For a non-native English speaker who aims to take up higher studies or is looking to migrate to Australia, an English proficiency test in the form of either an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or the PTE academic (Pearson Test of English) is a mandatory requirement. These two principal, standardized English tests are accepted around the world. The English language skill level required by an institution can be different from the level of skill required for your student visa application. You should carefully check student visa information on both the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) website and with the institution/education provider for any English language requirements.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized Test jointly conducted by British Council, Cambridge English Language Assessment and IDP Education. The test was established in1989 to test and certify the proficiency of the non-native English speakers.


The Pearson Test of English (PTE) was launched by Pearson in 2009 and thus is one of the latest entrants into the field of testing and certifying English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. The QCA and administered in association with Edexcel, UK’s largest examining body,



Duration Single 3 hr session (with an optional 10 min break) Test totals around 3 hrs but can be delivered in 2 sessions in some locations
  • Speaking & Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
Delivery Computer based Paper based test and interview by examiners



Test / Course Postgraduate requirement Undergraduate requirement VET requirement
IELTS Academic Module A minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0.* A minimum overall score of 6.0 with no band less than 6.0.* A minimum overall score of 5.5 with no band less than 5.0.*
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic module A minimum overall score of 60 with no score lower than 50.* A minimum overall score of 50 with no score lower than 42.* A minimum overall score of 46.*

*The scores listed above are just for general guidance and may vary depends on the university and courses.