LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

At Niagara College we administer a series of language proficiency tests for placement into the English for Academic Preparation (EAP) program. The goal of our placement testing is to ensure that all students are placed in a class level appropriate for their language proficiency.

If you have completed your studies from outside of Canada you may be required to provide proof of one or more of the following:
  • Niagara College Mature Student Test for English
  • International students who completed a minimum of two years of full-time secondary level education (in the final two years of secondary study) or one year of full-time post-secondary or higher education in a country where English is the official first language.
  • ACE English (Academic Upgrading)
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING
English language requirements for post-secondary and post-graduate programs at Niagara College, please contact: [email protected]

For testing information for the 

English for Academic Preparation (EAP) program only, please contact

Taylor Venneri
ESL Testing Facilitator, Niagara College Canada

Language Proficiency Admission Requirements

If English is your second language, Niagara College will also accept the following language proficiency scores. The below chart represents general admission and may vary from country-specific admission requirements. Country-specific requirements can be found on our Application Portal.

Language Proficiency Test Minimum score for undergraduate diplomas, certificates and international nursing programs Minimum score for graduate and degree programs Minimum score for Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program*
Cambridge English Exams
(B2 First/FCE, C1 Advanced/CAE or C2 Proficiency/CPE)
169 – No skill under 162. 176 – No skill under 169.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) including Indicator Test** 6.0 – No individual band under 5.5. 6.5 – No individual band under 5.5. 7.0 – No individual band under 7.
Duolingo Language Test Overall score of 105+, with no individual score under 95 Overall score of 110+, with no individual score under 100
Internet-based (IBT) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) including Special Home Edition Test Paper-based: 500
Computer based: 173
iBT: 79
Minimum: 20 Writing, 20 Speaking
Paper-based: 550
Computer-based: 213
iBT: 79-80
Minimum: 22 Writing, 22 Speaking
iBT: overall score of at least 101 with minimum scores of 26 in Speaking, 24 in Listening, 24 in Reading and 27 in Writing
Pearson Test of English (PTE)*** 46+, with no individual skill under 36 50+, with no individual skill under 36
Canadian Academic English Language Test (CAEL) including CAEL Online Proficiency Test 60 – No individual band under 50. 60 – No individual band under 50.
Niagara College’s English for Academic Preparation program (EAP) Completion of Level 5 English for Academic Preparation (EAP) program with 70% and no individual grade under 50%. Completion of Level 5 English for Academic Preparation (EAP) program with 75% and no individual grade under 60%.

*The language proficiency requirements outlined do not apply to a select number of programs, including but not limited to the Pharmacy Technician program and Teaching English as a Second Language.

**Niagara College recognizes the IELTS Academic tests. The IELTS General tests are not accepted for admissions to academic programs or placement into English for Academic Purposes levels.

***Niagara College recognizes the PTE Academic tests. The PTE Online tests are not accepted for admissions to academic programs or placement into English for Academic Purposes levels.

Please note that meeting or exceeding the minimum score requirements does not guarantee admission to Niagara College, and minimum score requirements are subject to change based on program demand. Niagara College reserves the right to add and remove language proficiency tests at any time.

If you applied for post-secondary or short term testing you can find more information on Placement Test Details.
To see the countries that do not require proof of English language proficiency, click here.

EAP Level Placement and Common Equivalencies

The IELTS and TOEFL scores provided are for planning purposes only and provide students with an indication of EAP level placement in the Niagara College English for Academic Purposes Program. Applicants are placed into the appropriate EAP level in one of two ways (never both):

  1. By participating in the Niagara College placement test battery during orientation.
  2. By supplying their current (within 2 years) IELTS or Duolingo scores to be validated before arrival.

Note: Level placements are carefully reviewed and validated according to students’ evident language ability during the first week of classes.

EAP Level IELTS (Academic) TOEFL CEFR PTE Academic DUOLINGO
1 0-2.5 iBT 19-23 A1 0-10 10-25
2 3-4.5 iBT 24-32 A2 11-20 30-60No band under 35
3 4.5-5 iBT 33-39 B1 21-27 65-75No band under 55
4 5-5.5 iBT 40-46 B1 28-32 80-90No band under 75
5 5.5-6 iBT 47-59 B2 33-45 95-100No band under 90
For information regarding English language proficiency requirements for Niagara College Post-Secondary, Certificate, Post-Graduate and Degree programs, please refer to the Language Proficiency chart at the top of this page.

What's My Level?According to my IELTS scores

ESL Program Options

IELTS Test Venue

IELTS Language Testing