Changes to IELTS Academic test requirements give test takers greater access to Canadian study opportunities

IDP Education
11 August 2023

Changes introduced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to their Student Direct Stream (SDS) English language test requirements will give IELTS Academic test takers from 13 countries greater opportunity to pursue their Canadian study dreams. 

IELTS Academic test takers will now be considered on their overall English language proficiency rather than their individual skills in Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening when applying for their study permit through the SDS.  

The changes - which came into effect on 10 August - mean test takers who completed the IELTS Academic test within the past two years and did not achieve an individual band score of 6.0 in each skill can now apply to study under the SDS in Canada if they achieved an overall Academic band score of 6.0 and meet the other criteria needed for the study permit.

Warwick Freeland, Managing Director – IELTS, IDP Education, said these changes would be significant for upcoming test takers, as well as past test takers who did not achieve the required score in each skill. 

“IELTS Academic test takers will now be able to approach their test with greater confidence that each of their strengths will be reflected in their overall English proficiency score,” Mr Freeland said. 

“We know these changes will open doors for many test takers who have dreams of studying in Canada, and we are looking forward to supporting them as they embark on the next stage of their study journey.” 

The changes came into effect for applications made from 10 August 2023. Test takers looking to assess their eligibility can do so via:


About IELTS 

IDP is a proud co-owner of the International English Language Testing System, (IELTS).  

IELTS is a pioneer of English language testing. We changed the industry when we launched more than 30 years ago, and we continue to lead the sector today.  

We are innovating our test so technology enhances human connection, not replaces it. 

After all, language is human, testing should be as well. 

We give our test takers choice. We are the only high stakes test that offers paper, computer and online options.  

With an IELTS score, our test takers can proudly show 11,000 organisations that accept IELTS scores what they are made of. 

About IDP 

IDP is a leader in global education services.  

An Australian listed company, we have operations in more than 80 countries and our websites attract 100 million visits a year.  

We specialise in combining human expertise with our leading digital platform to help people get accepted into their ideal course, take an English language test or learn English in our schools. 

Our teams are side by side with our customers every day, at every step from course search through to starting their dream course or career. Our data insights are relied upon by organisations around the world to help ensure decisions are informed by the diverse needs, challenges and motivations of students. 

Most of all, we are proud of our people. It is our trusted people and processes which help our customers turn their study or English goals into a launchpad for their career. 

Media contact: 

Annie Collison – Porter Novelli 

+61 406 080 356