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TOEFL no longer accepted for visas in Australia

OET remains the leading test for healthcare professionals pursuing a career in Australia  


As of 26 July 2023, the Australian Department of Home Affairs has announced that the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) will no longer be accepted for Australian visa purposes until further notice. If you are an internationally trained healthcare professional, you may be wondering how this affects your plans for working as a healthcare practitioner in Australia, and what  is the best English language test to take for your professional registration and visa application.  

The answer is clear: OET 

Unlike other English language tests, OET is specifically designed for healthcare professionals. It not only assesses language proficiency, but also the clinical communication skills that are highly valued in the field. This real-world relevance makes OET a practical choice for healthcare professionals and, most importantly, OET is accepted for registration and visa purposes in Australia. 

Here's why OET stands out as the best choice for healthcare professionals seeking to work in Australia: 

How OET compares to other English language tests 

Like other English language test such as TOEFL and IELTS, OET is split into 4 sub-tests – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. However, each sub-test is specifically designed for healthcare workers, meaning you’ll be tested on topics that are already familiar to you. 

OET Listening - The OET Listening sub-test includes conversations between healthcare professionals and patients (Part A), recordings in situations you might face in your healthcare workplace (Part B), as well as scenarios you will hear as part of your ongoing professional development (Part C). If you work in healthcare, these are the types of interactions that you already experience each day at work. 

OET ReadingOET Reading is designed to reflect the kind of reading healthcare professionals must do on the job. This includes engaging with point-of-care texts (Part A), and comprehending common workplace communications such as policy updates, memos and guidelines (Part B). In Part C, there are longer form texts like those you would read as part of your continuous development as a healthcare professional. Compared to other language tests which may ask you to read about anything from coal mining to dinosaur extinctions, OET Reading reflects the texts and tasks you perform daily in your job.  

OET Writing - The OET Writing sub-test requires you to review notes (usually patient case notes) and write a letter to another healthcare professional. Again, this is a task that you would already be comfortable with and will be expected to do as part of your future work i in an English-speaking country. 

OET Speaking - The OET Speaking sub-test is specific to your profession. It consists of two role plays based on common workplace situations and demands of your role. If you’re a nurse, you will complete the role play as a nurse, for instance. The role plays reflect the types of conversations you have with patients every day. Both linguistic and clinical communication criteria are used, meaning that as you’re preparing for your test, you’re also building the relevant communicative skills for your future role. 

Communicate with confidence at work 

All parts of OET have been co-designed with healthcare professionals, based on the language skills and communication styles that are valued in the workplace. In this way, OET goes beyond evaluating your language proficiency; it helps you improve your healthcare practice.  

By closely resembling real-life healthcare scenarios, the test prepares you for the challenges you'll face in English-speaking workplaces. It helps you develop effective communication skills, enabling you to build a good relationship with your patients and colleagues, and to provide safe, quality care.  

Accepted by AHPRA and for Australian Migration 

OET is accepted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and for visa purposes by the Department of Home Affairs. This makes it a one-stop solution for healthcare professionals seeking to validate their English language proficiency for professional registration and visa applications in Australia. 

TOEFL test takers destined for Australia can take OET

OET continually works closely with regulators and government bodies like AHPRA and Australian Department of Affairs to ensure our test meets strict standards and is accepted for registration and visa purposes. Healthcare workers looking to work in Australia can be assured that OET is not only recognised, it also prepares you for the demands of English-speaking workplaces and sets you up to excel in your healthcare career in Australia.  

To start your journey to work in healthcare in Australia, find an OET test centre near you.