Anything You Need to Know about the CanTEST

What is the CanTEST

CanTEST is a type of evaluation designed and developed by the University of Ottawa in Canada. The results of this test are valid in Canada and in some of its universities. In fact, some Canadian universities and educational institutions consider the results of this test as an English language score for students admission.

What is the CanTEST English test?

CanTEST or Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees is a test to evaluate your English language skills. The English language skills measured in this assessment include reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The score you get in this test shows how fluent you are in English and fit to admission to the undergraduate and graduate studies of some Canadian universities.

How many parts have the CanTEST?

CanTEST consists of the following sections that you must prepare for:

• Reading in CanTest

This section has two parts. In The first part, you have to answer 10 to 20 skimming and scanning test. Newspapers, university calendars, web pages, and bibliographies are the material of this part. You have to read these materials quickly and recognize wanted information.

In the second section, you have to read a 400 to 700 word content and answer multiple and short answer question based on that. You need to complete 20 to 30 item cloze test, in which words are deleted from the text. The format of this cloze test is multiple-choice too. This section lasts 50 minutes.

• Listening in Cantest

This one-hour test includes dialogues, announcements, interviews, and short lectures. You have to answer about 40 multiple-choice or short-answer questions based on this content. Recorded materials are 1 to 5 minutes long.

• Writing

In this test, your time to write a composition is 45 minutes. The topic of the composition announce to you.

• Speaking

This test is a 15 minutes interview. The evaluators ask you some questions. These questions are about general topics as well as your personal, academic and professional life.

Which universities use CanTEST?

Some of Canadian universities that use CanTEST as English proficiency includes:

  • University of Regina
  • University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon)
  • University of Winnipeg
  • University of Manitoba (Winnipeg)
  • University of Ottawa
  • St. Mary’s University (Halifax)
  • Alberta College of Pharmacists Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society
  • Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapists Ontario College of Pharmacists
  • Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association Canadian Society of Immigration
  • Carleton University
  • Dalhousie University University of Prince Edward Island
  • Memorial University University of Regina
  • Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University of Saskatchewan
  • St. Mary’s University University of Toronto
  • Technical University of Nova Scotia University of Waterloo
  • University of New Brunswick

Based on University of Regina rules, score of 5.0 in Speaking as well as 4.5 in Listening, Reading and Writing fulfills the graduate English language requirement. Moreover, ESL students who pass the highest level, English for Academic Purposes, do NOT need to pass the CanTEST to enter the University of Regina.

CanTEST Registration steps

You can be present at ESL Office, Room 114 Wakpá Tower (South Residence) in person or call 306-585-4585 to registration.

Online registration is available too. You should download the Official CanTEST Application as PDF. Then print and complete it. Finally submit the form as well as the fees receipt via email. This email should send to Official CanTEST Registration.

Consider these points too

  • Notice that you should accompanied your test registration form by an appropriate scanned photo for identification before sending it.
  • If you registrant lately, you should pay additional fee of $10.
  • If you take action to register after the late registration deadline, it does not accept.

CanTEST preparation steps

You can be prepared well for this test via

  • Read the daily newspaper
  • Listen to radio news
  • Watch the documentaries
  • Take the advanced ESL writing course
  • Participate in preparatory tests like ESL

How to cancel the registration?

You can cancel your registration for this exam. To do this

You must notify cancellation ten business days before the test day. Therefore, you must be present at ESL office, South Residence, Room 114 or call 306-585-4585. Under this circumstance, you will receive the refund, less a $40.00 as administration charge.

If you notify your cancellation less than ten business days before the test, you will not receive a refund. You can only consider the fee paid for the next one. If you do not notice the cancellation of your registration at all, you could not to request to assign the registration fee for the next test.

CanTEST price

The payable fee of this test varies based on different factors:

  • Basic test fee is $140.00. This includes listening, reading and writing.
  • Full test fee is $200.00. It includes Listening, reading, writing and speaking.
  • Speaking test fee is $60.00
  • Writing test fee is $60.00
  • CanTEST information and practice test fee is $30.00
  • Cloze test practice book fee is $12.00
  • Official CanTEST score report fee is $15.00
  • Re-evaluation of writing and speaking tests fee is $30.00
  • Re-evaluation of listening and reading tests fee is $15.00

Test day

In date of the test:

  • Often the test lasts three and a half to four hours
  • It begins at 8:30 a.m.
  • The component lasts about 15-20 minutes per candidate.
  • It oral interview will usually be scheduled between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Candidates who are registered for oral interviews will be notified of their test times at least one week before the test date.
  • Once or twice in the test, you are given a short break.
  • At the test day, you should take Canadian government-issued photo identification such as Permanent Resident Card, Driver’s License, or Passport. You cannot use the university or College student ID cards since they do not state your birthday date.
  • You should not take the cell phones, smart watches, dictionaries, or translators at the test day. Be on time and do not take food and drink there.

Evaluation process and CanTEST scores

The system of evaluating and announcing the scores to the test participants is different. In this system, an email will be sent to you ten days after the test, in which your performance in the test is described in a descriptive statement.

There is a “band system”, you will be notified of what test result you have received. This email will tell you in which area you have done great and in which area you need to work harder.

The participants are divided into several different sections Based on this system:

Fluent user which the score is 5+

This score means that you have no weakness in understanding familiar and unfamiliar texts. Achieving this level of language proficiency means admission to all desire universities.

Very good user which the score is 5

This score also means that you have a very good understanding and mastery of English texts. There may have been minor inaccuracies and errors in your performance on this test, which can be ignored by most target universities.

Competent user which the score is 4

This score indicates that you have weaknesses in understanding and communicating with complex English contexts.

Limited user which the score is 3

This score indicates that you are only communicating with familiar texts and need more training.

Very basic user which the score is 2

The biggest weakness of the participants who receive this score is the lack of communication with English texts.

Novice which the score is 1

A participant with this level of English proficiency certainly cannot go to a higher level.
4.5 Score is an acceptable score for most Canadian universities. However, for some special education institutions, a higher score is required for admission. The official results of your exam will be sent to the educational institution or university of your choice, which you mentioned in the registration form, for a separate fee.

It is also possible to send these results to several educational institutions or universities according to your opinion. Obviously, in this case, you will have to pay more.

In reading and listening part, you have to get about 60 or 65% of the questions right to achieve a Band Level of 4.0. In Writing and Speaking, everything is different.

Some key Points you need to know about the test

Here, you can learn the most important key Points:

What are the topics of CanTest?

Topics of this test are mainly agriculture, medicine, engineering, history, and education.

Can I repeat the writing test?

If you get a passing score in the reading and listening tests, but do not pass the writing, you can repeat it again.

On the other hand, if you successfully pass the three sections of reading, listening and writing, you can try speaking orally and separately.

Can I request a re-evaluation?

It is possible for you to request a re-evaluation of the test results. You can do this by submit a Re-Evaluation Form within 15 business days after the test.

When I can retake the test?

If you plan to retake the reading and listening test, you will have to wait three months. Also, retaking the writing and speaking test requires a full 6 weeks of the previous test.

Notice that, if you receive a passing grade in the reading and listening department, the educational institution or university will accept this grade. Therefore, you can repeat the writing test if necessary.

However, if you have not passed the reading or listening test, and you have only accepted the writing test, you need to repeat all three reading tests and writing test.


Is CanTEST easier than ielts? Which English test is the easiest? Such a question is asked thousands of time. However comparison CanTEST vs IELTS is wrong.

The answer to this question depends on many factors as well as your language skills.

In general, this test has key differences from other English tests. For example, this test, unlike other tests, is based on comprehension, not the grammar or structures. Moreover, the context is in form of passages no single sentence. The length of written context or listening source in this test is longer than other test.

This is based on comprehensive question not grammar or structure

Which score is accepted by universities?

Each university has its own criteria for admission based on this test. Therefore, you should refer to the website of desire institution or university and make sure of the grade they accept.

How long are the test results valid?

The results of this test are valid for two years after the date of the test.

Is CanTEST online?

No, it is not. It is an offline test.

In what area is the test held?

  • Ontario (Ottawa and Toronto test sessions)

CanTEST Central Office

Second Language Institute, University of Ottawa
600 King Edward Avenue, Ottawa ON K1N 6N5

Tel.: (613) 562-5743 Fax: (613) 562-5126

Email: [email protected]

  • Manitoba

Student Affairs, English Language Centre
University of Manitoba, 520 University Centre, Winnipeg MA R3T 2N2

Tel.: (204) 474-9251 Fax: (204) 275-8098

English Language Programs, Continuing Education

University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg MA R3B 2E9

Tel.: (204) 982-1160

  • Nova Scotia

TESL Centre

St. Mary’s University, Halifax NS B3H 3C4

Tel.: (902) 420-5691 Fax: (902) 420-5122

Email: [email protected]

  • Saskatchewan

ESL Program, South Residence 114
University of Regina
3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK S4S 0A2

Tel: (306) 585-4585 Fax: (306) 585-4971

Centre for Second Language Instruction
University of Saskatchewan
232 R.J.D.Williams Bldg
221 Cumberland Ave., North, Saskatoon SK S7N 1M3

Tel.: (306) 966-4351 Fax: (306) 966-4356


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