English language requirements for BASE

If you meet Waterloo's academic admission requirements, and meet the English language requirement for the Bridge to Academic Success in English (BASE) program, you may be admitted if the honours program you applied to offers BASE.

The English language test you submitted to Waterloo and your academic program admission requirements will determine which BASE session you are eligible for. The session you qualify for will be on your offer of admission.


Minimum score

1 term in BASE

2 terms in BASE

Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)
(Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Overall 80-89


Overall 90, less than 25 in writing and speaking

Overall 74-79

(International English Language Testing System)

Overall 6.5, 6.0 in writing

Overall 5.5 - 6.0, 5.0 in writing


Overall 6.5, writing less than 6.0 

(Canadian Academic English Language Assessment)

Overall 60

Overall 50

PTE Academic
(Pearson Test of English)

Overall 58-62


Overall 63, writing and speaking less than 65

Overall 50-57

Cambridge English
(Effective Fall 2022)
Overall 170, minimum 165 writing and 165 speaking

C1 Advanced or C2 proficiency

Overall 160, minimum 154 writing and 154 speaking

C1 Advanced or C2 proficiency


Overall 95

95 in literacy and 95 in production

Results will not be accepted without subscores

Overall 85

85 in literacy and 85 in production

Results will not be accepted without subscores

(English for Academic Success)

Overall 75% at the 300-level

Overall 70-74% at the 300-level


Overall 80% at the 200-level

NOTE: Tests that do not appear on the list are not accepted for admission.

Where do I send my English language test scores?

The test centre must send your official English language test scores directly to our Registrar's Office. We do not accept faxes and student copies of test scores.

See how and when to submit your English language proficiency scores.

NOTE: For Arts/BASE, Health/BASE, Environment/BASE, Math/BASE, and Science/BASE - If we receive a passing score before August 15, 2024, we will reconsider your application. If the admission committee is satisfied, you will be able to start your degree studies directly.

NOTE: For Engineering/BASE - If you have received an offer of admission to Engineering/BASE and you submit a passing test score, we may reassess your application. Decisions on reassessment will be made on a case-by-case basis. There is no guarantee that you will be able to start an Engineering program as this depends on the number of spaces still available in the program.