Minimum 6 IELTS band scores in individual sections is not a mandatory requirement for Canada's SDS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requirement has been revised by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and it will be effective from August 10.


According to IDP Education, the co-owner of IELTS, individuals taking the IELTS test and applying for Canadian study permits through the Student Direct Stream category will no longer be obligated to attain a minimum score of 6.0 bands in all individual sections of the test starting from August.

Effective from August 10, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requirement has been amended by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

“In light of the recent modifications made by the IRCC, we are pleased with the decision that IELTS Academic test-takers applying through the SDS program will now only need an overall score of 6 bands. There is no longer a minimum score requirement of six bands in each section, according to IDP Education’s Regional Director for South Asia and Mauritius, Piyush Kumar.

This update represents a positive shift towards recognising the comprehensive abilities of test-takers, as opposed to focusing solely on individual instrument scores. We believe this change will allow more talented students from around the globe to pursue their educational goals in Canada, and it also reflects the Canadian government’s confidence in the IELTS,” he said.

IELTS is one of the most well-known English language proficiency examinations for study, migration, and employment. Each year, more than three million people take the exam, which is recognized by more than 11,000 employers, universities, institutions, and immigration agencies worldwide.

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a streamlined study permit processing programme for international students applying to study in Canada at a designated post secondary institution.

The SDS programme has consistently provided eligible students with a streamlined and expedited path to study in Canada. It expedites visa processing and facilitates students transition into Canadian educational institutions.

“Test participants will now find the SDS program even more appealing. IELTS has the most extensive network of testing centers. It offers paper-based tests in over 150 locations in over 80 cities in India, as well as computer-delivered exams in 46 centers, making it extremely convenient for candidates. We also intend to introduce IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR) in India in the near future so that candidates have the option to retake any section of the exam, said Kumar.

“We encourage students interested in pursuing their education in Canada to take advantage of the SDS program’s revised English test requirements. “The removal of the minimum score requirement in all individual bands of the IELTS Academic test represents a more inclusive and holistic approach to evaluating students’ language proficiency, thereby facilitating the pursuit of higher education by a broader range of talented individuals,” he added.

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Srishti Kathuria

Srishti Kathuria

Srishti, an accomplished writer who specializes in covering the education vertical for IndiaEducation. She is dedicated to providing insightful and informative content to help students, parents, and educators stay up-to-date with the latest trends, news, and developments in the education sector. Srishti's writing not only informs but also inspires, empowering readers to make informed decisions about their education and career paths. Her engaging writing style, coupled with her in-depth research and analysis, has earned her a reputation as a trusted source of information and advice on all things related to education.
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