The English Test is an important part of a visa application for anyone that may be seeking to live, work or study in Australia.
In recent years there have been many changes to the processes involved in moving to Australia, including changes to the English Test.
The English Test for migration is compulsory, in most cases, and it will directly affect your visa application.
English Test for migration involves different levels and scores involved. For example; working visas at Professional Level (a score of 8 is required) and Skilled Level (where 6 or 7 is required).
There are a number of elements involved in the test and the process can often appear complex. “Even if English is your first language the English Test for migration can be a challenge, especially if you’ve not taken a formal exam for many years,” says Darrell Todd, CEO of thinkingaustralia.
“It’s not simply a matter of filling out forms on a website – you must personally attend a formal sit-down test with face to face examination.
The English Test for migration includes Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Test categories include Functional, Vocational, Competent, Proficient (for points tested Skilled visas), Superior (for points tested Skilled visas).
The Department accepts the following English language tests:
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Occupational English Test (OET)
Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test (also known as Certificate in Advanced English) (CAE) test (also known as Certificate in Advanced English).
Applicants should refer to their relevant visa information for specific information.
The English test (IELTS) is points-based. It involves both written and speaking skills and you must attend at a test centre where formal examinations take place. Skills are graded and points awarded from 0 to 9, with a set level of points often required for different visas, jobs and professions.
A range of info and support is available including official practice books explaining how your English skills will be scored and how to manage your time on test day. It’s important to understand the assessment criteria and how examiners will score you.
Here’s an example of high and low scores for written and spoken English, and what the examiners are looking for:
Score Level 9 – speaks fluently with only rare repetition or self-correction; any hesitation is content-related rather than to find words or grammar; speaks coherently with fully appropriate cohesive features; develops topics fully and appropriately; uses vocabulary with full flexibility and precision in all topics; uses idiomatic language naturally and accurately; uses a full range of structures naturally and appropriately; produces consistently accurate structures apart from ‘slips’ characteristic of native speaker speech; uses a full range of pronunciation features with precision and subtlety
Score Level 2 – pauses lengthily before most words; little communication possible; only produces isolated words or memorised utterances; cannot produce basic sentence forms; speech is often unintelligible.
Score Level 9 – fully satisfies all the requirements of the task; clearly presents a fully developed response; uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention; skilfully manages paragraphing; uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’; uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’.
Score Level 2 – • answer is barely related to the task; has very little control of organisational features; uses an extremely limited range of vocabulary; essentially no control of word formation and/or spelling; cannot use sentence forms except in memorised phrases.
Darrell Todd, CEO of thinkingaustralia, says: “We help people to prepare well in advance for the English Test for migration. We are here to support and guide you through the process. It’s important to get it right as it will affect your visa eligibility.”