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English language proficiency test

It is important that teachers are able to effectively communicate with students, colleagues and the broader education community on a daily basis. 

Every overseas teacher must have completed (within the past two years) an approved English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) before they can start teaching in NSW.  

This accreditation requirement does not however apply to teachers who completed their teacher education qualifications in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, the United States of America, New Zealand or Canada.

Recognised tests and results needed

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic)

  • A minimum score of 7 is needed in reading and writing
  • A minimum score of 8 is needed in speaking and listening.

This equates to an average band score of 7.5 across all four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The International Second Language Proficiency Rating (ISLPR)

  • A score of Level 4 is needed in all four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, undertaken at approved testing sites where the assessment is teacher focused.

ELPT Preparation Courses

Approved Academic ELPT preparation courses are offered by a range of providers in NSW including NSW TAFE.

Randwick TAFE

Course 1: Academic IELTS Preparation suitable for Overseas Trained Teachers

This is a subsidised Smart & Skilled full time course offered under the Certificate 3 in Advanced English for Further Study: National code: 10593NAT.

Duration: 1 semester

Course 2: Intensive Academic IELTS Preparation

This is taken by attending Saturday workshops or evening workshops. As these workshops require minimal numbers they will be offered on demand.

Course 3: ISLPR Test

The ISLPR Testing Centre will conduct a test in Sydney if there is sufficient demand.

For information on Randwick TAFE workshops contact Jane Lock, Head Teacher of Languages on (02) 9469 8574 or email

Western Sydney TAFE

For information on Western Sydney TAFE workshops contact Geraldine Ricci, Head Teacher of Languages on (02) 9208 1866 or email

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