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English Requirements for Australian Visas

Depending on the visa you apply for, you can prove that your English language ability is at the appropriate level by:

Which English Tests are accepted by the DIBP?

The Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) accepts scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT), The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE), Occupational English Test (OET), Cambridge and IELTS for the purposes of applying for General Skilled Migration and Permanent Employment Sponsored visa.

When and where can the exam be taken?

IELTS Up to 48 times a year in over 1200 locations in 140 countries worldwide
TOEFL Up to 50 times a year in 9.000 test centres in 130 countries
PTE Academic  Up to 363 times a year in over 200 locations worldwide
OET  Up to 10 times a year in 30 countries
Cambridge (CAE)  Up to 3 times per month in 130 countries


How long to wait for results?

IELTS Computer-delivered IELTS has test results available for preview in 2-5 days in Australia.
For a paper-based test, your report form will be posted to you 13 calendar days after your test date. All test centres will post your Test Report Form to you. Keep your Test Report Form in a secure place as you only receive one copy. Some test centres provide SMS alerts and an online results service.
TOEFL Your scores will be posted electronically only unless you request a paper copy by selecting that option when you register which can take 10 days after your test date.
PTE Academic PTE Academic typically delivers results in five business days
OET  Results are published online approximately 15 business days after the test
Cambridge (CAE)  Your Statement of Results is released online, approximately four to six weeks after the exam for paper-based exams, and two to three weeks after the exam for computer-based exams.


How is the test administered?

IELTS Paper Test
Computer-delivered in Australia
TOEFL Paper/ online (TOEFL ibt internet version)
PTE Academic  Computer
OET  Paper Test
Cambridge (CAE)  Computer or paper-based


How many components are there?

IELTS IELTS has four components:
Listening (30 minutes)
Reading (60 minutes)
Writing (60 minutes)
Speaking (11–14 minutes)
The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
TOEFL TOEFL has four components:
Reading ( 60 – 100 minutes)
Listening (60 – 90 minutes)
Speaking: (60 – 100 minutes)
Writing: (50 minutes)
Total test time: 4 hours 30 minutes
PTE Academic PTE Academic has three main parts:
Speaking and writing (77 to 93 minutes)
Reading (32 to 41 minutes)
Listening (45 to 57 minutes)
OET OET has four components:
Reading (approx. 60 minutes)
Listening (approx. 50 minutes)
Speaking: (approx. 20 minutes)
Writing: (approx. 45 minutes)Total test time: 3 hours
50 minutes
Cambridge (CAE) Reading and Use of English (1 hour 30 minutes)
Writing (1 hour 30 minutes)
Listening (about 40 minutes)
Speaking(15 minutes per pair of candidates)


How are the scores given?

IELTS IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to measure and report test scores in a consistent manner. You receive individual band scores for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and an Overall Band Score on a band scale from one to nine.
TOEFL An overall score out of 120 (each paper is marked out of 30).
PTE Academic  The range for the overall score is 10-90 points.
OET  Graded A (highest) to E (lowest) for each sub-test.
Cambridge (CAE)  The range for the overall score is 180-210 points.


Cost of English tests

PTE Academic  AU$ 340
OET  AU$587
Cambridge (CAE)  AU$ 587


English Language Test Score Requirements

Competent English

Test Listening Reading Writing Speaking
IELST 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
TOEFL iBT 12 13 21 18
PTE Academic 50 50 50 50
Cambridge (CAE) 169 169 169 169


A summary of test score equivalencies for all English language tests accepted by the department is provided below.


English Language proficiency level IELTS TOEFL iBT PTE Academic OET Cambridge (CAE)
Vocational 5.0 Listening & Reading 4.0
Writing & Speaking 14
36 B 154
Competent 6.0 Listening: 12 Reading: 13
Writing: 21 Speaking: 18
50 B 169
Proficient (for points tested
Skilled visas)
7.0 Listening & Reading: 24
Writing: 27 Speaking: 23
65 B 185
Superior (for points tested
Skilled visas)
8.0 Listening: 28 Reading: 29
Writing: 30 Speaking: 26
79 A 200


How long are the English test results valid for?

Tests conducted up to 3 years prior to lodgment of an application will be accepted by the Department of Immigration.

The only exception to this is PTE Academic test which is valid for two years from the date of issue.

Level of English

Visa Type Level of English
482 Visa Competent
ENS Competent
Most Skilled Migration Visas (189 visa, 190 visa) You will need to show at least Competent English. However, no points are awarded for competent English.

You can receive 10 points for Proficient English or 20 points for superior English.

Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) test results will only be considered if the test was undertaken on or after 1 January 2015. A CAE test was undertaken before 1 January 2015 cannot be accepted.

IELTS has an academic test and a general training test.



Can I combine English test results?

Whilst some skills assessing authorities accept a combined English test result to meet the skills assessment requirements, for example for medical practitioners, a combined two test sittings in a six month period can be accepted for registration/skills assessment purpose; however, the Department of Home Affairs, for migration points award purpose, can only accept an English test report in one sitting to claim the migration points.

Preparing for your English test to obtain your Australian Visa

Please find bellow a list of websites where you can find all you need to study by yourself.

Published Wed 9 January 2019. Tags: , , ,


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