Australia won’t accept TOEFL exam scores for tests taken after July 26

Australia Visa: Exam body ETS said TOEFL exam scores will still work for most study visas. Plus, the TOEFL iBT has been submitted for review.

Australia won’t accept TOEFL exam scores for tests taken after July 26 TOEFL exam scores valid only till July 26 (Representational image , source: Wikimedia Commons)
Pritha Roy Choudhury | Jul 29, 2023 - 8:50 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Australia’s department of home affairs has announced that starting from July 26, the popular English proficiency test, TOEFL, will not be available for migration purposes.

“From 26 July 2023 TOEFL iBT will no longer be offering English language tests for Australian visa purposes until further notice,” said a statement from the department.

Australia is one of the most popular study abroad destinations for Indian students. The website of the High Commission of India in Canberra, says that India is the “second-largest source country for international student enrolments in Australia” and that over January-April 2023, there were 95,791 Indian students enrolled in the country’s institutions.

Scores of TOEFL exams taken before July 26 will remain valid.

TOEFL iBT submitted for review

International testing agency, ETS, rolled out the TOEFL Internet-Based Test (or TOEFL iBT) globally on July 26. The new version was intended to make the registration and test-taking process smoother and increase reliability. It also made the TOEFL tests much shorter.

“ETS has submitted the enhanced test to Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to be reviewed as part of a standard process the Department takes to evaluate English language tests,” said Rohit Sharma, SVP of Global Higher Education and Workskills, ETS.

“In the meantime,” he continued, “Valid TOEFL iBT scores obtained from tests taken prior to July 26, 2023 will be recognized for relevant visa sub-classes to Australia. The TOEFL iBT test is accepted by 100% of Australian universities and Australian education providers can continue to accept, for admission purposes, valid TOEFL scores from tests taken pre- and post-July 26.”

He continued: “We are communicating directly with impacted stakeholders to share pertinent information and will continue to keep them apprised of updates as they are available.

Please also note that TOEFL can still be used for study visas. TOEFL can’t be used (for the moment) when a DHA-approved test is required for a particular visa (and that visa could be migration, study, etc. depending on certain circumstances). I just want to ensure there is no misconception that TOEFL is unable to be used currently for any visa, because it can be used for study visas in many/most cases.”

The Australian department of home affairs’ website also says: “Some test providers offer alternative versions of their tests that you can take at home or online, such as TOEFL iBT – Special Home Edition, OET@Home, IELTS Indicator, and IELTS Online. Home Affairs does not accept scores from these tests, or any other 'at-home' or 'online' tests for Australian migration purposes.”

IELTS, PTE still work

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), including one-skill retake (OSR), is still valid as is the Pearson Test of English (PTE), Cambridge English (CAE) – also known as the CI Advanced – and the Occupational English Test (OET) for health professionals.

“For Australian visa purposes, the Department will accept IELTS test results that include OSR, with the exception of applications for subclasses 476, 482, and 485, which need scores from a single sitting/attempt”, sad the statement from the department.

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