You may remember that in May of this year, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) announced that all international students who wish to study in Australia can now use as part of their visa application.

Following this approval the Hon. Chris Bowen MP, has now accepted the test score equivalencies identified by ETS research for the TOEFL test when compared to System (IELTS®) scores.

ETS undertook extensive research with objective, data-based results to provide DIAC with comprehensive recommendations.

I thought this news would be of great interest to you guys so the full press release is below.

Minister for Immigration Announces TOEFL® Test Score Equivalencies for Student Visas in Australia


Princeton, N.J. (14 October 2011)  Following the approval by the Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship of the TOEFL® test for student visas in May 2011, the Minister has now accepted the test score equivalencies identified by ETS research for the TOEFL test when compared to International English (IELTS®)  scores. The new score equivalencies will likely come into effect on 5 November.

“We are delighted that the Minister has agreed to the equivalency scores recommended by Educational Testing Service (ETS) for the TOEFL test as an alternative for student visa purposes,” says David Hunt, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ETS’s Global Division.

“ETS recognizes the importance for both the Australian government and test takers in establishing reliable equivalencies between TOEFL scores and the IELTS academic scores currently in use for student visa regulations. ETS undertook transparent research with objective, data-based results to provide the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) with the most comprehensive and up-to-date information available on the equivalencies between the two tests,” Hunt explains.

The Minister approved the following TOEFL iBT scores to be used for student visas:

TOEFL iBT® Score

























To determine the most appropriate test score equivalencies, ETS conducted research and published its results in a study Linking TOEFL iBT ® Scores to IELTS® Scores — A Research Report, which is available on the TOEFL website The study determined the corresponding TOEFL iBT scores for each of the identified IELTS academic scores by what is known as ”score-linking” or “score-comparison” in the field of educational measurement. As part of this study, ETS obtained a sample of 1,153 students who had scores for both the TOEFL iBT test and the IELTS academic module between 2008 and 2009.

Using a method of statistical analysis called ”equipercentile linking,” the corresponding TOEFL score that would pass the same percentage of test takers for each IELTS academic score was obtained. Importantly, at all data points in the research, both scores would pass similar percentages of test takers, ensuring consistency when comparing the two tests.

For more than 45 years, the TOEFL test has been the most widely accepted English language assessment in the world, recognised by more than 8,000 colleges, universities and agencies including the most prestigious institutions in the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. And with more than 4,500 test sites around the world, the TOEFL test is more convenient than ever for students wishing to apply for study in Australia.

More information about the TOEFL test, including registration dates and free sample test questions, is available


About the TOEFL Test

The TOEFL test is the most widely accepted English language assessment in the world, recognised by more than 8,000 institutions in more than 130 countries. Globally, the TOEFL test is available at more than 4,500 testing sites. To date, more than 25 million students around the world have taken the TOEFL test.


About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® andTOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations