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:

3 Possibilities for Placement in EAP Program

EAP Placement Test

There are three possibilities for placement in the EAP Program:

1. IELTS of 6.0 (with no score below 5.5)

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

There is a placement test every Monday. There is also a placement test every day in the week before the beginning of each term.

September 2019

September 03, 2019
September 04, 2019
September 05, 2019
September 06, 2019
September 09, 2019
September 16, 2019
September 23, 2019
September 30, 2019

No EAP Placement Test on September 02, 2019 (Labour Day - University closed)

October 2019

October 07, 2019
October 21, 2019
October 28, 2019

No EAP Placement Test on October 14, 2019 (Thanksgiving Day, University closed)

November 2019

November 04, 2019
November 18, 2019
November 25, 2019

No EAP Placement Test on November 11, 2019 (Remembrance Day, University closed)

December 2019

December 02, 2019
December 09, 2019


Sign In and registration: 9:00 am
Test : 9:30 am - 11:30 am

Test begins promptly at 9:30 am. If students arrive after 9:30 they will not be admitted into the testing lab.

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