NEWS Alternative English Language tests for visa applicants

 

From 23 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 a test taken on or after 1 January 2015 (to coincide with the launch of Cambridge English Language Assessment's new reporting system).

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

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

When will the department start accepting scores from the TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic and Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) tests?

Applicants for the following visa subclasses can provide scores from a TOEFL iBT or PTE Academic test from 23 November 2014, or from a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test taken on or after 1 January 2015:

  • 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 & 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 the scores be accepted for subclass 457 visa applications?

No.  The government has yet to release its response to the findings of an independent review of the subclass 457 visa programme.

Will minimum required test scores for TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic and Cambridge (CAE) tests be benchmarked against IELTS equivalencies?

Yes. A summary of test score equivalencies for all English language tests accepted by the department from 23 November 2014 (TOEFl iBT and PTE Academic) and 1 January 2015 (Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is provided below.

English Language
proficiency level
Test component IELTS TOEFL iBT PTE Academic Cambridge English:
Advanced (CAE)*
OET
Functional Average/total/overall across test components only 4.5 32 30 147 n/a
Vocational Listening 5.0 4 36 154 B
Reading 5.0 4 36 154 B
Writing 5.0 14 36 154 B
Speaking 5.0 14 36 154 B
Competent Listening 6.0 12 50 169 B
Reading 6.0 13 50 169 B
Writing 6.0 21 50 169 B
Speaking 6.0 18 50 169 B
Proficient
(for points tested Skilled visas)
Listening 7.0 24 65 185 B
Reading 7.0 24 65 185 B
Writing 7.0 27 65 185 B
Speaking 7.0 23 65 185 B
Superior
(for points tested Skilled visas)
Listening 8.0 28 79 200 A
Reading 8.0 29 79 200 A
Writing 8.0 30 79 200 A
Speaking 8.0 26 79 200

A

*From 1 January 2015 and only for a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test taken on or after 1 January 2015.

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

Yes. EOIs lodged through SkillSelect can provide scores from TOEFL iBT and Pearson from 23 November 2014, and Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) scores from a test taken on or after 1 January 2015.

Where you can find more information about English language tests

Information about the English language tests we accept.

Last modified Tuesday 2 December 2014

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