University Entrance Tests

We understand that most international students who decide to enroll in NFCI intend to pursue post-secondary education. One of the admission requirements for post-secondary institutions for international students may include standardized tests such as SAT, TOEFL or IELTS.

NFCI’s Commitment to Your Success

At NFCI, we have developed support programs and resources that are flexible and tailored to each student’s schedule and abilities to facilitate success in these exams. After gaining an appreciation of the student’s skills and academic and career aspirations, our experienced mentors and student counsellors work closely with each student to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Identify the specific requirements for application into the appropriate post-secondary institution programs
  • Determine the student’s unique academic needs
  • Establish a test preparation timeline that is suitable to student’s schedule
  • Devise individualized lesson plans tailored to student’s areas of improvement
  • Achieve success through proven test taking strategies and practice tests conducted in realistic testing environments
  • Standardized Tests

Information for International Students Interested in Applying to Canadian Universities

The following links direct to general information about each standardized test on this page. Students should obtain information on the specific requirements from the post-secondary institution(s) of interest, and review the test’s official website for detailed and up-to-date information, important dates, study tips and materials, and test registration.


SAT Subject Tests (



The SAT is a standardized test that is widely used for college and university admissions in the United States. As one of the many factors that are considered by the post-secondary institution to make admission decisions, it tests student’s knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. The combination of SAT scores and high school grades is the best predictor of academic success in college.

You will have 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the SAT, with three short breaks during the testing. The test consists of 10 sections:

  • One 25-minute essay
    Six 25-minute sections in mathematics, critical reading, and writing
  • Two 20-minute sections in mathematics and critical reading
  • One 10-minute multiple-choice writing section
  • Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school. A majority of students take the SAT twice to improve their score.

Upcoming 2016/2017 test dates and registration deadlines

Test Date Deadline
Oct 1 Sept 1
Nov 5 Oct 7
Dec 3 Nov 3
Jan 21 Dec 21
Mar 11 Feb 10
Jun 3 May 8

* Deadlines expire at midnight, EDT (U.S.).

The SAT is offered at least seven times each year in the U.S. and six times internationally, in October, November, December, January, March (U.S. only), May, and June. Please visit the official SAT website for up-to-date information and registration.

SAT Subject Tests are content-based tests that allow students to demonstrate excellence in specific subject areas. There are 20 Subject Tests in general subject areas of English, history, languages (including East Asian languages: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), mathematics, and science. They are required or recommended by some colleges, and can be used to enhance your application.

All SAT Subject Tests are one hour in duration and consist of multiple-choice questions. Students can take up to three tests in any given sitting. Most students take the Subject Tests toward the end of their junior year or at the beginning of the senior year.

Please visit the official SAT website for available test dates and registration deadlines.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized test of English language proficiency for higher education and migration. There are two versions of IELTS: Academic and General Training. The Academic test is for applications to certain post-secondary institutions; the General Training test is for work experience or training programs, application to certain secondary schools, or migration to an English-speaking country. Both versions assess four components of English language skills — listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Students should inquire about the specific requirements from the post-secondary institution(s), country/ies, or other organization(s) of interest.

The test format is described below. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading, and Writing tests are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be completed on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.

Component Duration Academic General
Listening 60 minutes Listen to four recorded texts, monologues, and conversations by a range of native speakers, and write answers to a series of questions.
Reading 60 minutes Three long authentic texts that are taken from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers, ranging from descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical in nature. Read extracts from newspapers, advertisements, instruction manuals, and books.
Writing 60 minutes In a formal writing style:

  1. Describe, summarise, or explain the information that is presented by a graph, table, chart, or diagram. Examples include describing and explaining data, the stages of a process, a mechanism, an object, or an event.
  2. Write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem.
  1. In response to a situation, write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation in a personal, semi-formal, or formal writing style.
  2. Write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem. The writing style can be slightly more personal than formal.
Speaking 11-14 minutes
  1. Answer general questions about self and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies, and interests. (4-5 minutes)
  2. After receiving a booklet that requests discussion about a particular topic, prepare for one minute then speak for up to two minutes.
  3. The examiner may ask one or two questions on the same topic.

IELTS has 48 fixed test dates each year, with the Academic version available on all 48 dates, and the General Training version available on 24 days. Please visit the official IELTS website for the nearest IELTS centre and available test dates.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standardized test of English language proficiency. Its test scores are usually required for admission into certain post-secondary institutions or application for certain scholarships or visas. Students should inquire about the specific requirements from the post-secondary institution(s), scholarship foundation(s), or country/ies of interest.

The TOEFL test consists of four sections, which are described below. The entire test session is approximately 4 hours, with an additional 30 minutes of check-in time.

Section Duration Description
Reading 60-80 minutes Three or four reading passages, with 12 to 14 questions per passage.
Listening 60-90 minutes Four to six academic lectures, each 3 to 5 minutes long, with 6 questions per lecture.
60-90 minutes Two to three conversations, each 3 minutes long, with 5 questions per conversation.
Speaking 20 minutes Six questions:

  • Two “independent Speaking tasks,” requiring discussion of own ideas, opinions, and experiences.
  • Four “integrated Speaking tasks,” requiring the integration of listening and speaking, or listening, reading and speaking skills.
Writing 20 minutes Integrated Writing task: read a short passage and listen to a short lecture, then write in response to the passage and lecture.
30 minutes Independent Writing task: write an essay in response to a topic.

The TOEFL test is offered on more than 50 dates per year. Please visit the official TOEFL website for testing locations and available test dates.