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Changes made to English tests for Australian student visas

The Department of Home Affairs has said TOEFL-PBT results are no longer accepted for Australian student visas.

International students have to demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency before they are granted a visa to commence studies in Australia.

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has announced a change to the English test results that are acceptable as a proof of language proficiency.  It now states that TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Paper-Based Test is not being accepted after 27th May 2018 for Subclass 500 student visa applications.

After the TOEFL-PBT was revised in October last year, it did not have a measurement for speaking English, while testing of English language speaking skills is a requirement for assessment of an applicant’s English proficiency.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, the testing of English language speaking skills is designed to ensure applicants have the ability to communicate effectively in face-to-face situations within Australia.

As a result of this change in the test, the Department has excluded TOEFL-PBT from the acceptable English tests for student visas.

TOEFL internet based test results continue to be accepted by the department.

However, it’s not among the most popular tests in Australia.

“Most of the international students these days are sitting PTE, followed by IELTS,” says Shivi Bhalla who runs an English tutoring business in Sydney.

“I know that it’s accepted for visas in Australia, but in the five years since we have been around, no one has ever come to inquire about it,” he tells SBS Punjabi.

The other acceptable English language tests are IELTS (International English Language Testing System), Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English),  Pearson Test of English Academic and Occupational English Test.  

In order for the test results to be accepted, the test must have been taken no more than two years before the visa application is lodged.

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