Important notice

Due to COVID-19, the EDT is not currently being offered. If you have concerns about meeting the prerequisites for Fall 2020 registration in 100-level English courses, please contact

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 designed specifically for use at Capilano University. Only applicants and current Capilano University 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.

The EDT costs $50 per sitting. Please pay in advance of taking the test. Bring a completed EDT EDT Registration Form (pdf) to the Cashier's Office, Birch Building, room BR214, to be stamped for proof of payment.

Alternate Payment and Registration Form Options

Students are strongly advised to pay for the EDT in person at the Cashier's Office in advance of the test. This will ensure that the EDT result will be processed quickly and efficiently.

Students working during cashier's hours of operation or who are out of town can download this payment form (pdf). Please complete and submit the form to the Cashier's Office according to the instructions provided on the form. Do not bring a blank payment form to the test. You won’t be able to pay at the test sitting.

Please complete an EDT Registration Form (pdf) and bring it to the test along with picture identification. EDT Registration forms are available in the Registrar's Office (Birch Building, room BR230), the Info Centre (Birch Building, room BR212) and the School of Humanities (Fir Building, room FR404)

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

No electronic devices of any type are allowed. No paper dictionaries or notes are allowed. Desks should be clear of everything but the test.

Sample EDT Questions

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.
  1. A completed EDT Registration Form (pdf), available at the following locations:
    • The forms display outside the Registrar's Office (Birch Building, room BR230)
    • The University Info Centre (Birch Building, room BR212)
    • The School of Humanities Office (Fir Building, room FR404)
    This form must be stamped as paid by the Cashier's Office. (Pay the $50 fee in advance at the Cashier's Office).
  2. Photo ID
  3. A pencil or pen. Exam booklets are provided

Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the start of the test.

Working during the day? Out of town?
If you are unable to pick up the Registration Form and/or pay for the test in person, you can find alternate payment and registration information.

For office hours of the Registrar's Office: 
Registrar's Office website or phone 604 984 4900.

For office hours of the Cashier's Office:
Cashier's Office website or phone 604 984 1786.

No preparation is required for this exam. However, you may seek help with basic essay writing skills ahead of time from Capilano University's Writing Centre.

The Writing Centre is located on in the Learning Commons, Library building, room LB126.

The Writing Centre offers:

Check the Writing Centre for more information.

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), 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 three 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 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 (Birch Building, room BR230), 604 984 4900, generally within 24-36 hours if you attended a regularly scheduled sitting.  If you took the test in the Writing Center, it takes longer to get the result.

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 visit the Writing Centre to practice your writing skills before taking the test again. Instructors are available in the Writing Centre who can provide sample EDT questions and review your practice essays with you for no charge. Check the Writing Centre website for more information and hours of operation.

You must pay the $50 fee each time you write the EDT.

Due to COVID-19, the EDT is not currently being offered. If you have concerns about meeting the prerequisites for Fall 2020 registration in 100-level English courses, please contact

  • 73% 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
  • Successful completion of ENGL 010, or equivalent transfer credit
  • Successful completion of ENGL 112, or equivalent transfer credit 
  • 4 or higher in an Advanced Placement course in English Composition or English Literature
  • 4 or higher in the International Baccalaureate Language A: Literature, Language A: Language and Literature, or Language A: Literature and Performance – Higher Level and Standard Level
  • B+ grade or higher in BENG 052 or BENG 053 and BENG 054
  • 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