What is CAEL?

CAEL is a test designed to measure the English language proficiency of students planning to study in Canadian post-secondary institutions.

CAEL is one of the best tools for identifying students with the right English skills for academic success. It provides an authentic representation of language use in a Canadian academic context. Test takers read articles, listen to a lecture, answer questions, and write a short essay, as they would be expected to do in a first-year Canadian university or college classroom.

CAEL scores from our test centres are now accepted for Student Direct Stream (SDS) applications!

Test Scores

Test takers receive individual English proficiency scores for the Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking components, as well as an overall score. CAEL scores are reported on a scale from 10 – 90 with accompanying descriptors of what performance represents. The overall score will now be calculated as an equally weighted average of the four component scores rounded to the nearest ten-point interval. The table below presents descriptions of test taker proficiency at each full band level.

CAEL Band Descriptor CAEL Score
Expert: Demonstrates a high level of competence, accuracy, and effectiveness in academic/professional settings 80-90
Adept: Uses generally accurate language in most settings; some limitations in flexibility are evident 70
Advanced: Displays competence in academic or professional settings 60
High Intermediate: Exhibits some competence in academic or professional settings; communication may break down in places 50
Intermediate: Demonstrates some ability to comprehend and articulate complex ideas and arguments typical of academic or professional settings 40
High Beginner: Expresses basic ideas about familiar topics in routine settings 30
Low Beginner: Communicates with limited ability 10-20

Who Accepts CAEL

CAEL is accepted by over 180 Canadian post-secondary institutions

CAEL is accepted by over 180 Canadian post-secondary institutions, as well as by a number of professional organizations as proof of English proficiency. Click below for a full list of accepting institutions and organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions

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