If you’re currently investigating your Australian study options, you may know by now that you’ll need to meet English language requirements to gain a student visa. If you need help determining the scores you need, or if you’re simply looking for more information, read on as we answer a few common questions.

Will I need to meet English language requirements?

Most students will need to meet English language requirements to gain entry into their course and receive a student visa.

Students are exempt from providing evidence of English language proficiency with their visa application if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • students who have completed at least five years of study in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa or the Republic of Ireland
  • citizens and passport holders of the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland
  • students who have successfully 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
  • students enrolled full time in school studies as a principal course (including secondary exchange programs), postgraduate research or a standalone ELICOS program
  • Foreign Affairs or Defence sponsored students.

All other students will need to provide evidence of English language proficiency (in the form of a Confirmation of Enrolment or English language test scores, see below).

What are English language tests accepted in Australia?

There are five English language tests accepted for student visa applications in Australia:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (paper-based test is accepted from limited countries)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
  • Occupational English Test (OET).

It’s important to remember that the test must have been completed no more than two years before the application is made for results to be accepted.

What is the minimum test score required?

Your required level of English language proficiency will vary depending on your desired institution and level of study, your country of citizenship and whether you plan to complete an ELICOS course upon arrival in Australia. For student visa applications, the table below outlines the minimum scores accepted for each test.

English language testMinimum test scoreMinimum test score when combined with at least 10 weeks ELICOSMinimum test score when combined with at least 20 weeks ELICOS
TOEFL (internet-based test)463532
PTE Academic423630
OETPass (A or B)Pass (A or B)Pass (A or B)

It’s important to note that while these are the minimum scores required for a student visa, you will likely need a higher score to gain entry to your course. For undergraduate courses, the following scores provide an indication of the minimum requirement at most universities:

  • IELTS — overall score of 6.0 to 6.5 (no band less than 5.5 to 6.0)
  • TOEFL (internet-based test) — overall score of 60 to 90
  • CAE — overall score of 169 to 176 (no less than 169 in any category)
  • PTE Academic — overall score of 50 to 64.

Minimum scores vary considerably between institutions and levels of study, so it’s best to check with individual providers before you apply. Certain courses, such as nursing, education or law programs, tend to have stricter requirements, while requirements for Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses are usually lower. If you don’t meet English language requirements, you may consider completing an ELICOS program to improve your English language skills.

How can Migration Star help?

Migration Star provides incomparable training in IELTS, TOEFL and PTE preparation. Our renowned faculty ensures you achieve the best scores possible. Every student is unique and we follow a mentoring model where every student is assigned a personal mentor who steers the student towards success.

Our classes comprise of small batch sizes, ensuring personalised attention. Faculties are available throughout the course to solve personal doubts and questions. Our well-planned curriculum seeks to make the student a master at problem-solving. We follow a flexible approach allowing students’ personalised coaching, makeup classes, extra classes, and numerous mock tests throughout the course. Our innovative and new age teaching methodology has allowed us to attain an exceptional track record. Batches commence every week, and the courses are result oriented. We also have a well stocked library that consists of Kaplan, Cambridge, Princeton publications available.

  • Personalized Preparation Based On Adaptive Learning
  • Strong Focus On Concepts
  • Special Test Taking Strategies
  • Experienced And Professional Teachers
  • Flexible Schedules And Fast Track Batches Available
  • Comprehensive, Economical & Rigorous


About NAATI: National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) is a standards organization responsible for setting, maintaining and promoting high professional standards that issue accreditations for practitioners who wish to work as translators and interpreters in Australia.

Accreditation: NAATI accreditation permits translator and interpreters to quickly and easily demonstrate their level of skills and ability which the employer expected as proof. More important, upon successfully getting a NAATI accreditation would earn 5 bonus points, under Credentialed Community Language (CCL) points at the Paraprofessional level or above.

Skilled Immigration Points

Pathways to accreditation: There are four ways to gain NAATI accreditation:

  • Sitting a NAATI assessment test
  • Passing a NAATI approved course
  • Providing evidence of a tertiary translating and interpreting qualification gained overseas
  • Providing evidence of advanced standing or international professional memberships

Confidence boost: Yearly, the passing rate in the NAATI exam is only 10%-15%. Quite a low number attributed to many reasons. One of which is that it is not an easy exam. Many candidates will have to sit in the exam more than once to succeed and some never pass. NAATI has the responsibility to ensure that accredited practitioners have the skills in interpreting and translating that meet the needs of Australians.

A common reason for failure in passing the exam is a lack of preparedness. As in any exam, preparation is the key. Enrolling on NAATI-Approved Australia Course offered by an approved university/institution provides methodical training and a professional approach to ensure preparedness and confidence in obtaining very satisfactory results in translating and interpreting.

Migration points: By completing the internal NAATI-Approved Australia Course and passing the internal exams offered by NAATI-Approved universities/institutions, successful students can obtain accreditation and earn 5 bonus points, under Credentialed Community Language (CCL) points.

We at HBD Services are committed in helping create your personalised pathway to success in your chosen course, career and in Australia.