EAP Program Placement

Before students can begin to study in one of Dalhousie’s EAP courses, we have to know their level of English.

On this page you will find information on:

EAP Placement Test (For the online EAP courses, the placement test will be online.)

3 Possibilities for Placement in EAP Program

There are three possibilities for placement in the EAP Program:

1. Minimum Standardized Test Scores

If you have an IELTS of 6.0 or TOEFL iBT of 80 or Pearson Academic score of 51 or CAEL CE 50, you will be placed directly into EAP Level 2.

A (pdf/jpeg) copy of your test report can be submitted anytime before the first day of class. Any standardized English exam test report is not acceptable once a student has been placed in a level in our program.

2. Placement Test

If you don’t have an IELTS score of 6.0 or above OR a TOEFL score of 80 or above, you must write the Placement Test at Dalhousie to determine which level you will begin in. Click here to read more about the placement test.

3. Graduate of another Halifax language school

  • Applicants from East Coast Language College (ECLC)
    Applicants to Dalhousie Faculty of Graduate Studies who successfully complete ECLC UAP 500 with 80% or above can enter EAP Level 2 without taking an EAP Placement test.

  • Applicants from The Language Centre, St. Mary’s University (SMU TLC)
    Applicants to Dalhousie Faculty of Graduate Studies who successfully complete SMU TLC Level 6 can enter EAP Level 2 without taking an EAP Placement test.

  • For all other English Language Institutes as well as all other ECLC and SMU TLC levels, students wishing to transfer into Dalhousie ESL will be required to take the EAP Placement Test.

Please enquire at esl@dal.ca about our class placement equivalents. You register the EAP Placement Test when you apply to the EAP Program. Click here to apply now.

About the EAP Placement Test

The EAP Placement Test is used to make sure every student is in the level where they will learn the most.

Test Format

The test is approximately 2 hours long and is completed on a computer. There is also a short writing task.

After the Test

Your test scores and writing will be reviewed by an instructor and you will be placed into one of the 4 levels in the EAP Program. No moving of levels is permitted.

The placement test is very accurate. Ninety-nine percent of the time, this placement test places students into the level that is most appropriate for their current English language skills. However, on rare occasions, if the instructional team has observed that a student’s real skills and abilities do not correspond with the level they have been placed in, they have recommended a level change up or down to the Head Teacher. The Head Teacher’s decision is final.

Once a student has been placed in a level in the EAP Program, they cannot use an IELTS or TOEFL test score to skip a level. The only way a student could use a test score in this way would be to present an IELTS 6.5 (for an undergraduate program) or IELTS 7.0 (for most of the graduate programs) and therefore gain full acceptance into their degree program and no longer have to finish the EAP Program if they choose to do so.

Score Too Low

If you take the placement test and your score is too low to enter our lowest-level course (EAP Foundations 1), we will make arrangements for you to study at another language school in Halifax. The Dalhousie University EAP Program does not offer an A1 level course, but some other schools do. This doesn’t affect very many students; fewer than 10 students per year find themselves in this situation.

EAP Placement Test Dates

In-person placement test at Dalhousie University has suspended until further notice. When you are accepted into the online EAP Program, you will receive information about doing the placement test online 2-3 weeks before the class starts.

What might my level be?

Click here to look at the self-assessment grid and see what level you might be.

How do I prepare for the test?

The placement test assesses how well you read, write, listen, and use grammar and vocabulary to understand meaning in communication. There is nothing to prepare for specifically, because the test is just showing us how much you know already. You can prepare for the test by sleeping well the night before and speaking and using English as much as possible in the days before the test.

If you have questions concerning the test, contact Dalhousie ESL for more information.

Dalhousie English Test

A special placement test may also be written to gain entrance to Dalhousie University's graduate programs.

Can you answer yes to either of the following statements?

  1. I have an IELTS or TOEFL test result that is very close to the required score for entrance into my Dalhousie academic program and I think I can do better.
  2. I do not have an IELTS or TOEFL test result but I think my English is at the level required by my Dalhousie academic program.

Next Step:

Contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies at graduate.studies@dal.ca or your departmental graduate coordinator to ensure you are eligible to take the test.

For further details: esl@dal.ca

Note, the Dalhousie English Test is currently not available due to the COVID-19 situation and will be available when the university allows face-to-face contact again in January 2021.