The Canadian Academic English Language, or CAEL, Assessment is a standardized test designed to measure English language proficiency for admission to college and university, and for membership in professional associations. Test takers read articles, listen to a lecture, answer questions, and write a short essay, as they would be expected to do in a first-year university or college classroom.
The CAEL Assessment is accepted by over 150 academic institutions across Canada and the United States as well as to several international institutions. The test is also accepted at a number of professional organizations, including the Canadian Veterinary Association, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
The CAEL Assessment is developed in Canada, by Canadians. It incorporates Canadian English and accents as used in Canadian academic contexts and post-secondary institutions. The CAEL Assessment is a fully integrated and topic-based performance test. Test takers use the information from the Reading and Listening components to write their essay.
The language tasks and activities in the CAEL Assessment are systematically sampled from those that are commonly undertaken within the university academic community. The content for the tasks are drawn from introductory university courses at times when professors are introducing new topics to their students with the expectation that the students know little or nothing about the content.
Topics for the CAEL Assessment are drawn from introductory university courses such as arts, sociology, anthropology, business, engineering, sports, law, and medicine. Possible topics include criminal behaviour, global warming, urban development, cultural diversity, weather systems, team management, competition, and organizational behaviour.
The total allotted test time is approximately 145 minutes (2 hours and 25 minutes). Some test centres offer the CAEL Assessment over 2 days, with the Written Assessment and the OLT held on separate days.
The CAEL Assessment has two parts: Part 1, the Written Assessment and Part 2, the Oral Language Test