TOEFL iBT, one of the previously recognised English language tests for Australian visa applications, will be unavailable for visa purposes starting from 26 July 2023 until further notice.
This pause is a result of significant revisions being introduced to the test by ETS – the organisation that administers TOEFL iBT – which are currently under review by the Department of Home Affairs.
What if I’ve already completed the TOEFL iBT?
If you have already taken the TOEFL iBT test, there’s no need to panic. The suspension of the test in Australia only affects those who plan to take the test after 26 July 2023. Your TOEFL iBT scores remain valid for Australian visa applications as long as they were acquired before the cut-off date.
In a statement to Insider Guides, Rohit Sharma, SVP of Global Higher Education and Workskills at ETS confirmed, “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.”
Revised TOEFL iBT: What’s changing?
The revised TOEFL iBT, launching globally on 26 July, is set to offer an improved test registration process, simplified instructions for test-takers and a streamlined Reading section, according to ETS. It will also introduce a new Writing section called ‘Writing for an Academic Discussion,’ and remove the mid-test break. All these changes aim to reduce the total test duration from 3 hours to 2 hours and improve the test-taking experience. This enhanced test has been approved by the Canadian government and is currently under review in Australia.
“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. We commend the DHA for this thorough review which ensures that its high standards for measures of English proficiency are upheld,” shared Sharma.
Alternate English tests for Australian visas
Despite the current pause on TOEFL iBT, there are other English language test options available to visa applicants:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Pearson Test of English (PTE)
- Cambridge English (CAE)
- Occupational English Test (OET) – specifically designed for healthcare professionals