Immigrants to Australia will soon have access to alternative option for the English language test.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection announced that more options for English language proficiency testing will soon be available to visa applicants.
In an announcement in Melbourne yesterday Australia’s immigration department confirmed that as of November 2014 English proficiency test scores of TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic would be accepted across several visa categories.
These tests will add to the options of qualifying for the language requirements of visa applications and will be accepted in addition to the currently accepted International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Occupational English Test (OET).
"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 visa programmes," according to the Department of Immigration and Border protection.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection also stated that; "The TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic tests have been accepted for the Student visa programme since 2011. From November 2014, the 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.”
Visa categories included in this extension, beyond student visas, are; Employer Nomination Scheme, Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, business Innovation & Investment (provisional), Skilled - Independent, skilled - Nominated, work and Holiday (temporary), skilled - Recognised Graduate and Temporary Graduate.
Melbourne- based education expert Intaj Khan said "this is very good news for the intending migrants wishing to come to Australia. It will allow them to save time as they now would have more options for test centres of giving the English test and it will also break the monopoly of IDP IELTS Test centres.”
I remember walking in to the testing centre in Cape Town at the University of Cape Town. We were joined by about 300 other ‘test subjects’. We had waited quite long for our test date and had to travel 100km’s to take the test. It was an expensive exercise but we understood that it was an investment. And yes there weren’t many options available to us for taking the test. This announcement certainly is good news for visa applicants and will no doubt streamline the application process.
But what is the TOEFL iBT Test?
According to their website; “The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.”
Their website also states that more than 27 million world citizens have taken the TOEFL as proof of their English language proficiency.
You should consider the TOELF if you are;
• a student planning to study at a higher education institution
• as an admission requirement for English-language learning programmes
• a student or worker applying for visas in countries such as Australia and the UK
But the test can also be taken by those wanting to score their progress while learning English.
TOEFL’s website states that, “You can contact a local TOEFL iBT Resource Centre for general in-language information about the TOEFL test and test preparation. TOEFL iBT Resource Centres are available in specific countries.
They claim that more than 9,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL scores.
“The TOEFL test has more test dates (more than 50 per year) and locations than any other English-language test in the world. You can retake the test as many times as you wish, but you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. If you already have a test appointment, you cannot register for another test date that is within 12 days of your existing appointment,” states their website.