Conestoga news

January 25, 2021 7:12 AM

New IELTS location opens in Brantford

Conestoga has opened a new lELTS location at the college’s Brantford campus to serve the needs of a growing community. IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is recognized worldwide to assess the language ability of people who aim to study, work, immigrate and integrate in an English-speaking environment.

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Conestoga has opened a new lELTS location at the college’s Brantford campus to serve the needs of a growing and diverse community.

“This opportunity in Brantford actually came as a result of the pandemic,” said Shawn Brake, dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. “To follow pandemic protocols and ensure appropriate distancing, we had to modify our existing IELTS space on Marsland Drive in Waterloo and that meant reducing testing capacity to a third of what it was originally. When we looked at other Conestoga locations to support additional testing, Brantford was the obvious choice. The international community there is growing and the location is also central to other larger cities like London and Hamilton, and provides convenient access to smaller communities in between as well.”

IELTS assesses reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is designed to reflect how individuals will use English to study or work. In Canada, the test results are accepted at universities and colleges and by professional associations that have set minimum language requirements.

Worldwide, the test is delivered at more than 1,200 sites, with IELTS Conestoga being Canada’s first official IELTS testing centre. Conestoga now administers testing in Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia as well.

In Brantford, tests are computer-based and Brake said the location is the only Canadian IELTS location piloting virtual speaking assessments. Traditionally, the speaking component of the test has been completed with an examiner in a room for privacy, but concerns around COVID-19 led to the shift in delivery.

“Moving the speaking component online was one other layer in reducing concern surrounding the pandemic,” said Brake. “Examiners are able to work remotely, and individuals taking the speaking test don’t need to worry about being in a room with someone else.”

Brake said the response to the Brantford location was extremely positive when it first opened -- testing began in early December, but was followed by a closure later in the month due to the provincial lockdown order. Testing services are expected to resume the week of January 25. IELTS tests are administered at Conestoga’s Colborne Street campus twice a day from Thursday to Sunday, with pandemic protocols in place. 

IELTS Conestoga delivers the IELTS Academic test for those wanting to study at a post-secondary institution or join a professional association where English is a prerequisite, as well as IELTS General which is used for immigration purposes

To learn more, visit IELTS Conestoga.