English Language Requirements

If you’re looking at studying in Australia, you may know that you need English language requirements to obtain a student visa. Here are a few fast facts to answer some of your questions.

1. You might not even need one

Depending on your country of citizenship, you can be exempt from sitting an English language test to prove your English language proficiency. You can be exempt if:

  • you have completed 5+ years of study in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa or the Republic of Ireland

  • you are a passport holder of New Zealand, UK, USA, Canada or the Republic of Ireland

  • you have completed the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or study at Certificate IV level or higher in Australia within two years of applying for a student visa

  • you are enrolled full time in school studies as a principal course, postgraduate research or a standalone ELICOS program

  • you are a Foreign Affairs or Defense student

2. You can take a different English language test

There are five test options available to obtain your English language requirements. These are all recognised as valid for visa applications in Australia.


  • TOEFL-based test

  • CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced)

  • PTE Academic

  • OET

3. Different tests, different minimum scores

Australia recognises different minimum scores depending on (a) the test you took, and (b) the duration of your ELICOS course. The longer your ELICOS course (measured as either 10 weeks or 20 weeks), the lower the minimum test scores get. Without taking the ELICOS course into consideration, the minimum scores for the tests are:

  • IELTS: 5.5

  • TOEFL: 46

  • CAE: 162

  • PTE Academic: 42

  • OET: Pass (A or B)

Sitting the right test for your English language proficiency can save you time and money. My Visa Options can advice you on which best to take and why, and can direct you to different English language tutors and institutions should you need assistance.

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