2023



Studying abroad in Canada is a dream for many international students owing to the high-quality education system and excellent post-graduation opportunities. However, a prominent challenge aspiring students face is the language proficiency requirement, usually demonstrated through the IELTS exam. However, there are alternatives and some top universities in Canada which have made it easier for students to pursue their academic dreams without IELTS in 2024. In this blog, we will discuss how you can study in Canada without IELTS in 2024, including the universities offering this option. 


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Can International Students Study in Canada without IELTS?

Canadian universities adopt a variety of factors to assess the English proficiency of applicants for admission. Therefore, it is possible to study in Canada without IELTS, provided you meet the alternative language proficiency requirements specified by the University of your choice.


How to Study in Canada Without IELTS?

IELTS is not the only way a university can examine candidates' English proficiency. If you have not taken the IELTS exam, there are alternatives offered by universities in Canada. Let's look at the IELTS substitution criteria offered by Canadian universities:


Online Interview: Some universities may ask you to attend an online interview to assess your English proficiency.


High School English Grades: Various universities in Canada accept international students if they have scored good grades in their 10th and 12th standards. However, universities have established their own requirements for different courses. You can get more detailed information from Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC) experts!


MOI (Medium of Instruction): If you studied English as a major while pursuing your undergraduate studies, you do not need to take the IELTS. The fact that you have completed your degree in the English medium language proves your language skills.


Pre-Session English Courses: Some universities offer Pre-Session English Courses for those who plan to study in Canada without taking IELTS. After opting for pre-session courses, they are accepted for their chosen degree or diploma program.


Other Alternative English Proficiency Exams of IELTS

There are various English proficiency tests other than IELTS, which Canadian universities accept. Some of the other proficiency tests are mentioned below:


TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

It is an English proficiency test that measures language skills on the basis of four academic modules- reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The students who have completed their 10+2 level education are eligible to appear for this test. The maximum score that students can obtain in TOEFL is 120. There are no such passing criteria for the exam; the score required for admission varies from university to university and course to course. However, the minimum TOEFL score required to study in Canada is in the range of 79 to 93.


PTE (Pearson Test of English)

PTE is a standardised test that measures the English proficiency skills of a student. It is a computer-based test that has two versions: Academic and General. To take admission to Universities, students must appear for the PTE test's Academic version. The students can score a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 90 on the PTE test. The PTE score required to take admission varies from university to university and course to course. However, the minimum score required in PTE to enrol in Canada universities is between 58 - 63.



The Duolingo English Test is a computer adaptive English proficiency test. It is considered one of the easiest proficiency tests. Students can easily appear for Duolingo from the comfort of their home. The test assesses four primary language skills, i.e., reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Additionally, it employs an adaptive algorithm, tailoring questions to the test-takers demonstrated proficiency level. Further, as the test progresses, the algorithm adjusts the difficulty of questions based on the accuracy of previous answers. This approach ensures a personalised experience, accurately reflecting the test-takers language capabilities. The minimum Duolingo score required to study in Canada is 115.


CAL EPT (CAL English Proficiency Tests)

The CAL EPT measures the English language proficiency of English language learners at two levels: primary school and secondary school. The test measures students' English language ability in four skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking). Various Canadian universities accept the scores of CAL EPT in order to enrol students.


Universities in Canada Without IELTS

Here is a list of top universities and colleges you can choose from to study in Canada without IELTS:



University of Winnipeg

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Brock University

St. Catharines, Ontario

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Cambrian University

Sudbury, Ontario

Okanagan College

Kelowna, British Columbia

Concordia University

Montreal, Quebec

Seneca College

Toronto, Ontario

Carleton University


Algoma University

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Brandon University

Brandon, Manitoba

University of Guelph

Guelph, Ontario

McGill University

Montreal, Quebec

University of Guelph

Guelph, Ontario 

Student Visa in Canada Without IELTS 2024

Students who wish to study in Canada without IELTS can apply to Canadian universities. Also, you can easily achieve a Canada visa without IELTS if your targeted universities accept your application. Apart from this, the Canadian immigration authority also accepts tests like the Duolingo English test or other alternative English tests like TOEFL iBT and PTE. 


Work in Canada without IELTS

For students who want to work in Canada without IELTS, the only way is to study at a university that waives the IELTS exam requirement. After completing your studies, you have 180 days to apply for a work permit visa in Canada. Also, the experience you gain while working can help you qualify for permanent residency. 


Scholarships in Canada without IELTS

Here is the list of some scholarships which you can get without IELTS in Canada:

  • Prime Minister of Canada Scholarships

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

  • Presidential Scholarship in Canada

  • The Concordia University Presidential Scholarship

  • The University of Ottawa Scholarships

  • The University of Toronto Scholarship

  • The University of Alberta Scholarships

  • The Saskatchewan University Scholarships

  • The Montreal University Scholarship



In conclusion, studying in Canada without IELTS in 2024 is possible, thanks to alternative exams and the understanding of universities regarding the challenges students may face. Before applying, make sure to research the universities and their specific language proficiency requirements. With the right preparation, you can fulfil your dream of studying in Canada and enjoying the benefits of a world-class education system.


So, are you considering Canada as your study-abroad destination? If yes, then we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you are unable to travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide you with the best guidance regarding your application to study in Canada. Apart from this, our expert counsellors will also provide assistance in the visa process for your successful study abroad journey. Don't hesitate to contact us at or call us at 1800-1230-00011.



Q: How can I immigrate to Canada without IELTS?

A: It mainly depends on the reason for migrating to Canada and whether you can be exempted from IELTS or not. If you leave with a work permit, it will depend on company rules if you are allowed to immigrate to Canada without IELTS. If you plan to study in Canada without IELTS, you can take alternative language tests such as TOEFL, PTE, CanTest, etc., or take the English program of the University of your Choice for international students.


Q: How can I prove my English language proficiency without IELTS?

A: You can demonstrate your English language skills without taking the IELTS by taking alternative language tests such as the TOEFL, PTE, or CAEL. Some colleges additionally take into account your academic credentials or job experience in English-speaking surroundings.


Q: Are there any English language preparation programs for students without IELTS scores?

A: Yes, many universities provide English language preparation programmes for students who do not have IELTS scores but wish to improve their language skills before beginning their major programmes. These courses assist you in meeting the English language requirements for admission.


Q: What if I’ve completed my education in English? Can I study without IELTS?

A: Some institutions may remove the IELTS requirement if you have finished your schooling in English or are from an English-speaking nation. Specific criteria, however, differ, so it's best to check with the universities directly.


Q: Is IELTS compulsory for Canada?

A: No, you do not necessarily need IELTS to study in Canada or visit the country as a tourist on a visitor or tourist visa. But if you want to apply for permanent residency, IELTS will be required.

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