The complete guide to English tests towards your study journey in Australia

Written By Educonnect on June 09, 2021

Australia is the third most popular international student destination, right behind the United States and UK. Home to nearly 700,000 international students, Australia also hosts seven of the best student cities in the world. Post-study work opportunities are plenty for international students. If Australia sounds like the destination you've been searching for, Educonnect can help you select the right course and institute based on your course level, course area and your budget! 

Studying your dream course in Australia requires an acceptable level of English Language proficiency. After you've been accepted to your desired course as an international student, you'll need a Subclass 500 student visa for studying in Australia. English language proficiency is one of the important requirements of visa application. The guidelines for approaching this is as follows.

English language proficiency tests

The Australian Government mandates a certain level of English proficiency as part of the student visa application, which can be different depending on the course and institute you have selected. There are a number of globally recognized tests that will measure your English language capabilities to ensure you understand the course content.

Australia also has its very own English language course called English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS), designed for students who are seeking to learn the English language before commencing formal studies in Australia. In certain cases, ELICOS is made mandatory if the scores of the global language proficiency tests are below a certain level.

Here's a complete guide to the tests recognized by the Australian Government, that must be taken no more than two years prior to commencing your course:

1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS is an English proficiency test designed to evaluate the language abilities of non-native English speakers. Recognized by more than 10,000 organizations globally, the test will help you study, work or migrate to a country where English is the native language – in this case, Australia. 

The test covers four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking; and is graded on a scale of 1 to 9.

Scoring and expected complementary duration of ELOCOS:

The expectation duration presented here, is a generic guide and some institutes may have specific requirements.

Scoring:  
Minimum Score: 5.5
Minimum score with at least 10 weeks of ELICOS: 5
Minimum score and at least 20 weeks ELICOS: 4.5

To understand more about IELTS and registration for the test visit its website here.

2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL is an online test that shows your pre-requisite knowledge of the English language, specifically for the classroom. Accepted by universities and institutions in over 150 countries, TOEFL measures your proficiency on all four academic English skills, i.e. Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.

Scoring:  
Minimum Score: 46
Minimum score with at least 10 weeks of ELICOS: 35
Minimum score and at least 20 weeks ELICOS: 32

You can take the test at home or at an authorized test centre. You can obtain more details here.

3. Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)

PTE Academic is an English language test that is accepted across the world for international study and immigration purposes. The three-hour test will assess you in threeparts: Speaking and Writing (together), Listening, and Reading. The test can be scheduled up to 24 hours in advance and is conducted at a Pearson test centre. Scoring of the test is based on the Global Scale of English (GSE) standard.

Scoring:  
Minimum Score: 42
Minimum score with at least 10 weeks of ELICOS: 36
Minimum score and at least 20 weeks ELICOS: 30

Book your test and know all about it here.

4. Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE), now known as C1 Advanced

C1 Advanced helps learners develop skills to make the most of studying, working and living in English-speaking countries. More than 9,000 educational providers, and other institutions around the world accept C1 Advanced as proof of English language proficiency.

As in case of the other tests, C1 Advanced also has four sections, namely Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. You can take these tests by booking a slot in one of their test centres.

Scoring:  
Minimum Score: 162
Minimum score with at least 10 weeks of ELICOS: 154
Minimum score and at least 20 weeks ELICOS: 147

You can book your C1 Advanced test here.

5. Occupational English Test (OET)

OET is a reputed international English language test for the healthcare sector that will help you learn the right type of language needed on a day-to-day level at work.

Scoring:  
Minimum Score: B for each component
Minimum score with at least 10 weeks of ELICOS: N/A
Minimum score and at least 20 weeks ELICOS: N/A

Here's where you can learn more about OET.

The following comparative table shows the equivalent scores  of all test providers recognized by the Australian Government:

English language test providers Minimum score Minimum score and at least 10 weeks ELICOS Minimum score and at least 20 weeks ELICOS
International English Language Testing System 5.5 5 4.5
TOEFL internet test 46 35 32
Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English) 162 154 147
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) 42 36 30
Occupational English Test B for each test component N/A N/A

The scores provided here are regarded as a general guide and some universities and institutions may have specific levels of English Language proficiency or training courses. You can check these details when comparing course requirements through the course comparison features in Educonnect. Start searching for your course requirements now.

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