What Score Do I Need for TEF Canada?

To understand what score you need to get on the TEF Canada, you must first:

    1- Understand how the Canadian application process works and the importance of language skills within the application process.
    2- Know that there are different immigration programs and that each program requires a different language level.
    3- Refer to the TEF Canada score grid to figure out your level.

1. How To Earn Points for your Application

When you apply for immigration, Canadian authorities rely on the selection criteria and the points associated with them to evaluate your application and granting you admission to the program or not.

For example, for a successful application to the Skilled Worker Program, the candidate must earn points in the following areas:

  • Language skills (English or French)(maximum 28 points)
  • Education (maximum 25 points)
  • Work experience (maximum 15 points)
  • Age (maximum 12 points)
  • If you have a valid job offer (maximum 10 points)
  • Adaptability (maximum 10 points)

To be accepted in the Skilled Worker Program and to enter the Express Entry pool, you need at least 67 points.

If you get less than 67 points, you will have to start a new application and get a better score so that you can be eligible for the program.

Once a candidate enters the Express Entry pool, another scoring system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is used to assign them a score out of 1200. Candidates who are in the pool and get the highest scores are then invited to apply for permanent residency.

2. TEF Canada

The TEF is a four-section test that you need to take if you wish to immigrate to Canada:

  • Listening: 60 min – 40 questions
  • Reading: 60 min – 40 questions
  • Speaking: 15 min – 2 tasks
  • Writing: 60 min – 2 tasks

The Canadian immigration services look at your TEF Canada results and then convert them into language proficiency levels.

To sum up, the higher your TEF Canada results are, the more points you earn for the “Language Skills” section of your application, and therefore you have a higher chance of being eligible for the program which you are registered in. A low score on the TEF Canada can lead to a rejection from the Canadian immigration services, hence the importance of preparing the test well to get the highest possible score!

Obtaining points for the language skills section – Skilled Worker Program - First official language (maximum 28 points):

Obtaining points for the language skills section – Skilled Worker Program - Second official language (maximum of 4 points):

It is possible to get 4 points only if you reach the CLB level 5 for each of the four sections of the test.

3. The Required Language Level Depends on the Chosen Program

Depending on your project and the program you applied for, the level that is asked of you for the TEF Canada differs.
If you are applying for one of the programs below, the required levels go as follows:

Federal Skilled Worker Program:

  • If your chose French as your first official language, you must at least reach the NCLC level 7 in the four sections of the test.
  • If your chose English as your second official language, you must at least reach the CLB level 5 in all four sections of the test.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program:

    • Minimum level required for Speaking and Listening (French or English as the first official language): NCLC 5 / CLB 5.
    • Minimum level required for Reading and Writing (French or English as the first official language): NCLC 4 / CLB 4.

    Canadian Experience Class Program:

    The level required for this program depends on the classification of the candidate's occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) of Canada:

    • Minimum level required for NOC 0 or A: CLB 7
    • Minimum level required for CNP B: CLB 5


    It is now possible to earn up to 50 bonus points if you have a very good level of French, whether it is your first or second official language.

    Indeed, if you reach the NCLC level 7 in all four sections of the test, you can get:

    • 25 additional points if you have a CLB level 4 or lower in English or if you have not taken an English test.
    • 50 additional points if you obtain CLB level 5 or higher in English for the four sections.

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