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Application Assessment

For programs that start in fall, assessment begins the previous November and continues until a program fills.

Additional Assessment

Homeschooled applicants, applicants with an Individual Program Plan (IPP) in grade 12 English or their highest level math course, mature applicants, and applicants who lack sufficient recognized documentation of secondary education will require further assessment. Assessment is based on established equivalencies and involves additional testing to determine academic readiness for post-secondary programs.

Specific program pre-requisites such as Academic English, Math, Chemistry, Biology and Physics cannot be waived. NSCC's Academic & Career Connections program offers pre-requisite courses throughout the year, with many available to be completed online.

Homeschooled Applicants - If you are not a graduate of an accredited high school that is recognized in Nova Scotia, you will be asked to undergo further assessment.

Applicants with Individual Program Plans (IPP) - If you have an IPP on your high school transcript in grade 12 English or your highest level Math course, you will be asked to undergo further assessment.

Mature Applicants - If you have not completed a high school diploma or equivalent, have been out of high school for at least one year, and are at least 19 years old*, you will be asked to undergo further assessment. You must also provide an official high school transcript as well as any subsequent post-secondary transcripts at the time of application.

*Age requirements may vary - check program requirements.

Assessment Tests

Applicants who require additional assessment will be advised by NSCC Admissions and given the option to schedule an assessment test (CAAT or TOWES).

Canadian Adult Achievement Test
Test of Workplace Essential Skills

This achievement test has been designed specifically for the Canadian adult, regardless of his or her previous school experience. The CAAT measures your skills in number operations, reading comprehension and problem solving, to help determine your academic readiness for post-secondary programs.

Test Length: 2:20 Hours

Please note: Calculators are not permitted during the CAAT assessment test.

This test assesses your essential skills, which are skills necessary to be successful in the workplace and in learning. The TOWES measures your ability to read text, use forms and documents, and solve problems using numbers.

Test Length: 3:15 Hours

Prepare for Your Assessment and Request Test Accommodations »

Test Accommodations

If you are an applicant with a disability, you may request Test Accommodations for the Additional Assessment. Send your request and documentation to

High School Equivalency

Students who do not have a high school diploma can choose to enrol in the Adult Learning Program or complete the General Educational Development (GED).

GED - The GED is an internationally recognized high school equivalency testing program. It is a series of five tests for individuals who do not have a high school diploma. Once individuals achieve a minimum score of 450 on each of the five tests, they will achieve their GED high school equivalency certificate.

In order to take the GED tests in Nova Scotia, you must:

  • be at least 19 years of age on the date of the test
  • have not received a grade 12 graduation certificate from any institution
  • have been out of the public school system for at least one year
  • be a resident of Nova Scotia

Register and learn more about the GED.

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