CAEL or the Canadian Academic English Language Test is a standardized test designed to determine the level of English language proficiency of test takers planning to study in an English-medium colleges or universities, or to apply for membership in various professional associations. It is an alternative to the American TOEFL test and the British IELTS Academic Test.
CAEL is one of the best tools for identifying students with the right English skills for academic success. It provides an authentic representation of language use in a Canadian academic context. Test takers read articles, listen to a lecture, answer questions, and write a short essay, as they would be expected to do in a first-year Canadian university or college classroom.
CAEL CE: CAEL is also available as a computerized test, known as CAEL CE, that has been improved from the previous written version to deliver all four components (reading, listening, writing, and speaking) by computer in a single test sitting. Test takers are evaluated on how well they combine the four components to perform tasks comparable to those in a real academic setting. The CAEL CE test is widely accepted by over 180 Canadian universities and colleges, including all English U15 institutions.
There are two ways the CAEL test can be taken:
Online: CAEL online is available to test takers in Canada, Mexico, the USA, Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, India, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Indonesia and can be taken from the comfort of your home.
At a Test Center: CAEL at a test center is a computer delivered test and is available to test takers internationally.
Test takers receive individual English proficiency scores for the Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking components, as well as an overall score. CAEL scores are reported on a scale from 10 – 90 with accompanying descriptors of what performance represents. The overall score will now be calculated as an equally weighted average of the four component scores rounded to the nearest ten-point interval. The table below presents descriptions of test taker proficiency at each full band level.
The CAEL exam measures English language proficiency at three levels: Academic Level A, Academic Level B, and Academic Level C.
Academic Level A is designed for individuals who are applying to undergraduate programs at Canadian colleges and universities. The test assesses the ability to read and understand academic texts, write academic essays, and participate in academic discussions and lectures.
Academic Level B is designed for individuals who are applying to graduate programs at Canadian colleges and universities. The test assesses the ability to read and understand complex academic texts, write academic research papers, and participate in academic discussions and lectures.
Academic Level C is designed for individuals who are applying for professional licensure or certification in Canada. The test assesses the ability to read and understand complex texts related to the field of study, write professional reports, and participate in professional discussions and presentations. The CAEL exam at Academic Level C is designed to assess the English language proficiency of individuals seeking professional licensure or certification in Canada. The test measures proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and is tailored to the specific profession or field of study of the test taker.
There are currently six different versions of the CAEL exam at Academic Level C, each designed for a specific profession or field of study. These include:
CAEL CE (Civil Engineering)
CAEL CM (Computer Science)
CAEL CP (Pharmacy)
CAEL EA (Environmental Science)
CAEL GE (Geology)
CAEL NN (Nursing)
Each version of the test has unique reading and writing passages, listening scripts, and speaking prompts that are relevant to the profession or field of study being tested. This ensures that the test accurately reflects the language and
communication skills required for success in that specific profession or field of study.
So, the CAEL exam at Academic Level C is not the same for everyone, and the specific version of the test taken by a test taker will depend on their profession or field of study.
Academic Unit A and Academic Unit B refer to the two levels of the CAEL exam that assess English language proficiency for admission to undergraduate and graduate programs at Canadian universities and colleges, respectively.
CAEL Band Descriptor:
|Proficiency level||Descriptor||CAEL Score|
|Expert||Demonstrates a high level of competence, accuracy, and effectiveness in academic/professional settings||80 - 90|
|Adept||Uses generally accurate language in most settings; some limitations in flexibility are evident||70|
|Advanced||Displays competence in academic or professional settings||60|
|High Intermediate||Exhibits some competence in academic or professional settings; communication may break down in places||50|
|Intermediate||Demonstrates some ability to comprehend and articulate complex ideas and arguments typical of academic or professional settings||40|
|High Beginner||Expresses basic ideas about familiar topics in routine settings||30|
|Beginner||Expresses basic ideas about familiar topics in routine settings||10 - 20|