New! Information for Test Candidates Booklet
Purpose of the CanTEST
The CanTEST is a standardized English proficiency test used to determine if you are able to meet admission requirements of Canadian postsecondary institutions or fluency requirements of professional licensing associations. Furthermore, the scores will give you some idea of how much additional English language training you may need.
Description of the CanTEST
The CanTEST measures four skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Each test section is described briefly below.
LISTENING: The Listening test is made up of about 40 multiple-choice or short-answer questions based on recorded material delivered at normal speed. The listening passages include dialogues, announcements, interviews, and short lectures. The test lasts about one hour, and listening passages vary in length from about one to five minutes.
READING: Reading is measured by two tests. The first is a 10 to 20 question Skimming and Scanning test, which requires that the candidate read quickly to find specific information in authentic texts such as newspapers, university calendars, web pages, and bibliographies. The second reading test lasts about one hour and measures Reading Comprehension. For this test, test-takers read passages of 400-700 words, and answer multiple-choice and short-answer questions about them. They also complete a 20 to 30 item cloze test, in which words are deleted from a passage. The cloze test is in multiple-choice format.
WRITING: The Writing test involves writing a composition on a topic which is provided. The time for this test is 45 minutes.
SPEAKING: The Speaking test involves a face-to-face interview with two evaluators who ask questions about the candidates' personal and professional life, as well as more general topics. The interview lasts about 15 minutes.