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TOEFL-PBT no longer accepted as evidence of English Student Visa Applicants

Posted by; BBC Migration | Date: January 30, 2019

TOEFL-PBT no longer accepted as evidence of English Student Visa Applicants

TOEFL-PBT or Test of English as a Foreign Language Paper-Based test which was previously used as a tool by the Department of Home Affairs to measure the English skills of foreign applicants whose native language was not English is now withdrawn by a legislative instrument broadcasted on June 5, 2018. The test was designed for the Subclass 500 (Student) visa applications.

An external agency re-assessed the TOEFL-PBT on October 14, 2017, and it was then decided not to continue with the TOEFL-PBT as a pedestal for speaking.

What is TOEFL-PBT?

Testing of English language speaking skills is a prerequisite for evaluation of a visa applicant to determine that they have the specified proficiency for the English Language. The test is designed to make sure that the applicants can communicate properly in person to person situations within Australia.

Impact of the Change

The change in the TOEFL-PBT led to the IMMI 18/015 instrument, not including the TOEFL-PBT as an established English language test. This is due to the failure to measure the English language speaking proficiency of the visa applicant. Therefore, the main objective of the modified tool is to eliminate the TOEFL-PBT as one of the required skill tests for determining the English language skills of an applicant approved by the Subclass 500 (student) visa applications department.

However, the previous criterion for the English language proficiency stays the same as they were before the new instrument was rolled out. The new instrument for the English language proficiency requirements are now mentioned in section 2 of the instrument that includes:

  • The English language tests;
  • The English language test scores;
  • and, the time frame within which an English language test must be taken.