The English Diagnostic Test (EDT) assesses English usage and composition ability for the purpose of placing students into 100-level English courses.

The EDT is designed to help place incoming students in the most appropriate English course, and test scores are only used at Capilano University.

Test scores will not be used as a basis for general admission or for meeting the English Language Requirement except where specific scores are required for acceptance into specific programs.


The EDT has transitioned back to in-person delivery as of Spring 2024.

Here are the upcoming exam dates and times (all times PST):

  • Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 6–8 p.m. (LB 217)
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2024, 6–8 p.m. (LB 217)

Please fill out the registration form to sign up for one of the exam sittings.

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

  • 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.

ENGL 112 has no prerequisites. All other 100-level English courses require students to have met one of the following:

  • 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, the Writing Centre's English instructors are happy to discuss expectations and answer questions.

You are welcome to write a practice EDT essay – using one of the sample questions in the menu directly above – and to run it by an English instructor during their writing support hours.  Visit the Writing Centre for their schedule and more information.

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

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), CUP (College & University Preparation), 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.
CUP (College & University Preparation) We recommend that you visit the CUP (College & University Preparation) 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. However, keep in mind that there is a $50 charge each time you write the EDT.

To ensure your strongest performance on the EDT, you're encouraged to bring a practice EDT essay (that you can write based on one of our sample prompts) into the Writing Centre in order to receive feedback from an English instructor.

You may also come into the Writing Centre to ask us for general guidance regarding the writing expectations.

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

The EDT became offered online when campuses were closed due to government safety regulations regarding the covid-19 pandemic. Now that in-person classes and university campus operations have resumed, the EDT is returning to its original in-person delivery.

For anyone not in the country, the IELTS and TOEFL test sites are now reopened, so we encourage that as an alternate pre-requisite.

Other options are to wait until you arrive in Vancouver, Canada to take the EDT or to register in ENGL 112, a more foundational course than ENGL 100, which supports first-year students in their development as writers in a university context. ENGL 112 requires no pre-requisites (so students can register without the EDT). The successful completion of ENGL 112 qualifies students for ENGL 100 and helps prepare them for it.