Australia announces new English language tests

Applicants for Australian visas will now have more choice in English language testing with the addition of two new assessment options, the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash, announced today.

“Applicants are now able to use scores from the Test of English Language as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) as evidence of their English language ability,” Minister Cash said.

“This development affords applicants more choice in providers while also increasing competition within the English language testing market,” Cash added.

The 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.

Temporary graduate, skilled, work and holiday, and former resident visa applicants are now able to take advantage of the changes.

Minister Cash confirmed plans to further expand the English language test market are on track with Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test scores set to be accepted from the start of the New Year.

Although holders of United Kingdom, US, Canadian, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland passports do not have to take a language test for Australian immigration purposes, they won’t score any points through the country’s skilled immigration system for their language ability. Therefore, many visa applicants from these countries do choose to sit a test which can boost a person’s score by up to 20 points.

If you are planning to take an English language test before lodging an expression of interest or visa application, then see here for more information.

Article published 24th November 2014