English Language Requirements

There is no minimum English level required for admission to an academic program (University Transfer/Associate Degree or High School program) at Columbia College. However, all new students must demonstrate their ability in English before they register and start classes, and students with a lower level of English will be scheduled for non-credit English classes before or during their academic studies at Columbia College.

To demonstrate your English ability, you must do one of the following:

  • Take the Columbia College Language & Writing Assessment (LWA) on arrival at Columbia College, before you register in classes
  • Present minimum external standardized English test scores (see below).
  • Present minimum required scores in English 12 or Communications 12 in British Columbia.
  • Present minimum required scores in first-year English taken at another college or at university in British Columbia, listed in the British Columbia Transfer Guide

Students may be placed in university transfer (credit) English, university preparatory (non-credit) English, or (non-credit) English for Academic Purposes (EAP) on the basis of Columbia College’s Language and Writing Assessment (LWA) or on the basis of acceptable minimum TOEFL, IELTS, CAEL or LPI results. If you take the LWA and also present minimum external test results (as listed below), we will place you according to whichever score is better. We do not accept external tests written more than two years before you register at the college.

Students are required to submit minimum TOEFL, IELTS, CAEL, or LPI results (see below) or write the Columbia College Language and Writing Assessment (LWA) on arrival at the College (some exceptions apply). The minimum scores for placement in an English course are as follows:

English Language Requirements

English 101 & English Literature

English 100 or English 11 or English 12

English 099 or Communications 12

English 098 or Communications 11

EAP 097 1

EAP <097 1

IELTS 

Overall Band 6.5 and Writing Band 6.5

Overall Band 6.5 and Writing Band 6.0

Overall Band 6.0 and Writing Band 5.5

Overall Band 5.5 and Writing Band 5.0

Overall Band 5.0 and Writing Band 4.5

CAEL

>70 & Writing 70

60-69 & Writing 60

50-59 & Writing 50

40-49 & Writing 40

LPI

5

4, Essay 25/40 & 50% on each of the three components

3, Essay 20/40 & 50% on each of the three components

3, Essay 20/40 & 50% on one of the three components

LWA

6

5

3

2

1

MELAB

83

79

75

72

TOEFL CBT

230 & Essay Rating 4.5

213 & Essay Rating 4.0

197 & Essay Rating 3.5

180

170

TOEFL PBT

570 & TWE 4.5

550 & TWE 4.0

530 & TWE 3.5

510

490

TOEFL IBT

 

 

 

Writing

21
plus two of:

19
plus two of:

16
plus two of:

14
plus two of:

12
plus two of:

<12

Reading

21

19

17

15

13

<13

Listening

21

19

17

15

13

<13

Speaking

21

19

16

14

12

<12

Total

88

79

71

64

57

<57

  • 1 Unless a student presents a minimum IBT TOEFL or IELTS or CELPIP sscore for placement at ESL 097, placement in the ESL Program (094, 095, 096, 097) will depend on the Columbia College English Placement Test (EPT).
  • 2 Academic Test
  • 3 To achieve the “Total” score the student must score more than the minimum in at least one component.

High school students with a minimum IELT 5.0 overall and 5.0 Writing Band are eligible for placement in English 10.