11 September 2008

English language test owners given benchmarks for providing alternative tests for Aus immigrants

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has released its set of benchmarks for test owners who will be providing alternative English language proficiency tests for potential migrants.

Some Australian visa applicants must be able to prove a level of English language proficiency before having their visa application approved.  The DIAC states it will accept evidence that an applicant has achieved specific results for an English language test if it is held under certain conditions and meets the requirements of the Australian Government. 

New benchmarks for English language tests were released by the Government last month.  These included ensuring security of tests (candidates must show proof of identity and match it with their test), document fraud prevention measures, and regular updating of the test to maintain relevancy.  They also require test owners to maintain content that is relevant to the Australian context, and should reflect the variety of world English languages.  Further, test owners should ensure costs and accessibility are kept realistic and results are made available to candidates within four weeks of sitting the test.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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