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From 10 August, IELTS Academic test takers will no longer need a 6.0 score on individual Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking skills to qualify for the SDS Canada study permit. Instead they will only require an overall Academic band score of 6.0.  

This gives IELTS Academic test takers from eligible SDS countries greater opportunity to pursue their Canadian study abroad dreams, particularly those who previously couldn’t apply because of their score on one skill. 

As IELTS test scores for the SDS are valid for up to two years, past test takers who did not achieve the required score in each skill will be able to reapply if desired. 

This also means future IELTS Academic test takers will be able to approach their test with greater confidence that their overall strengths will be reflected in their English proficiency score, which will open the door for many test takers who have dreams of studying in Canada.

The IRCC changes have come into effect for applications made from 10 August 2023. For more information, visit:

For more information from IRCC on the changes to the SDS, you can visit the Government of Canada websiteexternal icon.


Overall band 6.0 is all it takes

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