With thousands of international students enrolling in Canadian Universities, lots of those universities and schools have created college applications more difficult, and having an IELTS certification is one among them. The IELTS exam sadly is additional expensive and might remove a lot of required precious time and energy. So, the question is how are you able to study on low or low cost tuition in Canada without IELTS? you’ll be able to do this strategically by applying to universities that don’t need IELTS.

There are several ways that Canadian universities can “prove” your English proficiency. Some institutions will accept a letter of recommendation from your previous professors in order to test your English proficiency. Note that some universities do not ask for the English proficiency requirement for selected nationalities, and all universities can accept other forms of English proficiency proof if need be.

Here are some Canadian Universities that you can apply to without an IELTS certification.

I will delve into specific university in the later part of this post, before then let me give you a general outline of the exemption policy for most institutions. If you meet one of the following, you are able to can apply without IELTS:

  1. Other English Proficiency Tests such as TOEFL
  2. You have studied in an English-medium school for 4 years
  3. The country that you are from is English-speaking
  4. You attend their language school for a semester or for a year

If you meet one or more of these criteria, you will likely be eligible to study in most universities in Canada without IELTS. Now, let’s look at the specifics.

University of Winnipeg

For candidates interested in this institution, please note that IELTS certification credentials are not necessary for the University of Winnipeg. However, you’ll need to show proof of proficiency in the English language . Although IELTS can be taken, there are equally other cheaper choices available for international students, especially the University of Winnipeg’s ELP. ELP, or the English Language Program at the University of Winnipeg, is enough and arguably carries more weight in the application. This program is offered at University of Winnipeg, and you can take this course and have your IELTS waived.

In addition, there are other ways that English requirement can be waived for an international student. If you have been living in Canada for 10 years or have been studying in Canada for 3 years, then you are exempted. Also, if you are from countries that speak and use English in schools, like Nigeria and Zimbabwe, do not need any English certifications to be accepted to this institution.

Please note this important point: any tests or certifications that are older than two years will not be accepted by any institution. You can get more information by visiting their International Student Language Requirement page.

Brock University

While IELTS can help you get accepted it is not mandatory. Besides IELTS, this institution also accepts TOEFL or their IELP, which is the Brock Intensive English Language Program. Also, if you have undertaken and completed an International Baccalaureate diploma where English was the mode of instruction, then you can get accepted after all. Lastly, if you have studied for the past 3 years using English and have acceptable grades, then those grades can be used to substitute IELTS.

University of Saskatchewan

This is a formidable university known for producing Nobel Prize Laureates and for their research,as a result the application is very competitive. The University of Saskatchewan has a fantastic growing body of international students, and their English proficiency requirements are stricter than most. However, once you have acquired the qualifications, admission can be a bit easier since the university likes attracting international students.

They accept not only IELTS but also TOEFL and the CanTEST, which is the Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees. However, If you do not want to get any additional certification, you can take their own English Language Training program.

If you have 3 years of full-time study with a school that offers a Canadian curriculum in English, whether in Canada or not, you can still apply. Also, if you have an International Baccalaureate diploma or an Advanced Placement English qualification, you can also apply without IELTS. You can check their International Student English Requirement page.

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

With well over 18,000 students and a 66% acceptance rate, the Memorial University is undoubtedly one of the top-ranked institutions in Canada. With a global reputation for engineering, business, and medicine, thousands of international students want to be enrolled in this university.

For  international students who are genuinely interested, you can send a CanTEST, TOEFL or CAEL, Canadian Academic English Language, instead of the rather expensive IELTS. In addition, this university also offers its ESL or ELP classes and examinations. You can equally get a head start by having an online learning class for English offered in the university. Also, the university can afford you an exemption as long as you can send proof that you are good in English, like your grades in the English Language from your school, but they prefer the previous ones.

Cambrian College

A college that has focus on research and after-school employment, Cambrian College treats international students warmly. The college has signed several agreements with other universities in Canada wherein international students can continue their studies with other educational institutions. The application process is also very democratic.

You probably did not know that IELTS and TOEFL are not needed. In fact, according to the website, once an international student applicant arrives on their campus, the school will on a one on one assess their speaking and writing skills. So, there is no reason to apply for expensive certifications or spend hours studying for an English proficiency exam at Cambrian College.

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