How much does the IELTS exam cost in Canada?
The IELTS exam in Canada costs around $300 everywhere. The price is the same for the paper and computer-based versions of the test, as well as the Academic and General Training versions.
The IELTS fee will always be around $300. The exact price you have to pay can be found by going to the IELTS registrar website and searching for your exact test centre in Canada. The test centre you choose is completely up to you, people mostly go to the one closest to them.
For example, here are 2 different testing locations in Toronto, Canada with slightly different IELTS fees:
IELTS Canada Fees + Taxes
One thing to keep in mind is that each province in Canada charges a different amount of taxes. So a $300 IELTS fee in Ontario will cost you more than a $300 IELTS fee in Alberta because Ontario has higher taxes.
Ontario: $300 IELTS fee + GST/HST (13%) = $339
Alberta: $300 IELTS fee + GST/HST (5%) = $315
Of course, no one is going to drive from Ontario to Alberta just to save $24, so budget yourself roughly $300-$350 dollars and register at the closest IELTS testing centre to you. You’ll make that money back by saving on gas or an extra bus ticket.
Why does the IELTS exam cost so much?
Simply put, because they can. Obviously, a test of this size isn’t going to be free, they are a business after all, but the reality is, a lot of work goes into making a standardized test with 2 different versions (Academic and General Training) and two different delivery methods (computer and paper-based).
Here are some of the main reasons why the IELTS exam costs so much:
- Marketing of the Test
- Update Frequency
- Scoring the Test
- Administering Test Centres
- Popularity / Profit
Marketing of the Test
With the test being offered in more than 150 countries around the world, that’s a lot of marketing ground that needs to be covered. And with the continuous rise in popularity, the IELTS marketing budget will only get bigger and bigger as it spreads to even more countries and test centres.
If you’ve taken the IELTS exam more than once, then you know that there are multiple versions of the test constantly cycling throughout the test centres. Chances are, you’ll never see the same question on an IELTS exam twice, and this is done on purpose to help prevent cheating. This constant updating of the test takes time and expertise, which of course no one is doing for free.
Scoring the Test
The IELTS exam consists of 4 sections: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The listening and reading sections are completed on scantron sheets and marked digitally, but the speaking and writing sections require a specially trained, and well-educated, examiner to mark them. These scorers all need to be paid.
Administering Test Centres
The IELTS exam requires you to complete it in person at a test centre. Brick-and-mortar locations are a huge expense for any company, and their products/services need to be priced accordingly to match their expenses.
Popularity / Profit
As arguably the most popular standardized English test in the world, the IELTS exam holds somewhat of a monopoly in this industry. So back to my point from before: Why does the IELTS exam cost so much? Well, because they can. All English-speaking countries require the IELTS for visas, and a majority of the top English-speaking Universities in the world require it for admission – with some Universities ONLY accepting IELTS scores. When you dominate an industry as much as the IELTS does, you can set your own price. And at the end of the day, the IELTS exam is still a business, and businesses need to make money to survive.
How to prepare for IELTS
With a test this expensive and important, it’s highly recommended you prepare yourself as much as you can beforehand. There are many free resources out there to help you prepare, but it’s best to know your current English level beforehand and build up from there. There’s no shame in needing to take time to study and fully prepare yourself. Don’t jump into the test without first gauging your current English skills, it could be a $300 mistake.
If you are interested in putting your skills to the test, you can attempt our free practice test here.
We look forward to helping you get to achieve the band score you deserve!