• Ishvinder Singh

Going beyond IELTS

English Language Tests a comparison

Starting from 21st of November 2016, Immigration New Zealand is going to accept 4 more tests as proof of English proficiency as compared to only one test IELTS as of now.

The following table shows the pass mark requirements for the Principle Applicant as well as a brief introduction to the tests and links to their websites.

This is widely seen as a welcome move as it offers a range of choices to the potential applicant. IELTS is widely accepted but there are certain parts of the world say for example the America's where TOEFL is much more popular. In certain cases there are industry specific tests like OET which caters mostly to the health care sector.

English requirements for New Zealand PR


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in environments where English is used as a language of communication. An easy-to-use 9-band scale clearly identifies proficiency level, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

IELTS is available in two test formats – Academic or General Training – and provides a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

IELTS is available at more than 1,100 locations, including over 50 locations in the USA and there are 48 test dates a year.


The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

More than 30 million people from all over the world have taken the TOEFL® test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. The average English skill level ranges between Intermediate and Advanced.

The TOEFL test has more test dates (over 50 per year) and locations than any other English-language test in the world. You can retake the test as many times as you wish, but you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. If you already have a test appointment, you cannot register for another test date that is within 12 days of your existing appointment.

Occupational English Test –

OET is an international English language test that assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practice in an English-speaking environment.

OET covers all four language skills with an emphasis on communication in a healthcare environment.

Cambridge English -

A Cambridge English: First (FCE) for Schools qualification shows that a student has the language skills they need to communicate in an English-speaking environment.

It’s also a great way to prepare for higher-level exams such as Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE).

Cambridge English: First for Schools is targeted at the same CEFR level as Cambridge English: First (FCE) but with content aimed at school-age learners rather than adults.

Pearson Test of English –

PTE Academic is the world's leading computer-based test of English for study abroad and immigration. Typically, PTE Academic results are available within five business days. PTE run test sessions 363 days of the year, at one of over 200 locations worldwide, so you can choose a time and place that suits you.

Approved by the Australian Government for visa applications and accepted by thousands of institutions in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland, including Harvard, Yale and INSEAD

The following infographic is very useful - infographic courtesy

INZ English language requirements

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