NEWS Alternative English Language tests for visa applicants

 

From November 2014, the department will accept English language test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) across the Temporary Graduate, Skilled, Former Resident and Work and Holiday visa programmes. Scores from the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test will also be accepted from early 2015.

These tests are alternatives to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Occupational English Test (OET), and have been accepted in the Student visa programme since 2011.

Student visa applicants can continue to provide scores from IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE).

Will test scores from the TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic be accepted for all visa applications from November 2014?

The following visa subclasses from the Temporary Graduate, Skilled, Former Resident and Work and Holiday visa programmes will accept a TOEFL iBT or PTE Academic test score as evidence of English ability from November 2014: 

  • Distinguished Talent (Australian support) (subclass 124)
  • Business Talent (subclass 132)
  • Former Resident (subclass 151)
  • Business Owner (provisional) (subclass 160)*
  • Senior Executive (provisional) (subclass 161)*
  • Investor (provisional) (subclass 162)*
  • State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (provisional) (subclass 163)*
  • State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (provisional) (subclass 164)*
  • State/Territory Sponsored Investor (provisional) (subclass 165)*
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187)
  • Business Innovation & Investment (provisional) (subclass 188)
  • Skilled – Independent (subclass 189)
  • Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190)
  • Work and Holiday (temporary) (subclass 462)
  • Skilled – Recognised Graduate (subclass 476)
  • Temporary Graduate (subclass 485)
  • Skilled – Regional (provisional) (subclass 489)
  • Distinguished Talent (subclass 858)
  • Skilled – Regional (subclass 887)
  • Business Innovation and Investment (permanent) (subclass 888)
  • Business Owner (Residence) (subclass 890)
  • Investor (Residence) (subclass 891)
  • State/Territory Sponsored Business owner (Residence) (subclass 892)
  • State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Residence) (subclass 893)

*Closed to new applications, but family members can apply

Will test scores from TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic and Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) continue to be accepted for Student visa purposes?

Yes. The department will continue to accept scores from TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic and Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) for the Student visa programme. Student visa applicants can also continue to provide test scores from IELTS and OET tests.

Why isn't the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) on the list of visas to accept test scores from the alternative tests?

The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) visa is not included in this list at this time because the subclass 457 visa programme is currently undergoing an independent review. Any updates about English language testing for the subclass 457 visa will be published on the department's website later this year.

What date in November will the department start accepting TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic test scores?

A final implementation date in November is yet to be determined. Advice about a confirmed implementation date will be published on the department's website later this year.

Will minimum required test scores for TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic tests be benchmarked against IELTS equivalencies?

Yes. From November 2014, TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic test scores will be benchmarked against the IELTS equivalent score for each English language proficiency level (Functional, Vocational, Competent, Proficient or Superior). A summary of test score equivalencies for all English language tests accepted by the department from November 2014 is provided below.

Later this year we will publish the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test score equivalencies that the department will accept from early 2015.

English Language proficiency level Test component IELTS TOEFL iBT PTE Academic OET
Functional Average across test components only 4.5 32 30 n/a
Vocational Listening 5.0 4 36 B
Reading 5.0 4 36 B
Writing 5.0 14 36 B
Speaking 5.0 14 36 B
Competent Listening 6.0 12 50 B
Reading 6.0 13 50 B
Writing 6.0 21 50 B
Speaking 6.0 18 50 B
Proficient (for points tested Skilled visas) Listening 7.0 24 65 B
Reading 7.0 24 65 B
Writing 7.0 27 65 B
Speaking 7.0 23 65 B
Superior (for points tested Skilled visas) Listening 8.0 28 79 A
Reading 8.0 29 79 A
Writing 8.0 30 79 A
Speaking 8.0 26 79

A

Note: Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test score equivalencies will be available from January 2015.

Will the TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic test scores be accepted for Expressions of Interest (EOI) lodged through SkillSelect?

Yes.  From November 2014, intending migrants submitting an EOI through SkillSelect will be able to provide test scores from the TOEFL iBT or PTE Academic tests.

When is the department planning to accept test scores from the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test across the Temporary Graduate, Skilled, Former Resident and Work and Holiday and visa programmes?

The department will accept test scores from the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test for all visa programmes from early 2015 (final implementation date to be confirmed). Scores from a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test taken before the 2015 implementation date will not be accepted by the department.

Minimum required test scores for the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test will be published on the department's website later this year.  

Where you can find more information about TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic tests

For information about:

Last reviewed Wednesday 11 June 2014

Popular

Success stories

Photo of Esther Nabitosi

Ugandan-born telecommunications engineer, Esther Nabitosi, has taken a few daring risks in her young life that have led to an exciting career at the cutting edge of the technology sector, where few other women have ventured.

Read more...