The English Diagnostic Test (EDT) assesses English usage and composition ability. It is designed to help place incoming students in the most appropriate course and test scores are only used at Capilano University.

Test scores will not be used as a basis for general admission, except where specific scores are required for acceptance into specific programs.


The EDT is being offered online during Fall 2022. New exam dates will be posted shortly. 

Costs and payment

The EDT costs $50 per student each time they do the exam. This fee will be charged to your student account by the Cashier's Office.

Please visit the How to Pay page for payment information.

Once your payment has been confirmed, you will be able to receive your EDT results from the Registrar's Office. Payment for the EDT test cannot be made at the test sitting.


For academic accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services at access-serv@capilanou.ca or visit the Accessibility Services page.

Frequently Asked Questions – EDT online

After students register, a confirmation of their chosen date with a private Zoom link for the exam will be sent to their CapU email.

If a student does not actually need to take the EDT because they already have a prerequisite, they will be informed by email.

Here are the steps:

  • Students must arrive to the Zoom meeting at 6:30 p.m. – 30 minutes before the start of the exam.
  • Each student will use their video to show their face, student number, and one piece of government-issued photo ID or their CapU ID card.
  • Once each student has been checked in, the essay prompts will be screen-shared. Students will have 2 hours (from 7 – 9 p.m.) to write the exam.
  • Students will type their essays using a word processor on their computer using no dictionaries, grammar checkers, or other unauthorized aids.
  • During the exam-writing process, the invigilator will circulate between viewing different students, ensuring that no one is using unauthorized aids. As such, students must have their video function on.
  • When finished writing, students will submit their essays via email as either a Word file or a PDF document. Using their CapU email, they will send the file to the email address provided during the exam.
    • The subject of their email should be: EDT exam, date, student number, student name.
    • The title of their file should be: EDT exam-date-student number-student name.
  • Before each student leaves, the invigilator will check to make sure that their exam has successfully been received via email.
  • Students must agree to abide by the standards of academic integrity and avoid all forms of academic dishonesty.
  • Students are not permitted to use any electronic aids during the writing of the exam. It is prohibited to do searches on your computer, phone, or other electronic device.
  • Dictionaries and study guides of any sort are not allowed.
  • Students may not consult with other students writing the exam, or with other people in their home or elsewhere, during the exam. 
  • It is important that students’ handwriting is legible (as tidy and easy to read as possible) and that students double space their work (skipping every second line).
  • Students must supply their own lined paper and writing utensils and they must have access to a camera to be able to upload photos of their exam.
  • The EDT is designed specifically for use at Capilano University. Only students with a valid Capilano University student number may take the test.
  • Students planning to take a 100-level English course (except ENGL 112) at Capilano University must meet the course prerequisites (see below). If you do not meet any one of the prerequisites, you must take the EDT to qualify to register.
  • Some specific programs require an acceptable EDT score for admission. Consult your program area for EDT requirements.

Note: EDT scores are not used for general admission to Capilano University.

  • 67% or higher in English 12, English Studies 12, Literary Studies 12 or English First Peoples 12
  • An EDT score of ENGL 100 level
  • An LPI score of 24 or higher
  • A CAEL score of 70 overall, with no sub-score below 60
  • Successful completion of ENGL 112, or equivalent transfer credit
  • 4 or higher in an Advanced Placement course in English Language & Composition or English Literature & Composition
  • 4 or higher in the International Baccalaureate English A: Literature, English A: Language & Literature, or English: Literature and Performance – Higher Level and Standard Level
  • C+ grade or higher in BENG 052 or in both BENG 053 and BENG 054
  • B+ grade or higher in both EAP 100 and EAP 101
  • C- or higher in an English transfer course from another college or university
  • A degree from an English-speaking university
  • C grade or higher in FALX99 from Simon Fraser University
  • IELTS (academic): score of 6.5 and higher with a minimum band level of 6.0
  • TOEFL (IBT): score of 88 or higher with no section below 20

The EDT consists of writing of a 300-500 word essay, which is marked for basic essay composition (thesis, paragraphing, unity and coherence) as well as sentence construction, vocabulary, and punctuation.

You will be given 4 possible topics from which to choose 1, and you will have two hours to write your exam. Sample EDT questions may be found below.

We recommend you budget your time wisely. For example, allow:

  • 15 min for brainstorming/thesis development
  • 90 min for writing
  • 15 min for proofreading

Below are some examples of the types of questions/topics you may be asked on the EDT. These questions are examples only and won't be used for the actual test.

  • Reading is an underrated skill and pleasure. Agree or disagree.
  • In a recent referendum, Vancouver residents voted in favour of closing a public zoo. Argue for or against zoo existence.
  • Write an argument in favour of participation in non-competitive events.

No preparation is required for this exam; however, you can check out the Capilano University Writing Centre for more information on our online services and student support.

You may also find our popular Writing Centre Handouts on various aspects of writing and our additional online resources helpful.

Feel free to write a practice EDT essay – using one of the sample questions above – and send it to writingcentreonline@capilanou.ca to receive email feedback from a Writing Centre instructor!

You can find more information about how to prepare for the test on our How to Prepare for the EDT page.

Your essay will be read and marked by two or more English instructors in order to determine your appropriate course level placement: EAP (English for Academic Purposes), ABE (Adult Basic Education), English 112, or English 100-level courses.

They will be looking at:

  • Essay development
  • Essay organization
  • Sentence construction
  • English usage (vocabulary, idiom)

You will receive a placement score at one of the following four English ability levels.

EAP (English for Academic Purposes) We recommend that you visit the EAP department (Birch 344) for further advice and assessment.
ABE (Adult Basic Education) We recommend that you visit the ABE (Adult Basic Education) Department (Birch Building, room BR344) for further advice and assessment.
ENGL 112 You are eligible to register in ENGL 112. 
ENGL 100* You are eligible to register in any English 100 level course.

*ENGL 100+ Writing Centre support - Your Test Results Report may also recommend that you seek help from the Writing Centre to improve your English skills.

The EDT results are available from the Registrar's Office (Library Building, room LB152). Please email registration@capilanou.ca or call 604 984 4900. Results are generally available within 48-72 hours.

EDT scores are valid for five years. 

You may take the EDT more than once. To improve your score, it is highly recommended that you use the Writing Centre support services to practice your writing skills before taking the test again.

You can email writingcentreonline@capilanou.ca to ask instructors to review your practice essays for no charge.

While the $50 fee for taking the EDT is temporarily waived, once it is restored, you will have to pay the $50 fee each time you write the EDT.

For general enquiries about the EDT, please email humanities@capilanou.ca.

For Zoom issues or technical problems, please email the Student Digital Ambassadors at sda@capilanou.ca or IT at AskIT@capilanou.ca.