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English Requirements and Classes in Australia

Australia is proud to provide English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) to help international students reach their English requirements for education purposes.

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The purpose of these ELICOS courses is to prepare international students or tourists to adjust to the English-speaking culture in Australia.

ELICOS provides a wide range of English programs for specific purposes: English for business, general English, courses for teachers, etc. 

To cater to the needs of international students planning to study at Australia, we will emphasize on English courses for academic purposes in this article, specifically IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE preparation courses, as their test scores are widely accepted English language requirements for Australian university intakes. Please keep in mind that a demonstration of your English proficiency is not only needed to apply for a university program, but also an Australian visa.

There are many ELICOS programs available across Australia. Most institutions will have affiliations with English language schools, and they will ‘package’ English courses along with vocational and higher education courses. Even so, please note that it is not a requirement to take preparation courses before taking IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE tests unless certain circumstances. Furthermore, you can take the tests in your local country first to meet the minimum requirement.


IELSTS (The International English Language Testing System) is one of the most reputable high-stakes English language test, as it is one of the top choices for educational institutions, professional organisations and employers across Australia. As a result, all Australian colleges and universities accept IELTS as a minimum English language requirement.

There are two types of IELTS test versions available: IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. For international students enrolling into universities, the obvious choice would be taking IELTS Academic, as the test contents cater towards academic purposes and scholarly rigour. 

Taking IELTS is extremely convenient due to its accessibility:

  1. There are nearly 50 testing locations across Australia. There is one test centre in every state capital and most regional cities.
  2. IELTS tests are held 48 times per year, on Thursdays and Saturdays up to four times per month. Plus, the test dates are available up to a year in advance.
  3. A computer-delivered version of IELTS provide exam candidates the convenience of taking the test with their computers. Established in 2016, this computer-delivered version of IELTS is available in 20 countries. Exam candidates can choose the format and time to take the test, then take their Reading, Writing, Listening sections using a computer. The Speaking section will remain a face-to-face assessment.  


Similar to IELTS, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a high quality English-language proficiency test widely accepted in the world. As a speculation, it is accepted by more than 10,000 univerities worldwide, including all Australian universities.

TOEFL utilizes 4 methods to assess their exam candidates’ English proficiency as well: Reading, Writing, Listening , and Speaking. And it is widely accessible as well, it is available in 165 countries and holds around 50 test dates per year in institutions all over the world. You can retake the test as many times as you want, but you cannot take it more than once in 12 days.   

There are two types of TOEFL tests – the TOEFL PBT and the TOEFL IBT. TOEFL is the paper based test, while TOEFL IBT is administered via the internet, both versions definitely have their differences.


PTE (Pearson Test of English) is a computer-based English proficiency test targeted for non-native speakers. They pride themselves for their modern A.I. testing system. In that respect, it means your test isn’t graded by a human, but rather a clear-cut algorithm that mimics how a human would score. It is unbiased, as it assesses your score based on what you say, rather than other factors such as your accent. As with other English proficiency tests, they test their candidates in four disciples: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. Also, it is available in various streams: academic,  general and young learners.

Furthermore, PTE offers immense flexibility, test results are typically delivered in just 5 business days, and they offer global testing in more than 250 test centres in over 50 countries. You will be situated within a secured-facility infront of a computer, and all 4 sections will be tested in the duration of 3 hours. PTE is a worldly-renowned English-proficiency accepted for study applications by thousands of academic programs around the world. It is also approved for Australian student visas. 

Comparison Among Tests

Average Tuition Cost

Around MYR 795

*depending on institution and miscellaneous fees 

Around MYR 850

*depending on institution and miscellaneous fees 

Around MYR 690

*depending on institution and miscellaneous fees 

Exam Times48 times per year, on Thursdays and Saturdays up to four times per month50 test dates per year in institutions all over the world. You can retake the test as many times as you want, but you cannot take it more than once in 12 days Conducted over 360 days per year
AvailabilityNearly 50 testing locations across AustraliaAvailable in 165 countries250 test centres in over 50 countries
Exam DurationUnder 3 hours4 hoursAround 3 hours
AcceptabilityAustralia, UK, US and more than 10, 000 institutions across 140 countries.Australia, UK, US and more than 8, 500 institutions across 130 countries.Australia, UK, US and thousands of academic programs around the world
Test ContentsReading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking
UsageUniversity enrollment, migration
How to applyRegister online, details at: https://malaysia.ielts.britishcouncil.org/iorpsea/html/content/how-to-register.jspRegister online, details at: https://www.ets.org/toefl/contact/region6Register online, details at: https://pearsonpte.com/malaysia/
How to prepare for the test?You can do online trial tests here: http://www.toefltestsonline.com/, if you prefer a preparatory class, resources will be posted below You can do online trial tests here: https://www.britishcouncil.my/exam/ielts/prepare/, if you prefer a preparatory class, resources will be posted belowYou can do online trial tests here: https://ptetutorials.com/, if you prefer a preparatory class, resources will be posted below
Method Paper-based and in person for Speaking test100% computer-based
Scoring System1- 90-12010-90

For more Information:

IELTS: https://www.ielts.org/

TOEFL: https://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/TOEFL/pdf/TOEFL_Perf_Feedback.pdf 

PTE: https://pearsonpte.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Score-Guide.pdf

* For more specific information, we provide free professional consultancy services tailored according to your needs, feel free to contact us.

Join Our Event!

Register for our Study in Australia Exhibition! Speak to our professional education consultants and Australian university representatives for more information about English requirements. See you there!

Test Scores Comparison

IELTS Score TOEFL Score PTE A Score
9.0 118-120 86 – 90
8.5 115-117 83 – 85
8.0 110-114 79 – 82
7.5 102-109 73 – 78
7.0 94-101 65 – 72
6.5 79-93 58 – 64
6.0 60-78 50 – 57
5.5 46-59 42 – 49
5.0 35-45 36 – 41 
4.5 32-34 29 – 35
No data 0-31 10 – 28

Moreover, you will find the general minimum English requirement for the Australian student visa and most Australian universities stated below:

  • IELTS — overall score of 6.0 to 6.5 (no band less than 5.5 to 6.0)
  • TOEFL — overall score of 60 to 90
  • CAE — overall score of 169 to 176 (no less than 169 in any category)

* Please note that this is just a general average for Bachelor degrees, minimum English requirement varies differently among institutions and courses. You may contact us to enquire about the institution and course of your choice.

Recommended Institutions

If  you are interested in taking English preparatory classes in Australia, either to prepare for your upcoming English proficiency tests, or to achieve the target English requirement of your chosen institution. We highly recommend these few trusted institutions. 

Study in Australia Expo, August 2019

Talk to professional education consultants and university representatives!

Time & Date

1 pm - 4 pm, 3rd August 2019 (Sat)



Contact us to find out more

International Student enquiries:

Phone: +6016-214-3443+6018-241-4802

Email: info.my@exceleducation.com.au

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About Post Author
Jude Chong
A content writer & a student of University of Nottingham studying Bachelor of Communications. I like indie bands and meeting new people 🙂