If you have been looking for your abroad education in Canada you might have stumbled upon the term CAEL. The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment as it is actually called is an English language proficiency test widely used in all parts of Canada for academic purposes.
The test aims to describe the level of English language skills of foreign students attending an English-medium college or university. The content of the test is taken directly from introductory university courses to be as close to real-life situations as possible.
Taking the CAEL test
There is a bunch of practice material available through the CAEL website, even if you don´t feel you need to practice it can be a good idea to take a look at the kinds of questions that may occur in the test.
Altogether the CAEL test takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete and it consists of the 4 sections listed below:
Reading (50 min)
Students will be asked to read texts from university text books, academic articles, broshures, newspaper articles, graphs and charts and government documents.
The reading itself will be followed by tasks including identifying the main ideas, understanding vocabulary in context, extracting specific information and following a logical or chronological sequence of events.
|Listening (20 min)|
The listening section of the CAEL test will follow the same topic as the other sections, this consists of a pre-recorded lecture from a first year university course. Students will be able to listen to the recording only ones and answer the questions while they are listening to the lecture.
The tasks of the listening section include identifying main ideas, completing charts and diagrams, filling in the blanks and recording specific information.
|Speaking (25 min)|
In this section of the test students are asked to complete 5 tasks, they all maesure the way in which they talk about their academic work with other students or others within a college or university.
Speaking tasks include making short presentations, explaining choices, summarizing main points, relaying information and listening and responding to group discussions.
Writing (45 min)
|The writing section is always done last in the CAEL test, this is because you are meant to make use of the information received in previous section. The essay should be about 1-2 pages in length and students are asked to: Agree or disagree with a claim, argue for or against a position and dicuss advantages and disadvantages of a course of action. It is always a good idea to plan your essay before you start to actually write it down on paper.|
Your CAEL Scores
CAEL test scores reach from "band level" 10 to band level 90, 10-20 meaning Very Limited User and 80-90 meaning Expert User.
Most Canadian universities require you to have a CAEL band score of about 60-70 to enter an undergraduate program, this of course vary by program and some accept lower scores.
All CAEL results are kept strictly confidential and are valid for 2 years.
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For more information about the CAEL test please visit www.cael.ca.
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