Canada approves new English Language test for Immigration

Canada approves new English Language test for Immigration

In February 2023, the IRCC approved Pearson Canada Inc as a language-testing organization for its immigration programs and will accept scores from the PTE Core Test starting late 2023. 

This is the third such English test approved by the IRCC after the IELTS and CELPIP and comes at a crucial juncture with the country ramping up immigration targets for the coming years. 

About Pearson Canada Inc 

Pearson Canada Inc. administers the Pearson Test of English Core (PTE Core), previously the PTE Essential English Test and PTE Academic. It delivers the digitalized test using the latest AI technology, biometric data collection, security measures and voice recognition software for accurate results.  

Their PTE Academic test is a popular academic English test already accepted by top Canadian universities like the University of British Columbia, University of Alberta and McMaster University for student applications. 

The Pearson Test of English Core 

The PTE Core, formerly the PTE Essential, is a computer-based, four-skill test (speaking, listening, reading and writing) that assesses everyday English skills, emphasizing a more vocational, real-life and non-academic setting. It is tailor-made for economic immigrants seeking permanent residency in Canada and will be accepted for Canadian citizenship applications. The test will launch somewhere in late 2023. 

Difference between the PTE Core and the PTE Academic 

The PTE Core tests for general English skills, while the PTE Academic is geared towards international students looking to study in Canadian universities. 

The PTE Core may gauge your ability to read magazines and create emails, while the PTE Academic may require applicants to assess lecture materials and academic articles. 

The two are not interchangeable and serve different purposes, one for economic immigrants seeking permanent residency in Canada and another for international students. 

The Pearson Test of English Academic and the Student Direct Stream 

The PTE Academic is an English language test used by international students for study applications. 

The PTE Academic is accepted by the IRCC for the Student Direct Stream (SDS), which grants expedited study permit processing for post-secondary studies in designated learning Institutes (DLI). It is only available to residents of specific countries, including India, China, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. 

PTE Academic Test format 

The PTE Academic comprises three segments: 

  Duration  Question types 
Speaking and Writing  54-67 minutes  This segment will require you to: 

  • Read Aloud 
  • Repeat sentences 
  • Describe images 
  • Re-tell a lecture 
  • Answer short questions 
  • Summarize written text and 
  • Write an essay 
Reading  29-30 minutes  The question types in the reading segment will require you to read passages and : 

  • Fill in the blanks 
  • Answer Multiple choice answers with multiple answers 
  • Re-order paragraphs 
  • Fill in blanks 
  • Multiple choice with a single answer 
Listening  30-43 minutes  Questions in this segment require you to listen and : 

  • Summarize Spoken text 
  • Answer Multiple choice questions with multiple answers 
  • Fill in the blanks 
  • Highlight correct summary 
  • Answer Multiple choice questions with a single answer 
  • Select a missing word 
  • Highlight Incorrect words 
  • Write from dictation  

Scoring system 

The Pearson Test of English Academic gives detailed individual scores across all skill categories and an Overall score rated from 10-90.  

Pearson will publish a guide on how PTE scores relate to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) scores once the PTE Core is opened in late 2023. 

Universities usually set their minimum required PTE Academic scores as follows: 

  • Foundation courses: between 36-50 
  • Undergraduate degrees: between 51-60 
  • Postgraduate degrees: between 57-67 

PTE Academic points comparison to IELTS 

PTE Academic  23  29  36  46  56  66  76  84  89  NA 
IELTS  4.5  5.0  5.5  6.0  6.5  7.0  7.5  8.0  8.5  9.0 


What is the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)? 

The CLB is a Canadian language standard used to grade an individual’s ability to speak and understand English as a second language. Twelve benchmarks grade the individual’s ability from ‘basic’ to ‘advanced.’ The CLB measures four aspects to gauge a person’s proficiency – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. 

The CLB’s twelve benchmarks are divided into three stages: 

  • Stage 1 – Basic Language Ability (CLB level 1-4) 
  • Stage 2 – Intermediate Language Ability (CLB 5-8) 
  • Stage 3 – Advanced Language Ability (CLB 9-12) 
Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou is a content writer with SettleCanada. He is a Political Sciences graduate and a keen follower of international affairs and contemporary history. He has a background in publishing and regularly dabbles in writing and game development projects. Janggoulal currently writes on issues related to Canadian Immigration.