Language testing organisations

The Department of Home Affairs accepts English language test results from a number of providers that meet student visa application requirements:

One of the student visa (subclass 500) requirements is to provide proof of your English language proficiency. This is because you need to meet the minimum English level needed to succeed in your chosen course. 

The minimum English level will vary across education providers and courses.  

If you do not meet the minimum English requirement for your chosen course, some education providers will make a conditional offer for a place. One of the conditions might be that you successfully complete additional English language studies in Australia before the start of your course.  

Proof of English ability

To prove you have the required level of English language, you will need to provide one of the following:  

  • Proof that you are a citizen of and hold a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom*, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland, with your application. *British National (Overseas) passports are not acceptable as evidence of competent English. 
  • A certificate of results from one of the approved English language tests listed below.  

Approved English language tests


IELTS is among the world’s most widely-used English language tests, with over 3 million tests taken annually. All universities and colleges in Australia accept IELTS, as well as all professional associations that have set minimum language requirements for professional registration.


The TOEFL test is recognized by more than 10,000 colleges, universities and agencies in more than 150 countries worldwide (including Australia).

PTE Academic

Pearson PTE Academic is a computer-based English test you can use to prove your English ability as part of all Australian visa applications. PTE Academic is accepted by all Australian universities, as well as by professional associations and state government departments.

Cambridge English

Cambridge English exams are recognised by over 20,000 universities, employers and governments around the world. Cambridge English Qualifications are in-depth exams designed to encourage continuous progression and a clear path to improve language skills with qualifications for schools, general and higher education, and business.


The Occupational English Test (OET) is a test for health professionals, covering 12 different healthcare areas. OET assesses all four language skills, using test materials that reflect typical communication scenarios from the healthcare industry.

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