Pearson Test of English Academic

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)

Alternate English Language Tests for visa applicants

From November 2014, the department will accept English language test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) across the following visa programmes.

From November 2014, the following visa subclasses from the Temporary Graduate, Skilled and Work and Holiday visa programmes will also accept a TOEFL iBT or PTE Academic test score as evidence of English ability.

  • Distinguished Talent (Australian support) (subclass 124)
  • Business Talent (subclass 132)
  • Former Resident (subclass 151)
  • Business Owner (provisional) (subclass 160)*
  • Senior Executive (provisional) (subclass 161)*
  • Investor (provisional) (subclass 162)*
  • State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (provisional) (subclass 163)*
  • State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (provisional) (subclass 164)*
  • State/Territory Sponsored Investor (provisional) (subclass 165)*
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187)
  • Business Innovation & Investment (provisional) (subclass 188)
  • Skilled - Independent (subclass 189)
  • Skilled - Nominated (subclass 190)
  • Work and Holiday (temporary) (subclass 462)
  • Skilled - Recognised Graduate (subclass 476)
  • Temporary Graduate (subclass 485)
  • Skilled - Regional (provisional) (subclass 489)
  • Distinguished Talent (subclass 858)
  • Skilled - Regional (subclass 887)
  • Business Innovation and Investment (permanent) (subclass 888)
  • Business Owner (Residence) (subclass 890)
  • Investor (Residence) (subclass 891)
  • State/Territory Sponsored Business owner (Residence) (subclass 892)
  • State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Residence) (subclass 893)

*Closed to new applications, but family members can apply

These tests are alternatives to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Occupational English Test (OET).

For those wondering why the 457 visa isn´t included in the list the department websites states "The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) visa is not included in this list at this time because the subclass 457 visa programme is currently undergoing an independent review.  Any updates about English language testing for the subclass 457 visa will be published on the department´s website later this year."

Test scores from the TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic tests will be benchmarked against the IELTS equivalent score for each English language proficiency level (Functional, Vocational, Competent, Proficient or Superior).

A summary of test score equivalencies for all English language tests accepted by the department from November 2014 is provided in the table below: 

English Language proficiency level Test component IELTS TOEFL iBT PTE Academic OET
Functional Average across test components only 4.5 32 30 n/a
Vocational Listening 5.0 4 36 B
Reading 5.0 4 36 B  
Writing 5.0 14 36 B  
Speaking 5.0 14 36 B  
Competent Listening 6.0 12 50 B
Reading 6.0 13 50 B  
Writing 6.0 21 50 B  
Speaking 6.0 18 50 B  
Proficient (for points tested Skilled visas) Listening 7.0 24 65 B
Reading 7.0 24 65 B  
Writing 7.0 27 65 B  
Speaking 7.0 23 65 B  
Superior (for points tested Skilled visas) Listening 8.0 28 79 A
Reading 8.0 28 79 A  
Writing 8.0 30 79 A  
Speaking 8.0 26 79 A  

From November 2014, intending migrants submitting an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect will be able to provide test scores from the TOEFL iBT or PTE Academic tests.

The department is also planning to accept test scores from the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test for all visa programmes from early 2015 (final implementation date to be confirmed).

Scores from a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test taken before the 2015 implementation date will not be accepted by the department.

We are authorized to register candidates for this exam. Please contact us for more details.

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