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 do not have to prove your proficiency in English:

American Samoa

Australia 

International applicants completing the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate and 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.

Botswana

Canada 

International 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.

Fiji

Ghana

Guyana

Ireland

Jamaica

Kenya

Lesotho

Liberia

New Zealand 

International applicants completing the New Zealand NCEA Level 3 must qualify for an Interstate Transfer Index and fulfil university entrance requirements as set by NZQA.

Nigeria

Papua New Guinea

Singapore

Solomon Islands

South Africa

Tonga

Trinidad and Tobago

United Kingdom (incl. Northern Ireland)

United States of America

Zambia

Zimbabwe

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 RATE associate diploma, diploma, associate degree, bachelor degree and postgraduate studies
  • Australian or comparable non-award studies
  • tertiary preparation courses, including NSW TAFE Tertiary Preparation Certificate (TPC), with a full-time equivalence of one year.

The following qualifications may also be accepted by institutions as satisfying English language proficiency if you were born in and undertook the qualification in one of the countries listed above:

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 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.