You need to provide an English language test score if

  1. your first language is not English AND
  2. your four most recent years of full-time education have not been in an English-language school system.

Exceptions

Exception A

You are not required to provide an English language test score if

  • you have been educated in Canada and your first language is English,
  • you are a bilingual Francophone Canadian, OR
  • your first language is French and you have completed four or more years of full-time studies in a high school in Canada.

Exception B

You are not required to provide an English proficiency test score if your first language is not English AND your four most recent years of full-time education were taught in an entirely English-language school system either in Canada or in another country.

If your four most recent years of full-time education have been in a country other than Canada, the following conditions apply.

  • Official transcripts indicating subjects taught, grades achieved, and language of instruction must be provided by your high school and/or post-secondary institution(s) to support your claim.
  • We will also consider official letters, sent directly from your school’s principal or head of guidance, verifying that all subjects (excluding language courses) are taught in English.
  • These documents must arrive by Waterloo's document deadline.

English as a Second Language (ESL) programs do not qualify you for this exemption and cannot be included in the number of years of full-time education in an English-language school system.

IB and/or AP English courses also do not qualify for an exemption from the English language requirements.


Required English language scores

The following English language scores are in addition to Grade 12 English (or equivalent) if that is required for the program you're applying to.

Test Minimum score
Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or Special Home Edition TOEFL (iBT) – Test of English as a Foreign Language

TOEFL MyBest Scores results will not be used to meet our English language requirements. If you have taken multiple tests you will need to submit results for each test.
90 overall
25 writing, 25 speaking
IELTS Academic – International English Language Testing System 6.5 overall
6.5 writing, 6.0 reading,
6.0 listening, 6.5 speaking,
CAEL or CAEL online – Canadian Academic English Language Assessment 70 overall
60 per band
70 writing, 70 speaking
PTE Academic – Pearson Test of English 63 overall
65 writing, 65 speaking
Cambridge English test (C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency) 180 overall
176 writing, 176 reading
176 speaking, 176 listening
Duolingo English test 120 overall. Results will not be accepted without subscores.
EFAS – English for Academic Success (offered by Waterloo's English Language Institute) 75% overall in 400 levels
75% in each of academic, oral, and writing

Tests that do not appear on this chart are not accepted for admission consideration. Choose one of the test options and complete your test at least two months before Waterloo's document deadlines to ensure your scores reach us in time. It will take 4-6 weeks for your official test score to reach Waterloo.

Exemptions will not be granted because test dates have become full.

If a TOEFL test date is full, you’re encouraged to register for CAEL or IELTS.


Important notes

  • Your four most recent years of full-time education must be immediately before the beginning of the month you start your studies at Waterloo.
  • The English language requirements stated above are minimum required scores. If you have a higher score, you may be given preference in some programs.
  • We will consider paper-based TOEFL on an individual case-by-case basis.
  • If you're applying to a program in the Faculty of Mathematics and achieve an overall IELTS score of 7.0 (with no band score below 6.0), you meet the Faculty of Mathematics English language requirements needed for admission.
  • We reserve the right to withdraw an offer of admission if you fail to meet the minimum English language requirements for the program to which you have applied.
  • If you have completed your four most recent years of full-time education in an English-language school system and you also provide a failing English language test score, we reserve the right to withdraw your Offer of Admission or place you in BASE.
  • We reserve the right to request an English language test result from any applicant.
 


Questions can be sent to myapplication@uwaterloo.ca.