English language proficiency

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.

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
  • Botswana
  • Canada
  • Fiji
  • Ghana
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
    (including Northern Ireland)
  • United States of America
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe.

Assessable qualifications from the countries listed above include:

  • senior secondary studies, comparable with the NSW HSC
  • one full year of Australian or comparable tertiary studies, including RATE Associate Diploma and 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 English proficiency. You must also have at least one assessable qualification from one of the countries listed.

Additional qualifications accepted by each institution

Institutions have outlined the additional tests and qualifications they accept as proof of proficiency in English.

Check the English language proficiency requirements by institution list.

If you believe you can demonstrate your proficiency in English but your tests or qualifications are 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 and include supporting documentation so that the institution can determine whether the test or qualification is acceptable and record that decision against your application.

Do not send this information to UAC – we cannot make decisions about your English proficiency on behalf of institutions.  

English proficiency test results

If you need to sit a test to meet an institution's ELP requirements, submit your UAC application first and include details of your proposed test in the English language proficiency question. Provide UAC with a copy of your results as soon as you receive them.

To register for the test, contact the individual test centres directly. Before you register, check with the institution to make sure it will accept the test results as proof of English language proficiency for the course you want to study.

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