TOEFL for Canada student visa: The ultimate guide to success

By Edvoy• Last updated: Oct 30, 2023
TOEFL for Canada student visa: The ultimate guide to success
Preparing to study abroad?
While you crack TOEFL, get started on the application process with Edvoy

Obtaining a student visa is a vital step if you're planning to pursue your education in Canada. One of the key requirements for the Canada student visa is demonstrating your English language proficiency.

The TOEFL is a widely recognized and accepted exam that assesses your English language skills for academic purposes. It plays a significant role in determining your eligibility for a Canada student visa.

In this guide, we will provide you with essential information and insights to navigate the TOEFL successfully and maximise your chances of securing a Canada student visa.

We will explore the exam structure, score requirements, and top colleges in Canada accepting TOEFL.

Also read: Canada student visa IELTS requirements

Why choose TOEFL for studying in Canada?

Choosing TOEFL for studying in Canada offers several advantages and benefits:

1. Widely accepted - TOEFL is recognized and accepted by numerous educational institutions in Canada. It is one of the most preferred English language proficiency tests for admission into Canadian universities and colleges, ensuring that your TOEFL scores are recognized and valued by the institutions you apply to.

2. Academic focus - TOEFL is specifically designed to assess English language skills in an academic context. The exam's content and tasks reflect the language skills required for success in university-level studies, making it highly relevant for students planning to pursue higher education in Canada.

3. Comprehensive evaluation - TOEFL evaluates all four language skills - reading, listening, speaking, and writing. By taking the TOEFL, you can demonstrate your proficiency in all these areas, giving Canadian institutions a comprehensive understanding of your English language abilities.

4. Standardised scoring - TOEFL provides standardised scoring, ensuring consistency and fairness in evaluating your performance. The scoring criteria are transparent and well-established, enabling Canadian institutions to make informed decisions based on your TOEFL scores.

5. Global recognition - TOEFL is recognized worldwide, which can be advantageous if you have plans to study abroad in countries other than Canada. Your TOEFL scores can be useful for admission to universities and colleges in various countries, providing you with greater flexibility and opportunities for international education.

Also read: Top universities in Canada for international students

Preparing to study abroad?
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Do you need TOEFL for a Canada student visa?

While the Canadian government does not explicitly require TOEFL for a student visa application, demonstrating English language proficiency is an essential aspect of the visa process. The English language proficiency requirement for a Canada student visa depends on the specific requirements of the institution and the program you are applying to.

TOEFL is a widely recognized and accepted exam for demonstrating English language proficiency. Canadian institutions may accept other English language proficiency tests such as IELTS or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP). Even if TOEFL is not a mandatory requirement for the visa itself, it may still be necessary to take the TOEFL or a similar exam to fulfil the language proficiency requirements of the educational institution you wish to attend.

TOEFL score requirements and criteria for a student visa in Canada

When applying for a student visa in Canada, there are certain TOEFL score requirements and criteria that applicants need to meet. These requirements are set by the Canadian immigration authorities, specifically Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Here is an overview of the TOEFL score requirements and criteria for a student visa in Canada:

1. Language proficiency

To demonstrate English language proficiency, applicants are required to provide their TOEFL scores as evidence. Generally, Canadian universities and colleges have specific score requirements for admission, and meeting these requirements is crucial for a student visa application.

2. Minimum TOEFL scores

The minimum TOEFL score required for a student visa in Canada can vary among educational institutions and programs. Typically, institutions may require a minimum total score of 80 to 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) for undergraduate programs, while post-graduate programs may require a higher score of 90 to 100.

3. Validity of TOEFL scores

It is important to note that TOEFL scores are valid for a certain period, usually two years, from the test date. The scores you submit with your student visa application must be within the valid time frame.

4. Other admission requirements

While TOEFL scores are an essential component of the student visa application, it is important to remember that they are not the only criteria for admission. Educational institutions in Canada have additional requirements, such as academic qualifications, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and financial documentation.

Also read: How to apply for university in Canada?

TOEFL cut-off for Canada student visa

TOEFL score requirements for a student visa in Canada can vary depending on the institution and program you are applying to. The Canadian immigration authorities, such as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), do not set specific TOEFL score requirements for student visa applications. Instead, it is the educational institution that determines the minimum acceptable TOEFL scores for admission.

For undergraduate programs, the minimum TOEFL score accepted usually ranges between 80 and 100 on the internet-based test (iBT). On the other hand, post-graduate programs often require a higher minimum score, typically ranging from 90 to 100 on the iBT.

It is important to note that these score ranges may vary among institutions, and it is recommended to check the specific requirements of each university or program you are interested in to ensure you meet their criteria for English language proficiency.

Also read: Study in Canada consultant: Navigate the process with confidence

Preparing to study abroad?
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Detailed breakdown: Exam structure of TOEFL

The TOEFL exam is structured into four sections, each assessing different language skills necessary for academic English proficiency.

1. Reading section

The reading section of the TOEFL evaluates your ability to understand and analyse written passages from academic texts. You will be presented with multiple-choice questions that test your comprehension of the main ideas, supporting details, vocabulary usage, and rhetorical purpose of the passages. This section measures your reading speed, accuracy, and comprehension skills.

Preparing to study abroad?
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2. Listening section

In the listening section, your ability to understand spoken English in academic contexts is assessed. You will listen to lectures, conversations, and classroom discussions, and then answer questions based on the content and organisation of the information presented. This section evaluates your listening comprehension, note-taking skills, and ability to identify main ideas, supporting details, and speakers' attitudes.

3. Speaking section

The speaking section measures your ability to communicate verbally in English. You will be required to complete various speaking tasks, such as expressing your opinion on a familiar topic, summarising information from reading and listening materials and providing a spoken response based on integrated tasks.

4. Writing section

The writing section assesses your writing skills in English. You will be given tasks that require you to write essays based on reading and listening materials. This section evaluates your ability to generate and organise ideas, support arguments with examples and reasons, and demonstrate effective writing skills.

TOEFL fees

The TOEFL exam fee varies depending on the location and administration of the test. It is advisable to visit the official TOEFL website or contact the testing centre in your area to obtain accurate and up-to-date information regarding the fees.

The TOEFL fee in India is ₹ 16,900. The fees typically cover the cost of registration, test administration, score reporting, and additional services if opted for, such as score review or sending scores to additional institutions.

How to send your TOEFL scores to universities in Canada

To send your TOEFL scores to universities in Canada, you can follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your TOEFL iBT account - Visit the official TOEFL website and log in to your TOEFL iBT account using your username and password. If you don't have an account, create one by providing the necessary information.
  2. Select the score recipient - Once you are logged in, select the "Score Recipient" option. This will allow you to choose the universities or institutions where you want to send your TOEFL scores.
  3. Choose the universities - In the Score Recipient section, you can search for the universities in Canada where you want to send your scores. Enter the name or code of the institution and select it from the provided options. You can choose multiple universities or institutions to send your scores to.
  4. Confirm the selection - After selecting the universities, review your choices and ensure that they are accurate. Double-check the spelling of the institution names and confirm your selection.
  5. Pay the score-sending fee - There is usually a fee associated with sending TOEFL scores to universities. Proceed to pay the required fee using the payment method specified on the website.
  6. Finalise and submit - Once the payment is processed, review your order details one last time. Make sure that the universities you selected are correct, and then submit your score-sending request.
  7. Processing and delivery - The TOEFL scores will be sent to the universities you selected within a few days of your request. The universities will receive your official score report directly from ETS.

Top Universities in Canada Accepting TOEFL

There are numerous prestigious colleges and universities in Canada that accept the TOEFL for international student admissions. Here are some of the top colleges in Canada that accept TOEFL scores:

  • University of Toronto
  • McGill University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Waterloo
  • McMaster University
  • Western University
  • Queen's University
  • University of Calgary
  • Simon Fraser University

Is TOEFL accepted for permanent residency in Canada?

Yes, the TOEFL is accepted for certain Canadian immigration programs, including applications for permanent residency in Canada.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) set the language requirements for each immigration program, and they accept different English language tests, including the TOEFL, to demonstrate language proficiency. Other accepted language tests include the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program).

The TOEFL serves as a crucial component for international students seeking a Canada student visa. With our ultimate guide to TOEFL for Canada student visa, you can get valuable insights into TOEFL requirements, score criteria, and top colleges in Canada. By understanding the TOEFL exam structure, preparing effectively, and achieving the required scores, you can enhance your chances of securing admission to your desired Canadian institution.

Frequently asked questions

Is TOEFL accepted for Canadian student visa applications?

Yes, TOEFL scores are accepted as proof of English language proficiency for Canadian student visa applications. It is one of the recognized language tests by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

What is the minimum TOEFL score required for studying in Canada?

The minimum TOEFL score required varies among institutions and programs. Generally, universities and colleges in Canada may require a minimum score of 80 to 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) for undergraduate programs and a higher score of 90 to 100 for postgraduate programs.

How long is the TOEFL score valid?

TOEFL scores are generally valid for two years from the test date.

How do I send my TOEFL scores to Canadian universities?

When registering for the TOEFL, you can select the universities or institutions where you want your scores to be sent. ETS will automatically send your official score report to those institutions electronically. You can also order additional score reports to be sent to universities at a later time for a fee.

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