Alternative English Language tests for visa applicants

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 visa programmes. 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 November 2011.

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[accordion_item title='Will test scores from the TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic be accepted for all visa applications?']

The TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic tests have been accepted for the Student visa programme since 2011.

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

  • 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[/accordion_item]
[accordion_item title='Why is not 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.

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[accordion_item title='What date in November will the department start accepting the 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.

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[accordion_item title='What are the minimum required test scores for the TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic tests?']

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

English Language proficiency levelTest componentIELTSTOEFL iBTPTE AcademicOET
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.

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[accordion_item title='Will the TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic test scores be accepted for Expressions of Interest submitted through SkillSelect?']

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

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[accordion_item title='Is the department planning to accept test scores from any other alternative tests?']

Yes. 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.

The Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test has also been accepted for the Student visa programme since 2011.

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

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[accordion_item title='Where you can find more information about the TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic tests']

For information about:

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Source:
Department of Immigration and Border Protection