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New IELTS Academic score requirements for Canada SDS


Test Takers



Date Published

04 October 2023

Thinking about studying in Canada? We've got some great news to share about changes in IELTS Academic score requirements for the Canada Student Direct Stream (SDS) visa.

The immigration body in Canada, the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada), made these changes on 10 August 2023.

Read all about it below and find out why IELTS is the best choice for applying to study in Canada.

You no longer need a minimum score for each skill to apply for SDS

Before 10 August you had to achieve a band score of 6 in each of the four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) to apply to the Canada Student Direct Stream.

Now, you only need to focus on achieving an overall band score of 6 in your IELTS Academic test. This makes it easier to prepare for the test and means you have more flexibility to achieve your goal.

You only need to focus on achieving an overall band score of 6 in your IELTS Academic test

Use your results for up to two years

You can use your IELTS Academic score for up to two years from the date you sat the test. This means you can use a test score from before 10 August to apply to SDS after the changes went live.

IELTS is the most trusted test in Canada

IELTS has been accepted in the study permit program since the beginning and is the most widely accepted test by Canadian universities, employers, and immigration authorities.

See which organisations accept IELTS in Canada.

See which organisations accept IELTS in Canada

A choice of how you take your test

To apply to the Canada SDS, you can take IELTS Academic on paper or on computer in a test centre. Whether you prefer to handwrite your answers on paper or type your answers on a computer, the choice is yours.

Learn more about the ways to take IELTS.

Multiple test locations and test dates

Find a test centre and a date and time that fits with your plans. We have over 4,000 test centre locations in over 140 countries around the world, with plenty of test dates and times available.

Find a test centre near you.

A wide range of IELTS preparation support

We’re here to help you get the result you deserve, which is why we provide a wide range of preparation materials to support you. From sample papers and practice tests to apps and webinars, we have everything you need to succeed.

Access our preparation resources.

Remember, we're here to support your journey every step of the way. So, study hard, aim high, and get ready to start your Canadian adventure!

Your Canadian dream is closer than you think! Book your test today.