How the English Test Works

Australia aims to attract migrants that have proficient English skills. Various approved English Language tests are used to determine your ability, and test four main areas: listening, reading, writing and speaking. In order to meet the Department of Immigration's (DHA) points test you will need to complete an approved test at the required level. Your English proficiency can greatly affect your overall point score. When applying for a points based skilled visa the higher you score the greater your chances of success! 

0  Points

UK, Irish, NZ, Canadian or US citizens (who don’t sit a test). 

5 Points

If your partner scores competent test scores, or has a UK, Irish, NZ, Canadian or US passport. 

10 Points

Writing the test and scoring proficient test scores.

20 Points

Writing the test and scoring superior test scores.



Self-assessment: We have introduced a few grammatical and spelling mistakes into the text below for you to gauge if the test is going to be a problem for you, or not. Please read on, spot as many mistakes as possible and self-assess yourself using our self-assessment scale at the end of this page.

A basic criteria for all skilled visas is meeting the English language requirement. Citizens' of the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and the United States all meet the basic English requirement by virtue of their citizenship. All other applicants must sit either IELTS, OET , Cambridge or Pearsons English Tests, however, even for applicants who meet the basic English criteria. Because of there citizenship, performing well on the English test provides additional points on the visa points test. This can be important in both meeting the minimum pass mark and scoring as many points as possible to ensure the best chance of being selected through SkillSelect to receive an invitation to apply.

Since the introduction of the new English tests on 23rd November 2014, the department now alocates points for English under skilled migration, as follows:

Compitent English – can lodge a skilled visa but cannot claim points for the Points Test
IELTS – 6 in each of the four sections
Pearson (PTE Academic) – at least 50 for the four components
Cambridge – a score of at least 169 in each of the four components
Alternatively, produce a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland

Profficient English - can lodge a skilled visa and claim 10 points for the Points Test
IELTS – 7 in each of the four sections
Pearson (PTE Academic) – at least 65 for the four components
Cambridge – a score of at least 185 in each of the four components
OET (for medical professionals) - B in each of the four sections

Superior English – can lodge a skilled visa and claim 20 points for the Points Test
IELTS – 8 in each of the four sections
Pearson (PTE Academic) – at least 79 for the four test components
Cambridge – a score of at least 200 in each of the four components
OET (for medical proffesionals) - A in each of the four section

For native English speaker's, sitting the English test is a fairly straight forward way to earn additional points and will be necessary in order to meet the minimum pass mark in most case. An approved English test needs to be taken (and passed) before submitting an Expression of Interest.

By undertaking our free visa evaluation, we can advice weather sitting the English test is necessary to meet the pass mark. If writting the test out of neccessity, or choice, you're overall points score will depend on your performance on this english language test.

To succeed, the test requires practice and should not be underestimated. We can provide you with advice on what you will need to score, tell you how and where to book your test and provide you with training documents, practice tests and private tuition. This will give you the best chance of scoring the points that you need.

English ability Self-assessment scale:

If you spotted less than 10 mistakes, then you most likely will need to improve your English ability;

If you spotted between 10-15 mistakes, then we estimate that you probably possess competent English ability;

If you spotted between 15-20 mistakes, then we estimate that you possess probably proficient English ability;

If you spotted between 20-30 mistakes, then we estimate that you possess probably superior English ability; and,

If you spotted more thank 30 mistakes, then your English ability is either off the scale or very poor! Perhaps we should double check this for you?!?

PLEASE CONTACT US TO CHECK THE RESULTS OF YOUR SELF-ASSESSMENT. Please call us on 01483 550919 to check your results. Alternatively, you could print and circle all the mistakes that you spotted, and attach your marking to an email to us at the following address: .


It is very rare since the introduction of SkillSelect that applicants can qualify under the points test without writing an official English language test. The language tests are used to assess English language proficiency and is also vital to scoring enough points towards the skilled visa points test.

The tests are made up of 4 components: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. As with any examination, preparation is the key to success. Even if you are a native English speaker, you are not guaranteed a good result. Many English speakers fail the test several times because they are not familiar with the requirements of the test and underestimate the standard of English expected.

This can be a costly and time-consuming exercise. Two failed Language tests cost roughly the same as our engagement fee. Therefore, if you are going to engage our services, we strongly recommend signing up before sitting the English test to capitalize on the fantastic revision materials that you receive upon engagement.

Yes, in most cases the English Language test is compulsory regardless of nationality, in order to apply for a skilled (points tested) visa. You must meet the threshold of 65 points and the English test can be a great way of scoring those extra points that you may need to be eligible.

The majority of applicants will be required to take the General tests. However, for some occupations the assessing authorities require an academic test results as part of their skills assessment process.

To find out how many points you need and which test you are required to sit please speak to our Registered Migration Agents.

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Australia’s immigration law is complex and constantly changing in accordance with the government’s specific migration objectives.

Legal requirements for Australian visas are strictly enforced and applications are closely examined for compliance to determine whether applicants have the necessary skills to benefit Australia.

It is important to engage the services of a Registered Migration Agent (RMA) who is trained and experienced in the intricacies of Australian immigration law. RMAs are authorised by the Australian Government to provide migration advice and undertake continuing professional training to keep up to date with changing visa policies and regulations.

As Registered Migration Agents we know what the government are looking for and how to structure your application to make sure that it stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Making a mistake on your Visa Application because you have tried to do it yourself can be very expensive to rectify and can result in your application being delayed and even failing.

We do all the hard work so you don't have too. Save your time and remove the stress by engaging out Registered Migration Agents.

Protect your rights as a consumer. Registered Migration Agents are governed by a strict code of conduct.

We know what we are taking about. Use a Registered Migration Agent to make sure are receiving advice from a qualified and licensed visa professional.

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