• IELTS – International English Language Testing System (Academic or General Module)
  • OET – Occupational English Test
  • TOEFL iBT – Test of English as a Foreign Language (internet-based test)
  • PTE – Pearson Test of English (Academic)
  • CAE – Cambridge English: Advanced

While there are different English exams available the requirements thresholds remain the same as Functional, Vocational, Competent, Proficient and Superior. Here are the equivalents across the five different exams:

English Language
proficiency level
Test component IELTS TOEFL iBT PTE Academic Cambridge English:
Advanced (CAE)*
Functional Average/total/ overall across test components 4.5 32 30 147 n/a
Vocational Listening 5.0 4 36 154 B
  Reading 5.0 4 36 154 B
  Writing 5.0 14 36 154 B
  Speaking 5.0 14 36 154 B
Competent Listening 6.0 12 50 169 B
  Reading 6.0 13 50 169 B
  Writing 6.0 21 50 169 B
  Speaking 6.0 18 50 169 B
(for points tested Skilled visas)
Listening 7.0 24 65 185 B
  Reading 7.0 24 65 185 B
  Writing 7.0 27 65 185 B
  Speaking 7.0 23 65 185 B
(for points tested Skilled visas)
Listening 8.0 28 79 200 A
  Reading 8.0 29 79 200 A
  Writing 8.0 30 79 200 A
  Speaking 8.0 26 79 200 A

Certain migration skills assessment authorities require specific English exams to be taken. Such examples include the IELTS Academic module for accounting professionals and medical professionals (instead of the General Training module). Check with the relevant skills assessment authority for their specific requirements.

Fees and Time Taken for Results

The following are fees for the exams in Australia:

IELTS – A$ 330
Results available 13 calendar days after the test

OET – A$ 587 including A$ 7 booking fee 
Results available 16 business days after the test (add 7 to 10 business days for post)

TOEFL iBT – US$ 300
Results available 10 calendar days after the test (add 4 to 6 weeks for post)

PTE – A$ 330
Results available 5 business days after the test

CAE – A$ 280
Results available 4-6 weeks after the test (2 weeks for computer-based exams)


IELTS is now offering a computer-delivered test format, making it similar to the PTE Academic exam. There are some subtle differences, and you can read about the comparisons at our news article here.


If you are unsure about the level of English result you need please seek the advice of a Registered Migration Agent or Immigration Lawyer. The team at Work Visa Lawyers will be happy to assist.

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