New English language test options for Australian student visas

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The Australian government has announced three new English language test options for student visa applicants which will help alleviate the current shortage of available testing places.

Applicants from all countries will be able to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to confirm their English language ability for Australian student visa applications. Moreover, the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) and the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) from Cambridge ESOL will be added to the list of existing English language tests used to assess English language ability for student visa applicants.

"We have given careful consideration when selecting these three English language test providers to ensure that high standards of integrity are maintained and that test score results are appropriately safeguarded," said Australian immigration minister Chris Bowen.

"The integrity of English language testing is important because the language test results are a key component in visa application requirements," he added.

Bowen said the new language test options would create more competition in the English language testing market while at the same time creating more available testing slots for people applying for immigration to Australia as students.

"They will also provide candidates with greater choice and enable them to more quickly obtain test results needed for visa applications," Bowen said.

In addition to the tests mentioned above, Australian immigration accepts International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test results to confirm English language ability of foreign student visa applicants.