From November of 2014, people applying for Temporary Graduate, Skilled, Work and Holiday, and Former Resident visas will have a wider choice of English language tests that will be accepted by Australia’s Department of Immigration. Currently, the two barometers of English ability that the immigration office uses are the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and the OET (Occupational English Test). Now the list has been expanded to include TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and the PTEA (Pearson Test of English Academic).
Scores from these additional tests will be benchmarked against the IELTS equivalent. From 2015, the department will widen this test bench even further to include the CAE (Cambridge English: Advance) test. This will ease life of applicants because it will allow them to prove their English ability by taking just one or two tests that apply to the whole English speaking world. No longer will an applicant need to give a battery of tests to demonstrate the same ability just because different countries have different benchmarks.
These words are echoed by Emma Stubbs, Senior Vice-President of Pearson Language Testing. ‘English language ability is important for success for any new Australian migrant,’ she said, ‘helping them to improve their employment opportunities, social integration and everyday interaction. It is critical to be able to prove this skill in a secure and objective environment using the most up-to-date testing methods and technologies. This is what PTE Academic offers and we are delighted that people intending to work and live in Australia will now have the opportunity to choose which English test best suits them.