English language tests

Alternative English Exams for Australian Visa

Which English language tests are accepted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection?

You can write any one of the following English language tests:

How to prove that you have functional English?

To prove that you have functional English you must provide evidence of one of the following:

  • You are the holder of a valid passport issued by the UK, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, or the Republic of Ireland and you are a citizen of that country.
  • An IELTS test result of an average band score of at least 4.5 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, listening and writing. This test must have been completed within 12 months of visa application lodgement or can be completed during visa application processing.
  • A TOEFL iBT test result of a total band score of at least 32 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening. This test must have been completed within 12 months of visa application lodgement or can be completed during visa application processing.
  • A PTE Academic test result of an overall band score of at least 30 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening. Your test must have been completed within 12 months of visa application lodgement or can be completed during visa application processing.
  • A Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test result of an overall band score of at least 147 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening and the test must have been taken on or after 1 January 2015. Your test must have been completed within 12 months of visa application lodgement or can be completed during visa application processing.
  • A positive assessment by an Adult Migrant English Program service provider in Australia that you have functional English.
  • Completed all years of primary education and at least three years of secondary education in an educational institution in or outside Australia and all instructions were in English.
  • Completed at least five years of secondary education in an institution in or outside Australia and all instructions were in English.
  • Successfully completed at least one year of full-time study or equivalent part-time study towards a degree, higher degree, diploma, or associate diploma in an institution in Australia and all instructions were in English.
  • Completed a degree, a higher degree, a diploma or a trade certificate that required at least two years of full-time study or training in an institution in or outside Australia and all instructions were in English.
  • The functional level of the Australian Assessment of Communicative English Skills (ACCESS) test certified by the relevant testing body. Your test must have been completed within 12 months of visa application lodgement or can be completed during visa application processing.

How to prove that you have vocational English?

To prove that you have vocational English you must provide evidence of one of the following:

  • You hold a valid passport issued by the UK, the USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and you are a citizen of that country.
  • Achieved a score of at least 5 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
  • Achieved a score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four test components of an Occupational English Test (OET).
  • Achieved the following minimum test scores in each of the four test components: 4 for listening, 4 for reading, 14 for writing and 14 for speaking, in a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT).
  • Achieved a test score of at least 36 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.
  • Achieved a test score of at least 154 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test.
  • Please note:
    The English language tests – IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE academic tests – should have been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application. 
    Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test should have been undertaken on or after 1 January 2015 and prior to lodging the visa application.

How to prove that you have competent English?

You must provide evidence of one of the following to prove that you have competent English:

  • Holding a valid passport issued by the UK, the USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and you are a citizen of that country.
  • Achieved a score of at least 6 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
  • Achieved a score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four test components of an Occupational English Test (OET).
  • Achieved the following minimum test scores in each of the four test components: 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking, in a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) test.
  • Achieved a test score of at least 50 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.
  • Achieved a test score of at least 169 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test.
  • Please note:
    The IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE academic tests should have been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application. 
    Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test should have been undertaken on or after 1 January 2015 and prior to lodging the visa application.

How to prove that you have proficient English?

You must provide evidence of one of the following to prove that you have proficient English in one of the following English language tests:

  • Achieved a score of at least 7 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
  • Achieved a score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four test components of an Occupational English Test (OET).
  • Achieved the following minimum test scores in each of the four test components: 24 for listening , 24 for reading, 27 for writing and 23 for speaking, in a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) test.
  • Achieved a test score of at least 65 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.
  • Achieved a test score of at least 185 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test.
  • Please note:
    The English language tests – IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE academic tests – should have been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application. 
    Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test should have been undertaken on or after 1 January 2015 and prior to lodging the visa application.

How to prove that you have superior English?

You must provide evidence of one of the following to prove that you have superior English in one of the following English language tests:

  • Achieved a score of at least 8 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
  • Achieved a score of ‘A’ in each of the four test components of an Occupational English Test (OET).
  • Achieved the following minimum test scores in each of the four test components: 28 for listening, 29 for reading, 30 for writing and 26 for speaking, in a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) test.
  • Achieved a test score of at least 79 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.
  • Achieved a test score of at least 200 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test.
  • Please note:
    The English language tests – IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE academic tests – should have been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application. 
    Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test should have been undertaken on or after 1 January 2015 and prior to lodging the visa application.
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