Depending on your nationality and the type of visa you plan to apply for, you may be required to demonstrate your English language ability by taking a test.

English language testing is a terrifying prospect for many visa applicants, but don’t fret, with preparation and perseverance most people can get over the line. It’s not as bad as you think!

A number of English language tests are accepted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The proficiency level you need to reach will depend on the particular visa you’re applying for.


English Languageproficiency level Test component IELTS TOEFLiBT PTEAcademic Cambridge English:Advanced (CAE)* OET
Functional Average/total/overall across test components only 4.5 32 30 147 n/a
Vocational Listening 5.0 4 36 154 B
Reading 5.0 4 36 154 B
Writing 5.0 14 36 154 B
Speaking 5.0 14 36 154 B
Competent Listening 6.0 12 50 169 B
Reading 6.0 13 50 169 B
Writing 6.0 21 50 169 B
Speaking 6.0 18 50 169 B
Proficient(for points tested Skilled visas) Listening 7.0 24 65 185 B
Reading 7.0 24 65 185 B
Writing 7.0 27 65 185 B
Speaking 7.0 23 65 185 B
Superior(for points tested Skilled visas) Listening 8.0 28 79 200 A
Reading 8.0 29 79 200 A
Writing 8.0 30 79 200 A
Speaking 8.0 26 79 200 A

*From 1 January 2015 and only for a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test taken on or after 1 January 2015.


 When it comes to English tests for Australian visas, the main thing to remember is that you can view sample questions and see exactly what you’re up against.

Whichever test type you take, you’ll find plenty of practice exams available. We highly recommend that you spend time properly preparing and taking practice tests. By familiarising yourself with the exam format and type of questions you’re up against, you’ll give yourself the best chance of success.


Prepare for IELTS by taking these free practice tests. We recommend timing yourself and comparing your answers with the model answers supplied.

Find a test centre here.


View questions from previous tests and see how the exam is structured.

Find an exam centre near you.

Cambridge Advanced English

Find out what you’re up against by taking a mock CAE test.

You’ll need to take your test at an authorised exam centre, find a location close to you.

Occupational English Test

Visit the OET preparation portal and prepare by downloading free sample materials.

The OET can be taken every month in 35 countries. Find your closest exam centre.

PTE Academic

You’ll find a preparation resources section on the PTE Academic website.

Find your closest test centre and view exam fees.

What’s Next

If you’re using a Registered Migration Agent to manage your application, they will provide you with some handy exam tips and recommend the best test option for you.


Whatever you do though, don’t let the prospect of an English language test deter you from applying. We’ve met dozens of people who failed on their first attempt and came through in the end.

For a free consult with a Registered Migration, contact True Blue Migration Services today.