English Language Proficiency Assessments

At the Language Training Centre, we use the Institutional version of the Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST)

The Institutional version of the CanTEST is used to test language readiness for Red River College academic programs. It was developed by language researchers at the University of Ottawa, and it assesses test-takers’ academic language skills in all four skill areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The Listening section simulates an academic environment where students can take notes. The subject matter of the dialogues and longer texts are relevant to an academic setting.

The Speaking section is similar to an interview. The assessor asks the test-taker questions about a particular topic. It allows for an in-depth discussion on a given theme and allows the test-taker to express ideas.

The Reading section assesses a variety of reading skills: text comprehension, vocabulary comprehension, and skimming and scanning.

The Writing section allows the test-takers to focus on one specific topic and gives some time to expand on their ideas.

The test scores of the Institutional CanTEST will determine whether the test-takers meet the language admission requirements for RRC programs, and will give them an idea of how much additional language training they may need. (However, people learn languages at different rates; therefore it is difficult to know exactly how long this will take.)

The CanTEST scores are expressed in bands 1.0 to 5.0. Many RRC programs require a minimum language proficiency of: Listening 4.5, Speaking 4.0, Reading 4.5, Writing 4.0. (However, there are several exceptions. It is best to check all requirements with the Admissions Officer responsible for each program.)

*The results of the Institutional CanTEST can only be used at RRC.