PTE Core: A New English Test For Canada PR

PTE Core: A New English Test For Canada PR

Are you struggling with getting IELTS certification or CELPIP to win a Canada PR visa?

Don’t worry! Now you have one more option. PTE Core will join IELTS and CELPIP as the third approved English language proficiency test for Canada Immigration.

So, what’s new in this PTE exam version?

This post by PTE Magic will give you comprehensive PTE Core information to have you get ready for your upcoming Canada PR application.

Key Takeaways

  • PTE Core will join IELTS and CELPIP as the third approved English language proficiency test for Canada Immigration.
  • Canada will accept the PTE Academic for all SDS applications after August 10.
  • The exam structure and scoring system for the PTE Academic and PTE Core are the same but differ in their testing content and purposes.

What is PTE Core? Who is it for?

pte core

On February 1, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed the acceptance of PTE as a valid English proficiency test for Canadian migration purposes.

Pearson Canada has developed a new language proficiency test to meet IRCC’s language proficiency requirements for Canadian immigration applicants.

On May 12, 2023, Pearson announced the new name of their English test as PTE Core (previously called PTE Essential).

PTE Core is a fully digital English proficiency test starting at the end of 2023.

This three-hour English test consists of four sections: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It uses AI to unbiasedly evaluate and score the test taker’s English proficiency level.

PTE Core is ideal for those looking to work, migrate, or seek permanent residency in Canada. IRCC will accept PTE Core scores for all Economic permanent residency (PR) programs.

Economic visa categories include:

  • All the Express Entry categories
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
  • Economic Mobility Pathways Project (EMPP)
  • Caregivers
  • Agri-Food Pilot
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)
  • Atlantic Immigration Program
  • Quebec Skilled Workers and Business.


What is the fee for PTE Core?

Currently, there is no specific information about the PTE Core exam fee. However, the PTE fees will likely vary by country and region. We will update you once PTE Core opens for booking.

How does PTE test approval affect study permit applicants?

Student Direct Stream (SDS) is an expedited study permit procedure for overseas students applying to study in Canada from Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam.

Canada will accept the PTE Academic for all SDS applications after August 10.

This approval is the result of the IRCC recognizing the PTE Core as proof of English proficiency for permanent Canadian residence or citizenship.

PTE Academic tests taken before August 10 will be accepted for SDS if submitted after this date and before the IRCC-specified expiry period.

A language assessment is often required for applicants for general study permit applications to enrol in a DLI (college or university). Certain DLIs in Canada allow PTE for the enrolment of overseas students.

For non-SDS applications, IRCC requires proof of enrolment in a DLI. Besides, applicants must submit a supporting document of a language test along with a visa application.

PTE Core vs PTE Academic: Similarities & Differences


In general, the PTE Academic and PTE Core exam is a computer-based test conducted by Pearson VUE. Both tests cover four skills speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

The newest AI technology, stronger security processes, and speech recognition software will score these two tests. Like PTE Academic, The PTE Core test will have a score range between 10 to 90, with 90 being the highest score.

You will get a personalized Score Report including the overall test score and the score breakdown for the four English skills (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking).


The exam structure and scoring system for these two exams are the same, but they differ in their testing content and purposes.

The main difference is that PTE Core mainly focuses on vocational and non-academic training. It tests your English skills in real life rather than academic environments, as in PTE Academic.

Simply put, PTE Core is a new test for general English skills, while PTE Academic is academic English skills.

For example, you may have to read a magazine article or write an email to apply for a job in PTE Core. You will encounter lecture materials or academic articles.

Furthermore, PTE Core and PTE Academic are separate exams for different purposes.

You should take PTE Core if you plan to work or apply for permanent residency in Canada. Once launched, PTE Core will only apply to work and immigration visa applications to Canada.

*If any changes, we will update you as soon as possible.

You should take PTE Academic if you plan to study in Canada or any other part of the world. Universities and educational institutions worldwide continue to recognise PTE Academic for academic purposes.

PTE Academic receives approval for Student Direct Stream visas into Canada as of August 10, 2023. This recognition comes after IRCC recognized the PTE Core earlier this year for citizenship or permanent residence in Canada.


When will PTE Core be available? Will it be an online test?

PTE Core will launch by the end of 2023. There is no specific date yet. Pearson will announce the date closer to the time. (Update: Check out our new article about PTE Core available date).

You can register for PTE Core alerts here to get more updates on the test.

PTE Core allows year-round test registrations. Test-takers will be able to book online up to 24 hours in advance.

While you can take PTE Academic online at home, PTE Core will only be available to take in test centres in Canada and worldwide.

PTE Core results will be available within two days, boosting the Canadian migration visa process.

PTE score requirements for Canadian Immigration

Most economic immigration programs in Canada set specific minimum language requirements. The score requirements vary by each type of visa you apply for. You can find the requirements on the Canadian Government website.

Whether you are taking IELTS, CELPIP or PTE tests, your English proficiency level for Canadian immigration is converted into Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels.

CLB levels range from Level 4 to Level 10.

Pearson will publish official guidance on the concordance between the PTE score and the CLB scores. This information will be available once PTE Core bookings open later in 2023.

Below are possible PTE equivalent scores for CLB level scores based on the IELTS score comparison.

Reading Writing Listening Speaking Reading Writing Listening Speaking
10 8.0 7.5 8.5 7.5 84 76 89 76
9 7.0 7.0 8.0 7.0 66 66 84 66
8 6.5 6.5 7.5 6.5 56 56 76 56
7 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 46 46 46 46
6 5.0 5.5 5.5 5.5 29 36 36 36
5 4.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 18-20 29 29 29
4 3.5 4.0 4.5 4.0 15-18 18-20 23 18-20

The minimum CLB requirement for the Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is Level 7 in all four English skills. This means you need to get IELTS 6 band and possibly PTE 46 for each skill to qualify for the FSWP.

Similarly, the minimum CLB requirement for Express Entry Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is Level 5 in all four English skills. Therefore, the possible PTE equivalence score for CLB  Level 5 club could be 18-20 in Reading and 29 each in the rest of the skills.

CLB Level
Possible PTE Scores
CLB Level 7 for FSWP (TEER 0 or TEER 1 jobs)
46 in each section
CLB Level 5 for FSTP (TEER 2 or TEER 3 jobs)
18-20 in Reading and 29 in Listening, Speaking and Writing

*Note that this reference table may change after Pearson announces the launch of PTE Core. Follow us for the latest updates.

How to prepare for PTE Core?

PTE Core is a new version of the PTE exam primarily focusing on English proficiency for non-academic and vocational purposes.

Thus, familiarizing yourself with the exam formats and practising regularly are the best ways to prepare for PTE Core.

You should regularly handle real-life situations in an English setting. This way, you can enhance your communication abilities and develop your reflexes in a practical environment.

Pearson will release the PTE Core test handbook soon. The book will provide videos and instructions to guide you through each question type.

We will update any latest information about PTE Core to develop detailed exam preparation material and a full study roadmap.

Join us for support with your upcoming exam.


Launching the PTE Core will lead to a rise in Canadian immigration applications.

In the upcoming three years, the IRCC has declared objectives to welcome an all-time high number of permanent residents—approximately 1.45 million.

PTE Core will contribute to the high migration demand management system in specialist areas such as nursing, engineering, and web development.

PTE Core will be your smart move for immigrating to Canada – a great place to be with excellent colleges, breathtaking landscapes, a dynamic culture, and vibrant nightlife.

Interested in PTE Core? Contact PTE Magic to get more information.

Last updated on 29/05/2024

I am a firm believer that the best teachers educate with their hearts not just their minds.

Moni | PTE MAGIC International Founder

Explore PTE
Tips & Tricks

Moni PTE Magic -

PTE Core Speaking: Practice Tips, Test Format & Modules

Welcome to our comprehensive PTE Core Speaking blog post. Think of it as your trainer,...

Read more →
Moni PTE Magic -

PTE Core Preparation: Exam Tips, Test Prep Notes & More

If you are unsure about what to do and what not to do before your...

Read more →
Moni PTE Magic -

PTE Core Question Bank: Why You Must Try It Today!

Whether English is your first language or not, as a test taker, you should spend...

Read more →