Study in Australia without IELTS


Any student aspiring to study in Australia knows that they need to appear for the IELTS test with a more than satisfactory score. The majority of -institutions in Australia have -made it a mandatory requirement for students from non-English speaking countries to -provide a -minimum score on their IELTS examination as outlined by the student’s chosen education provider. Those students who do not have the required IELTS score are given conditional admission- to such universities until such time that the student- is able to achieve it.

Students who aspire to study in Australia without an IELTS score should not give up on their dream just yet. There are certain -institutions in Australia that have an IELTS score as an optional requirement. But, before we go into the details of studying in Australia without an IELTS score, let us quickly glance at what the IELTS test is score is all about.

What is IELTS?

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It aims to measure the language proficiency of people from non-native English speaking countries who wish to study or work in a country where the primary language of communication is English.

The test uses a nine-band scale to identify the level of proficiency. This level of proficiency ranges from non-user (band score 1) to expert (band score 9). The assessment is based on four language skills, which are, listening, reading, writing, and speaking. IELTS is available in two versions: Academic and General training.

Academic is for those who are planning to pursue higher education or any professional registration. General Training is meant for those who wish to migrate to Australia, Canada, and the UK. Or those who need to apply for secondary education, training program, and work experience in an English-speaking environment.

Why is IELTS Required?

IELTS is the most common English language test -that many universities accept across the globe as evidence of the student’s English language proficiency. A satisfactory IELTS test score is one of the basic requirements for many international schools, universities, employers, as well as immigration authorities. IELTS score is recognized worldwide due to the high-quality control criteria based on which the questions are framed in the test. It even helps train non-native speakers to understand different English accents and it covers both British and American English.

There is no categorization of the score to access if a student has ‘failed’ or ‘passed’ the test. However, most institutes require overall score points of 6.5 or 7 and may also clarify minimum band score of all the four test categories. This is a 9 band system where anyone who scores less than 5 should ideally retake the test.

Thus, students from India planning to study in Australia without IELTS need to thoroughly check out the reputation of the selected universities. There are a few universities in Australia who provide an exemption to international students from -having to submit their IELTS score based on other eligibility criteria.

Universities in Australia Offering Graduate Admission without IELTS Score

Certain universities in Australia relax their rules related to the IELTS score for students due to a number of reasons. These reasons are applicable to students who have studied for a few years in an English speaking country or the language of teaching in the secondary school has been in English.  In some cases, if the undergraduate university authenticates that the medium of teaching is English, then the universities may also allow students to submit their applications without an IELTS score.

Some of the universities in Australia that -enroll international students without an IELTS score requirement are as follows:

Swinburne University of Technology

The Swinburne University of Technology is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. An alternative English language guideline for international students who do not have an IELTS score is set by the Swinburne University. A student may not require the Standard English test score when they apply for a Swinburne course -under the following circumstances:

  • If the student has had English as the medium of instruction in their previous education institution (Note: Swinburne does not recognize India as an English speaking country)
  • If the student has achieved a minimum grade of ‘C’ in the GCE ‘O’ Level English
  • If the student has completed an International Baccalaureate course
  • If the student has studied English language in certain countries

The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland is located in Queensland, Australia. It is a public university that allows certain students without either the TOEFL/ IELTS score to seek admissions in the some of the select courses that they offer. Such students need to meet a certain minimum requirement as per the rules laid down by the University of Queensland. These rules include:

  • if the student has completed of a full-time course in their previous institute where English was the medium of instruction. For Indian students, they need to have an AISSCE issued by the CBSE board with a grade of 65% or more in English or SSC/HSC certificates issued by the Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Karnataka with at least 65% or more in English or Students with ISC certificate with minimum 65% or more in English.
  • If the student has provided sufficient evidence of development in their English language skills through paid and/or voluntary work experience in a primarily English speaking professional environment for at least 3 years.

The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide is located in Adelaide, South Australia. It is a public university which gives admissions to international students without an IELTS score. If the student has just missed the IELTS minimum requirement, the University has approved a new minimum English language requirement for those students seeking admission in 2018.

Students, who have just achieved a score under the minimum requirement, can receive an offer that includes a Pre-enrolment English Program (PEP). The length of PEP depends on the students ELP score. Once the program is successfully completed, the student is not required to take another English test before starting the degree course.

University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is a public university. The main UNSW campus is located at Kensington, about 7 km away from the center of Sydney. Students, who have been unsuccessful in achieving the minimum IELTS score, but are sure of their English language skills, can apply in writing to the University to be considered for a waiver. The University of New South Wales has outlined certain conditions that has to be fulfilled in order to allow students to seek admission in to courses or programs without having the required IELTS score. A few of these conditions include English Language Test scores and University English courses that have to be met as per the standards or have direct relevant work experience for at least the last 2 years.

Macquarie University

Macquarie University is located in Macquarie Park, New South Wales, Australia. This public university can also be considered by students who not wish to appear for an IELTS exam but want to pursue higher education in Australia. They have a criterion outlined for such students without the required IELTS score. Such students need to appear for an English preparation program at the Macquarie University English Language Center. This is a packaged offer for international students who can apply for a single student visa that covers both the English preparation program as well as their course of study at the university.

University of South Australia

The University of South Australia is situated in the Australian state of South Australia. In case any student does not meet their English language entry requirement, the university is able to offer such students to enroll in to an English language program conducted by their Centre for English Language at the University of South Australia (CELUSA). With successfully completing the Academic English (AE) program, the student can be considered for admission in the student’s chosen course at the University of South Australia.

Bond University

The Bond University is located in Robina, at the popular Gold Coast area in Queensland, Australia. This is a private, non-profit -institution. The university admits students without an IELTS score who fulfill certain other requirements. Students from India who are able to fulfil these additional eligibility requirements may be granted admission by the university. These requirements include the following:

  • If the student has appeared for the CBSE board examination and has scored grade B2 (60%) or greater in English subject
  • If the student has appeared for the CISCE examination and has achieved the English subject grade of four or better (60% or greater)
  • If the student has appeared for the HSC (Maharashtra board) or a similar certificate from state boards of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana and has attained the English subject grade of 65% or greater.

University of Southern Queensland

The University of Southern Queensland is located in Toowoomba, in the state of Queensland, Australia. The university considers students for admission without an IELTS score -if they have completed their high/secondary school or college from an institute that has English as the language of instruction. Their website also states certain USQ Pathway Program requirements that help students satisfy the English Language Proficiency when they get admission into undergraduate programs.

It is easy to study in Australia without IELTS score if one meets the alternative criteria laid down by the individual universities. So, even if you do not have the IELTS score, don’t be disheartened. There are many other options available for -prospective students to seek admissions at a college in Australia.

However, before a student gives up or raises their hopes, make sure to make a phone call or send an email to the university directly to clarify their IELTS requirements. Speak to the concerned authorities directly and clear all doubts related to the English Language Proficiency requirements. Many times, there are colleges who do not state explicitly but may accept applications from otherwise eligible students without an IELTS/TOEFL score.

Many universities in Australia may not require IELTS/TOEFL score. Yet, it may be necessary to submit the IELTS scores as part of the student visa application. Therefore, it is prudent to check on both university and visa English language requirements before taking a decision of not appearing for the IELTS test.