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Alternative English Test other than IELTS for Migration Purposes.


Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection will accept alternative English test other than IELTS as of 24th November, 2014, English language test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL IBT), the Pearson Test of English Academy (PTE Academic) will come into effect on 1st January 2015.

This will give migrants wishing to come to Australia more options for testing centre’s.

ETS delivers TOEFL tests including IBT which are currently accepted for immigration by the United Kingdom and United States of America.  The Pearson Australia Group is currently accepted by the United Kingdom and the Cambridge English Language Assessment is accepted by the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand only accepts Cambridge’s Proficiency in English not CAE.

The list of visa’s that will be able to have Alternative English Language tests other than IELTS  are:

*Please Note:  IELTS is still the only acceptable English Test Assessment currently for Temporary Work (skilled) visa (subclass 457).

The comparison test scores from each Alternative English Test Centre can be found in the link below:


Expressions of Interest lodged through Skill Select will also be able to have the English Test Assessment by the Alternative English Testing Centre for Migration purpose.

TOEFL iBT testing takes approximately 4.5hours:

1. Reading:    60 – 80 minutes

2. Listening:   120 – 180 minutes

3. Speaking:   20 minutes

4. Writing:      50 minutes

The test results will generally be available approximately 10 days after the test date.  The current cost in Australia is $240 AUD.

IELTS testing takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.

1. Listening:   30 minutes ( “Tips to Pass Listening IELTS Test for Australian Visa”)

2. General Training Reading:   60 minutes

3. Academic Reading:   60 minutes

4. General Training Writing:   60 minutes (“12 Tips on How to Pass Writing IELTS Test Australian Visa”)

5. Academic Reading:   60 minutes ( “Tips IELTS Reading for Australian Visa” )

6. Speaking:  11 – 14 minutes ( “Tips to Pass Speaking Test IELTS for Australian Visa” )

IELTS cost is $330 AUD, there are few tips on taking IELTS for Australian Visa Purposes.

PTE Academic takes approximately 3 hours.

1. Speaking and writing:   77 – 90 minutes

2. Reading:   30 – 40 minutes

3. Listening:  45 – 60 minutes

Results are available within approximately 5 days.

The cost of PTE Academic in Australia is approximately $330 AUD

Some of the advantages of these alternative English language tests for Australian Visa purposes are:

  • TOEFL – easily available, inexpensive

  • PTE – quicker results

  • OET – not required to sit all 4 components of the test on the same day, you are able to sit components on different dates and this will be accepted by immigration.

The difference between IETLS and TOEFL Test for migration purposes are:

IELTS you are required to do the speaking component of the test with an IELTS examiner face to face, TOEFL there are 6 questions which you answer into a microphone which are then recorded and sent to an examiner to mark.

The scoring system is also different; IELTS rating is between 0 and 9 with .5 points in between.  TOEFL gives more of a numerical SAT-type grade, totalling your score from all areas.

TOEFL is administered by a non-profit US-based organization and is in accordance with US English, IELTS is administered by the British Council, the University of Cambridge and IDP Education Australia and conducts the test in UK English.  PTE is administered by the USA and conducts the test in US English and the speaking component of the test as with TOEFL is a microphone based test, the computer catches the audio and is evaluated by a computer program.

Having more English Language Testing Centre’s will be more beneficial for visa applicants bringing in more competition and more choices.

To find further information on Alternative English Language Tests, please contact our office on: (+61) 08 94775831  or email: [email protected].

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