IELTS test takers applying through the Student Direct Stream category for Canadian study permits will not be required to achieve a minimum score of 6.0 bands in all individual sections of the test from August, according to IDP Education, the co-owner of IELTS.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made the changes to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requirement which will be effective from August 10.
"In light of the recent changes made by the IRCC, we are delighted by the decision that IELTS Academic test takers applying through the SDS programme will now require only an overall 6 band score. There is no longer any requirement to achieve a minimum score of 6 bands in each section," said Piyush Kumar, Regional Director, South Asia and Mauritius, IDP Education.
"This update represents a positive shift towards recognising the comprehensive abilities of test takers rather than focusing solely on individual band scores. We believe this change will provide greater opportunities for talented students worldwide to pursue their educational goals in Canada and also reflects authorities' confidence in IELTS," he said.
IELTS is one of the most popular English language proficiency tests for study, migration or work. Over three million people take the test every year and is accepted by more than 11,000 employers, universities, schools and immigration bodies around the world.
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is an expedited study permit processing programme for those applying to study in Canada at a post-secondary designated learning institution. The SDS programme has consistently served as a streamlined and expedited pathway for eligible students to study in Canada. It offers faster visa processing time and a smoother transition for students to Canadian educational institutions.
"Now test takers would find it even more attractive for the SDS programme. IELTS has the biggest network of test centres. It provides the option of paper-based tests in more than 150 venues across over 80 cities in India and computer-delivered tests in 46 centres, making it very convenient for the candidates. We also plan to introduce IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR) in India soon to ensure the candidates have the flexibility to retake any one section of the test," Kumar said.
"We encourage students interested in pursuing their education in Canada to take advantage of the new English test requirements under the SDS programme. The removal of the minimum score requirement in all individual bands of the IELTS Academic test presents a more inclusive and holistic approach to evaluating students' language proficiency, supporting a wider range of talented individuals in their pursuit of higher education," he added.