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Getting your Language Skills Approved by EA

Although there are several indigenous languages that are spoken by almost 20% of the people who live in Australia, the country’s official language is English and so the engineers who plan to migrate and work there are expected and required to have a good command of this language. Applicants of the migration skills assessment need to include reliable proof of this skill, and Engineers Australia recognizes and accepts two tests since January 2016, namely the IELTS and the TOEFL iBT.

The IELTS way
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) comprises of four sections that are:
1. Listening (40 questions)
2. Speaking (15-minute interview)
3. Reading (40 questions)
4. Writing (2 pieces of writing)

The score can be between 1 and 9, and EA will accept applicants who scored a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four modules. If for example you have an overall score of 7.5, but you scored 4.0 in writing, the result is considered a failure for EA and the MSA result will be negative. Both the “Academic” and the “General” versions of the IELTS test are accepted by EA, and the same requirements apply to both. IELTS results must not be more than two years old at the time of the MSA application, or they will get rejected.

Expect the IELTS test to cost around 115 GBP, or 190 Euros, or 200 USD, depending on the test center and country. There are approximately 500 IELTS centers located across 120 countries in the world.

The TOEFL iBT way
The TOEFL iBT was added to the acceptable language tests by EA only recently (on January 2016). The test comprises of four sections which are:
1. Reading (36-56 questions)
2. Listening (34-51 questions)
3. Speaking (6 tasks)
4. Writing (2 essays)

The score of each section can be from 0 to 30, so the total score ranges between 0 and 120. EA requires the following minimum for each section: Listening – 12, Reading – 13, Writing – 21, Speaking – 18. There are hundreds of TOEFL tests centers placed around the globe, and the tests are offered more than 50 times a year, so it’s relatively easy to find one that will fit your urgency if that is the case. As with IELTS, the TOEFL results must be less than two years old at the time of the application, and the applicant’s reference number must also be included in the application.

Depending on the country where the TOEFL test is taken, the price may vary, but it is generally somewhere between $170 and $250. For specific details on that part, check this webpage.

The exceptions
The following categories are exempted from having to submit any kind of language testing credential:

Applicants who have lived and were educated in Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada (excluding Quebec).
Applicants who have completed their Masters or Ph.D. program at an Australian University. The acceptance of this will require a documentary evidence of the completion of the programs.
Applicants who are following the “Accord” pathway and have completed their Bachelor’s studies.

Although these are generally accepted, EA retains the right to actually request an English language test result from anyone who is applying for an MSA.

If you need help in figuring out whether your language scores meet EA’s minimum requirements, feel free to contact us on cdr@cdrsample.com

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