CAEL CE (Computer Edition) will be continuing while CAEL (Paper Edition) will be retiring as of August 31, 2018. Read more.

The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment is designed to measure the English language proficiency of students planning to study in Canadian post-secondary institutions. It is the only test that provides a truly 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.

What makes CAEL different?

A Canadian Test

CAEL is developed in Canada, by Canadians. It incorporates Canadian English and accents as used in Canadian academic contexts and post-secondary institutions.

A Fully Integrated and Topic-Based Test

CAEL is a fully integrated and topic-based test. Test takers use the information from the Reading and Listening components to write their essay—unlike other tests that ask test takers to write a persuasive essay with no connection to the academic material.

CAEL Part 1 and 2

Represents Language Use in an Academic Context

The language activities that test takers experience during CAEL are very similar to the activities they will engage in during their Canadian post-secondary studies.  The tasks in the test are selectively sampled from first-year university courses.

Language activities are separated into two parts using two separate topics.

Part 1. Written Assessment:

  • Reading: Test takers read passages and answer questions on Topic One.
  • Listening: Test takers listen to a pre-recorded lecture and answer questions on Topic One.
  • Writing: Test takers use information from the reading and listening components to write a short essay on Topic One.

Part 2. Oral Language Test:

Oral response: Test takers complete five speaking tasks using a headset and microphone. Their answers are recorded by the computer.

Learn more about the CAEL (Paper Edition) test format.


What is CAEL (Paper Edition)?
Who Accepts CAEL (Paper Edition)?
Test Format (Paper Edition)
Test Prep & Sample Test (Paper Edition)
Test Day Information (Paper Edition)
Scores (Paper Edition)
Information Sessions (Paper Edition)

CAEL Topic Examples

  • Criminal Behaviour
  • Ethical Dilemmas
  • Genetic Modifications
  • International Business Management
  • Language Development
  • Mammals
  • Organizational Behaviour
  • Team Management
  • Urban Development
  • Water Management Technology

Essay Topic Examples

Example 1: “What is sleep, and is it possible that someday we might change our sleep patterns to reduce the number of hours of sleep we need?”

Example 2: “Use the information from the readings and the lecture to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Globalization.”