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Speaking English is important for immigrants hoping to settle and integrate into Canada.
As one of the top English-speaking immigrant destinations globally, Canada uses standardized language testing to evaluate if applicants have adequate English ability for economic, family, student, or other visas.
Among globally accepted tests like IELTS and CELPIP, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) is also extensively used and approved by the Canadian government due to the academic rigor and convenience it offers test takers.
Is PTE Language Test Accepted in Canada?
When potential immigrants apply for permanent resident status under Express Entry, provincial nominee, and other programs run by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), they must submit valid results from a designated testing agency.
Both PTE Academic and PTE General test results are considered reliable by IRCC to assess the English capability of candidates across multiple immigration categories like skilled workers, Canadian experience, business programs, family sponsorship, refugees, and more.
As English language proficiency is a core requirement for gaining permanent resident status and settlement rights in Canada, internationally recognized tests like PTE, IELTS, and CELPIP allow applicants to objectively demonstrate the current level of their English skills across listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Based on the results, Canadian immigration authorities determine if the candidate can effectively integrate upon immigrating.
Around 1-2 million immigrants are accepted by Canada each year depending on annual immigration quota targets and economic factors, a majority of whom submit recognized English test scores.
In the latest Express Entry Draw of 2023, applicants needed a competitively high score in the ranking system and proof of English proficiency meeting Canadian Language Benchmark level 7 equivalent criteria for getting an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
Both PTE Academic and General formats are considered reliable assessments by IRCC for immigration and economic programs, allowing applicants from diverse countries and linguistic backgrounds to prove the validity of their English ability through Pearson test scores that match CLB 7 and above in all four skills.
PTE Acceptance for Canadian Immigration
To qualify for permanent residence in Canada’s economic class, applicants in most immigration streams must prove their language skills are equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or above in English or French.
This means adequately demonstrating the ability to communicate in speaking, listening, reading and writing domains to undertake professional work or study after immigrating.
A benchmark CLB 7 is considered functional fluency for settling and economically establishing oneself in Canada. By achieving competitive benchmark scores in all PTE Academic or General sections, applicants can successfully prove their English proficiency to IRCC to gain permanent residency.
Achieving 65 points or higher in Pearson formats verifies a candidate’s English readiness for integration and collateral benefits like gaining extra ranking points in the Express Entry pool.
PTE Language Test for Study Purposes
In addition to immigration pathways, PTE is widely accepted by colleges, universities, vocational schools, language schools, and other academic institutions across Canada for meeting English proficiency requirements.
In 2020, over 642,000 international students came to Canada for higher degree programs, making it the world’s 4th most popular study-abroad destination after the USA, Australia, and the UK.
The PTE Academic format is designed to effectively assess test takers’ English readiness for coping with the linguistic demands of academic degree programs taught in Canada’s English-language higher education system. Students seeking undergraduate or graduate-level degrees must verify that their chosen Canadian college or university accepts PTE scores for admission purposes.
PTE Academic scores in the competence band of 60-90 points are highly regarded and preferred benchmarks by most graduate schools and business programs offering master’s, MBA, and Ph.D. degrees at Canadian educational institutions that compete globally to attract high-caliber international talent.
Undergraduate programs at Canadian colleges/universities also routinely accept PTE scores from international applicants during study permit processing.
Students should directly check admission requirements guides to know the exact minimum PTE score set by their chosen Canadian academic program to issue acceptance letters, or study permits after evaluating their English competence.
PTE Score Chart
On PTE’s scoring scale from 10 up to a maximum of 90 points, the overall proficiency bands are:
90-84: Expert user
83-76: Very good user
75-65: Competent user
64-53: Modest user
52-30: Extremely limited user
The four sections examining communicative skills — Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing – make up PTE’s overall score report. Enabling skills like grammar structures, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary range, and accuracy, along with written discourse, are assessed within respective sections.
To immigrate or study in Canada, the focus is on crossing overall CLB level 7 (equivalent to 65 points) and higher on the PTE Academic test across the four abilities – listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Top results in the competence, very good, and expert bands (75-90 points) will make candidates highly competitive for economic and student immigration programs due to Canadian employers, universities, and immigration authorities all preferring applicants with higher English mastery.
PTE’s detailed score report provides useful diagnostics for test takers to understand their current language capability and which areas need further improvement through self-study or English coaching.
By gaining deeper insight into strengths/weaknesses from Pearson score analysis reports, candidates can strategize progress to achieve Canadian benchmarks eventually.