University English language proficiency requirements

English language proficiency (ELP) is an admission requirement for all tertiary courses offered through UAC. However, most people – including Australian Year 12 students – do not need to prove their proficiency. If you do need to provide proof of your proficiency in English, this will be indicated in your application.

Qualifications that usually satisfy ELP

If you have an assessable qualification that was undertaken in English from one of the following countries, you may not have to prove your proficiency in English:

American Samoa


Applicants who are not Australian citizens and are completing the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate or the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) are required to achieve a specified minimum score in English subjects in order to meet the Australian National University's ELP requirements.



Applicants undertaking the IB in Quebec need to complete English A at higher or standard level to meet the Australian National University's ELP requirements.









New Zealand 


Papua New Guinea


Solomon Islands

South Africa


Trinidad and Tobago

United Kingdom (incl. Northern Ireland)

United States of America



Note: If you’re applying to CQUniversity, your studies must have been undertaken in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, South Africa, USA or Canada. 

Assessable qualifications from the countries listed above include:

  • senior secondary studies, comparable with the NSW HSC (including the IB Diploma or Bilingual Diploma)
  • one full year of Australian or comparable tertiary studies, including associate degree, bachelor degree and postgraduate studies
  • Australian non-award studies
  • tertiary preparation courses, including NSW TAFE Tertiary Preparation Certificate (TPC), with a full-time equivalence of one year.

Being born in Australia or one of the countries listed above doesn't automatically pass you for ELP. You must also have at least one of the assessable qualifications listed.

Additional qualifications accepted by each institution

If your ELP test or qualification is not included in the list of general assessable qualifications or an institution’s list of additional ELP qualifications, write to the Admissions Office at each institution to which you’re applying. Include supporting documentation so that the acceptability of your test or qualification can be determined. Do not send this information to UAC – we cannot make decisions about your English proficiency on behalf of institutions.

English language proficiency tests

If you don't have the required qualifications, you can submit English proficiency test results that meet the minimum requirements for admission.

If you need to sit a test to meet an institution's ELP requirements, first submit your UAC application. There is a section in the application for you to include details of your proposed ELP test. Provide UAC with a copy of your results as soon as you receive them.

Check with the relevant institution before you register to ensure it will accept the test results as proof of English language proficiency for the course you want to study.

The commonly accepted English proficiency tests are:

Australian Government requirements

The Australian Government has separate English language requirements for students applying for student visas from some countries. For more information, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.