IELTS DIAC Survey

Have you recently completed an English language test?

By Thomas on 6 May 2013 3:11pm, 
 

Calling all students

Have you recently completed an English language test?

If so, we’d like to hear from you.

Fill in our short survey and let us know about your recent experience with English language tests. You can find the survey here www.surveymonkey.com/s/RG83W23  If you have any difficulties with the link please copy and paste it into your web browser.

Your feedback is important to us and will help inform the department’s review of its expanded English language testing arrangements for students.

The survey will remain open until 5pm AEST 20 May 2013.

Thank you

TOEFL vs IELTS Review

Both TOEFL And IELTS testing systems are seriously flawed in design and execution. They both are accused of marking inconsistencies designed to force the test taker to resit the exam.

There are numerous antidotal evidence about students who pass the IELTS or TOEFL tests and can not put a sentence together yet native English speakers who have studied in University constantly fall short a point of two from the required target.

We recently reviewed the TOEFL Test, which in Australia cost US$200 (Plus a $5.00 international conversion fee). The TOEFL Tests is very US centric with reports that the assessors, who are based in the USA, mark down students who have an accent they are not familiar with. As if to speak English you need to have proper tone that is a US or proper British accent, of course when it comes to the Australian Accent the American assessors hear that as a monotone accent. Points lost straight up.

The other aspect of comcern about the TOEFL test is that it is a very computer and time based assessment. Your really scored on your ability to access and understand the idiosyncrasies of the test itself not English.

The speaking test is very artificial. In a general conversation you are speaking to a live audience, with that comes feedback that you receive from the audience itself. It could be in the form of a perons reaction or facial expressions. With the TOEFL test it is like talking into a answering machine and recording a short statement or two about a topic that is once again very American in its content.

Similar concerns have been expressed about TOEFL assessors marking down Australian English as an error. Such as the use of colour as opposed to color or Neigour as opposed to neighbour. In discussion with a number of test takers there was an emphasis on learning the method of the test as opposed to the quality of English comprehension.

The assessors also know if you have purchased any TOEFL exam preparation test kits, which, if you have, will give you a potential heads up in the TOEFL scoring system.

The examiners collect a lot of statistical information before test, information that could compromise the integrity of the test results itself.

If you find yourself in the inevitable position of falling just below your target mark, and they know what that is, you have to pay an additional US$60.00 (Plus the $5.00 international transfer fee) per module. The published results are noted for their inconsistencies and lack of detail. Unlike the online sample test where you can get a report on exactly what you passed and where you fail, this information is not provided by for the actual TOEFL test. Which all makes the exam assessment that much more subjective.

English testing systems such as TOEFL and IELTS are big business, with government regulators using them as a means of approving or rejecting applications for further study or employment.

So which test is best? In our view both are just as flawed as each other.



They certainly do not provide a consistent test assessment and the management of both systems appear to be designed more around failing students in order to extract the greatest income and profit. TOEFL in Australia is cheaper then IELTS ($205 compared to $339) But TOEFL is way to time based and computer centric. Your writing skills assessment is a test of your typing skills. Mine, I know are bad, mainly because of poor eyesight to hand co-ordination.

What Australia needs to do is develop its own English language testing system. One that is designed for Australia and uses Australian context and Australian examples.

Why are we paying royalties to overseas companies when we could be keeping the profits in Australia?

The government has a long way to go in address this situation. Much more independent monitoring and review need to also made to ensure that the integrity of the testing regimes is maintains and not tainted.

TOEFL vs IELTS Review

Both TOEFL And IELTS testing systems are seriously flawed in design and execution. They both are accused of marking inconsistencies designed to force the test taker to resit the exam.

There are numerous antidotal evidence about students who pass the IELTS or TOEFL tests and can not put a sentence together yet native English speakers who have studied in University constantly fall short a point of two from the required target.

We recently reviewed the TOEFL Test, which in Australia cost US$200 (Plus a $5.00 international conversion fee). The TOEFL Tests is very US centric with reports that the assessors, who are based in the USA, mark down students who have an accent they are not familiar with. As if to speak English you need to have proper tone that is a US or proper British accent, of course when it comes to the Australian Accent the American assessors hear that as a monotone accent. Points lost straight up.

The other aspect of comcern about the TOEFL test is that it is a very computer and time based assessment. Your really scored on your ability to access and understand the idiosyncrasies of the test itself not English.

The speaking test is very artificial. In a general conversation you are speaking to a live audience, with that comes feedback that you receive from the audience itself. It could be in the form of a perons reaction or facial expressions. With the TOEFL test it is like talking into a answering machine and recording a short statement or two about a topic that is once again very American in its content.

Similar concerns have been expressed about TOEFL assessors marking down Australian English as an error. Such as the use of colour as opposed to color or Neigour as opposed to neighbour. In discussion with a number of test takers there was an emphasis on learning the method of the test as opposed to the quality of English comprehension.

The assessors also know if you have purchased any TOEFL exam preparation test kits, which, if you have, will give you a potential heads up in the TOEFL scoring system.

The examiners collect a lot of statistical information before test, information that could compromise the integrity of the test results itself.

If you find yourself in the inevitable position of falling just below your target mark, and they know what that is, you have to pay an additional US$60.00 (Plus the $5.00 international transfer fee) per module. The published results are noted for their inconsistencies and lack of detail. Unlike the online sample test where you can get a report on exactly what you passed and where you fail, this information is not provided by for the actual TOEFL test. Which all makes the exam assessment that much more subjective.

English testing systems such as TOEFL and IELTS are big business, with government regulators using them as a means of approving or rejecting applications for further study or employment.

So which test is best? In our view both are just as flawed as each other.



They certainly do not provide a consistent test assessment and the management of both systems appear to be designed more around failing students in order to extract the greatest income and profit. TOEFL in Australia is cheaper then IELTS ($205 compared to $339) But TOEFL is way to time based and computer centric. Your writing skills assessment is a test of your typing skills. Mine, I know are bad, mainly because of poor eyesight to hand co-ordination.

What Australia needs to do is develop its own English language testing system. One that is designed for Australia and uses Australian context and Australian examples.

Why are we paying royalties to overseas companies when we could be keeping the profits in Australia?

The government has a long way to go in address this situation. Much more independent monitoring and review need to also made to ensure that the integrity of the testing regimes is maintains and not tainted.

TOEFL vs IELTS Review

Both TOEFL And IELTS testing systems are seriously flawed in design and execution. They both are accused of marking inconsistencies designed to force the test taker to resit the exam.

There are numerous antidotal evidence about students who pass the IELTS or TOEFL tests and can not put a sentence together yet native English speakers who have studied in University constantly fall short a point of two from the required target.

We recently reviewed the TOEFL Test, which in Australia cost US$200 (Plus a $5.00 international conversion fee). The TOEFL Tests is very US centric with reports that the assessors, who are based in the USA, mark down students who have an accent they are not familiar with. As if to speak English you need to have proper tone that is a US or proper British accent, of course when it comes to the Australian Accent the American assessors hear that as a monotone accent. Points lost straight up.

The other aspect of comcern about the TOEFL test is that it is a very computer and time based assessment. Your really scored on your ability to access and understand the idiosyncrasies of the test itself not English.

The speaking test is very artificial. In a general conversation you are speaking to a live audience, with that comes feedback that you receive from the audience itself. It could be in the form of a perons reaction or facial expressions. With the TOEFL test it is like talking into a answering machine and recording a short statement or two about a topic that is once again very American in its content.

Similar concerns have been expressed about TOEFL assessors marking down Australian English as an error. Such as the use of colour as opposed to color or Neigour as opposed to neighbour. In discussion with a number of test takers there was an emphasis on learning the method of the test as opposed to the quality of English comprehension.

The assessors also know if you have purchased any TOEFL exam preparation test kits, which, if you have, will give you a potential heads up in the TOEFL scoring system.

The examiners collect a lot of statistical information before test, information that could compromise the integrity of the test results itself.

If you find yourself in the inevitable position of falling just below your target mark, and they know what that is, you have to pay an additional US$60.00 (Plus the $5.00 international transfer fee) per module. The published results are noted for their inconsistencies and lack of detail. Unlike the online sample test where you can get a report on exactly what you passed and where you fail, this information is not provided by for the actual TOEFL test. Which all makes the exam assessment that much more subjective.

English testing systems such as TOEFL and IELTS are big business, with government regulators using them as a means of approving or rejecting applications for further study or employment.

So which test is best? In our view both are just as flawed as each other.



They certainly do not provide a consistent test assessment and the management of both systems appear to be designed more around failing students in order to extract the greatest income and profit. TOEFL in Australia is cheaper then IELTS ($205 compared to $339) But TOEFL is way to time based and computer centric. Your writing skills assessment is a test of your typing skills. Mine, I know are bad, mainly because of poor eyesight to hand co-ordination.

What Australia needs to do is develop its own English language testing system. One that is designed for Australia and uses Australian context and Australian examples.

Why are we paying royalties to overseas companies when we could be keeping the profits in Australia?

The government has a long way to go in address this situation. Much more independent monitoring and review need to also made to ensure that the integrity of the testing regimes is maintains and not tainted.

Shorten: Survey of one confirms what we know is true

Assistant Treasure Bill Shorten in his survey of one has conformed what we all know to be true. Retail and service providers have failed to pass on the win fall of Australia’s high dollar to consumers. Prices of goods and services have not come down down down as the cost of purchase and profits from overseas services become cheaper.

A decade ago when the Australian dollar was low in value businesses were quick to pass on the costs of petrol and overseas manufactured goods to the public. Petrol broke though the one dollar a liter barrier and the costs of goods increased in compassion to the the Australian Dollar. Overseas travel became that much more expensive as the Australian dollar had to work twice as hard.

Today the opposite is the case. The Australian Dollar is twice as much in value yet the prices of goods and services has not gone down. Petrol remains high.

The extent of profit taking and opportunism is shown clearly in the English Language testing system. The cost of sitting an IELTS test in Australia is twice that of charged in the United States, UK and Ireland. The profits being paid to the the overseas licencing coping Seek Learning have doubled in value at Australia’s expense. Instead of going up $20 from $310 to $330 the costs of sitting the IELTS test should have gone down.

It is this pocketing of the win fall and the failure to pass on some of the benefits of having a high dollar that has contributed to the decline in retail in Australia. With an in crease in the value of the dollar the cost of buying on line overseas sourced goods and shipping them to Australia has become much much more competitive and consumers are voting with their keyboards boycotting Australian retail outlets.

Add to that the cost of rent in shopping centers or the cost of parking within the City of Melbourne and extended hours parking restrictions apply and the landlords and City Council are also contributing to the economic inflationary pressure impacting retail in Melbourne. Instead of passing on the benefits oif a high dollar small retail outlets have the opportunity to use the win fall profits to off set other high costs associated with running a business in the city. Sure the City Council has discouraged shopping in the CBD. The CBD is no longer the place to shop. Services can be sourced on line and the consumer has to some extent greater choices. But this only applies where there is real competition but in prices and services offered.

organisations like Seek learning’s IELTS have a legislative monopoly. Even though the Department of Immigration and Citizenship have began to recognise other accredited service providers the Skills assessment authorities such as the CPA and others continue to only acept IETLS as the only means of assessing English language requirements. If level of English is the aim of the skills assessment then why are they only prepared to accept IELTS as the only means of assessment. If alternative language assessments are available and accredited then why are not not being recognise.

Bill Shorten like that of many in Australia know all too well the price ripp offs we see day to day.

It is only by exposing the profit takers and subjecting them to real competition that the benefits of a high dollar will be passed on to residents.

Shorten: Survey of one confirms what we know is true

Assistant Treasure Bill Shorten in his survey of one has conformed what we all know to be true. Retail and service providers have failed to pass on the win fall of Australia’s high dollar to consumers. Prices of goods and services have not come down down down as the cost of purchase and profits from overseas services become cheaper.

A decade ago when the Australian dollar was low in value businesses were quick to pass on the costs of petrol and overseas manufactured goods to the public. Petrol broke though the one dollar a liter barrier and the costs of goods increased in compassion to the the Australian Dollar. Overseas travel became that much more expensive as the Australian dollar had to work twice as hard.

Today the opposite is the case. The Australian Dollar is twice as much in value yet the prices of goods and services has not gone down. Petrol remains high.

The extent of profit taking and opportunism is shown clearly in the English Language testing system. The cost of sitting an IELTS test in Australia is twice that of charged in the United States, UK and Ireland. The profits being paid to the the overseas licencing coping Seek Learning have doubled in value at Australia’s expense. Instead of going up $20 from $310 to $330 the costs of sitting the IELTS test should have gone down.

It is this pocketing of the win fall and the failure to pass on some of the benefits of having a high dollar that has contributed to the decline in retail in Australia. With an in crease in the value of the dollar the cost of buying on line overseas sourced goods and shipping them to Australia has become much much more competitive and consumers are voting with their keyboards boycotting Australian retail outlets.

Add to that the cost of rent in shopping centers or the cost of parking within the City of Melbourne and extended hours parking restrictions apply and the landlords and City Council are also contributing to the economic inflationary pressure impacting retail in Melbourne. Instead of passing on the benefits oif a high dollar small retail outlets have the opportunity to use the win fall profits to off set other high costs associated with running a business in the city. Sure the City Council has discouraged shopping in the CBD. The CBD is no longer the place to shop. Services can be sourced on line and the consumer has to some extent greater choices. But this only applies where there is real competition but in prices and services offered.

organisations like Seek learning’s IELTS have a legislative monopoly. Even though the Department of Immigration and Citizenship have began to recognise other accredited service providers the Skills assessment authorities such as the CPA and others continue to only acept IETLS as the only means of assessing English language requirements. If level of English is the aim of the skills assessment then why are they only prepared to accept IELTS as the only means of assessment. If alternative language assessments are available and accredited then why are not not being recognise.

Bill Shorten like that of many in Australia know all too well the price ripp offs we see day to day.

It is only by exposing the profit takers and subjecting them to real competition that the benefits of a high dollar will be passed on to residents.

Shorten: Survey of one confirms what we know is true

Assistant Treasure Bill Shorten in his survey of one has conformed what we all know to be true. Retail and service providers have failed to pass on the win fall of Australia’s high dollar to consumers. Prices of goods and services have not come down down down as the cost of purchase and profits from overseas services become cheaper.

A decade ago when the Australian dollar was low in value businesses were quick to pass on the costs of petrol and overseas manufactured goods to the public. Petrol broke though the one dollar a liter barrier and the costs of goods increased in compassion to the the Australian Dollar. Overseas travel became that much more expensive as the Australian dollar had to work twice as hard.

Today the opposite is the case. The Australian Dollar is twice as much in value yet the prices of goods and services has not gone down. Petrol remains high.

The extent of profit taking and opportunism is shown clearly in the English Language testing system. The cost of sitting an IELTS test in Australia is twice that of charged in the United States, UK and Ireland. The profits being paid to the the overseas licencing coping Seek Learning have doubled in value at Australia’s expense. Instead of going up $20 from $310 to $330 the costs of sitting the IELTS test should have gone down.

It is this pocketing of the win fall and the failure to pass on some of the benefits of having a high dollar that has contributed to the decline in retail in Australia. With an in crease in the value of the dollar the cost of buying on line overseas sourced goods and shipping them to Australia has become much much more competitive and consumers are voting with their keyboards boycotting Australian retail outlets.

Add to that the cost of rent in shopping centers or the cost of parking within the City of Melbourne and extended hours parking restrictions apply and the landlords and City Council are also contributing to the economic inflationary pressure impacting retail in Melbourne. Instead of passing on the benefits oif a high dollar small retail outlets have the opportunity to use the win fall profits to off set other high costs associated with running a business in the city. Sure the City Council has discouraged shopping in the CBD. The CBD is no longer the place to shop. Services can be sourced on line and the consumer has to some extent greater choices. But this only applies where there is real competition but in prices and services offered.

organisations like Seek learning’s IELTS have a legislative monopoly. Even though the Department of Immigration and Citizenship have began to recognise other accredited service providers the Skills assessment authorities such as the CPA and others continue to only acept IETLS as the only means of assessing English language requirements. If level of English is the aim of the skills assessment then why are they only prepared to accept IELTS as the only means of assessment. If alternative language assessments are available and accredited then why are not not being recognise.

Bill Shorten like that of many in Australia know all too well the price ripp offs we see day to day.

It is only by exposing the profit takers and subjecting them to real competition that the benefits of a high dollar will be passed on to residents.

Questions raised as to the integrity of CPA English Skills Assessment Regime

In what is if ongoing concern to overseas students and foreign professionals studying and practicing in Australia, the CPA (Certified Professional Accountants) has recognised IELTS as its preferred and accepted English Language Test.

In recent correspondence to the CPA we received a reply that indicated that whilst the CPA is considering accepting TOEFL as an alternative skills assessment they are only prepared to do so where IELTS testing is not available. This would appear to be discrimination and anti competitive giving IELTS an unfair advantage in the market place .

On what basis the CPA can argue that TOEFL is acceptable under some circumstances and not all is difficult to understand to support. Maybe the CPA has a sponsorship arrangement with IELTS and Seek Australia who owns IETLS in Australia, maybe there is some unknown or undisclosed reason why they seek to lock TOEFL out of the market?

The Federal Government has rightly acted to ensure that there is competition in the English Language Testing market. Both IELTS and TOELF are recognised by the Federal Government as acceptable tests for English competence in immigration why not skill assessment?

If it’s good enough for one its good enough for all.

Clearly, in the absence of the CPA’s ability to self regulate, the Government will have to act to ensure that all registered skills assessing authorities recognise and accept of all accredited English testing systems.

There could even be a case for class action in the various Appeals Tribunals or even the High Court to try and force the CPA into accepting TOEFL accreditation.

Anyone concerned about this should contact us to discuss further action.


Dear Anthony

Currently, the IELTS test is considered as one of the standard English tests recognised in Australia. CPA Australia together with the other two assessing authorities made the decision to require the IELTS Test Report from applicants to prove their English proficiency. However, we may in future consider other English tests, e.g. TOEFL for applicants who reside in areas the IELTS test is not available.

Kind regards,

Tracey Huynh | Qualifications Advisor | Qualifications Assessment Unit

Member Advisory & Information Services | CPA Australia

Questions raised as to the integrity of CPA English Skills Assessment Regime

In what is if ongoing concern to overseas students and foreign professionals studying and practicing in Australia, the CPA (Certified Professional Accountants) has recognised IELTS as its preferred and accepted English Language Test.

In recent correspondence to the CPA we received a reply that indicated that whilst the CPA is considering accepting TOEFL as an alternative skills assessment they are only prepared to do so where IELTS testing is not available. This would appear to be discrimination and anti competitive giving IELTS an unfair advantage in the market place .

On what basis the CPA can argue that TOEFL is acceptable under some circumstances and not all is difficult to understand to support. Maybe the CPA has a sponsorship arrangement with IELTS and Seek Australia who owns IETLS in Australia, maybe there is some unknown or undisclosed reason why they seek to lock TOEFL out of the market?

The Federal Government has rightly acted to ensure that there is competition in the English Language Testing market. Both IELTS and TOELF are recognised by the Federal Government as acceptable tests for English competence in immigration why not skill assessment?

If it’s good enough for one its good enough for all.

Clearly, in the absence of the CPA’s ability to self regulate, the Government will have to act to ensure that all registered skills assessing authorities recognise and accept of all accredited English testing systems.

There could even be a case for class action in the various Appeals Tribunals or even the High Court to try and force the CPA into accepting TOEFL accreditation.

Anyone concerned about this should contact us to discuss further action.


Dear Anthony

Currently, the IELTS test is considered as one of the standard English tests recognised in Australia. CPA Australia together with the other two assessing authorities made the decision to require the IELTS Test Report from applicants to prove their English proficiency. However, we may in future consider other English tests, e.g. TOEFL for applicants who reside in areas the IELTS test is not available.

Kind regards,

Tracey Huynh | Qualifications Advisor | Qualifications Assessment Unit

Member Advisory & Information Services | CPA Australia

Questions raised as to the integrity of CPA English Skills Assessment Regime

In what is if ongoing concern to overseas students and foreign professionals studying and practicing in Australia, the CPA (Certified Professional Accountants) has recognised IELTS as its preferred and accepted English Language Test.

In recent correspondence to the CPA we received a reply that indicated that whilst the CPA is considering accepting TOEFL as an alternative skills assessment they are only prepared to do so where IELTS testing is not available. This would appear to be discrimination and anti competitive giving IELTS an unfair advantage in the market place .

On what basis the CPA can argue that TOEFL is acceptable under some circumstances and not all is difficult to understand to support. Maybe the CPA has a sponsorship arrangement with IELTS and Seek Australia who owns IETLS in Australia, maybe there is some unknown or undisclosed reason why they seek to lock TOEFL out of the market?

The Federal Government has rightly acted to ensure that there is competition in the English Language Testing market. Both IELTS and TOELF are recognised by the Federal Government as acceptable tests for English competence in immigration why not skill assessment?

If it’s good enough for one its good enough for all.

Clearly, in the absence of the CPA’s ability to self regulate, the Government will have to act to ensure that all registered skills assessing authorities recognise and accept of all accredited English testing systems.

There could even be a case for class action in the various Appeals Tribunals or even the High Court to try and force the CPA into accepting TOEFL accreditation.

Anyone concerned about this should contact us to discuss further action.


Dear Anthony

Currently, the IELTS test is considered as one of the standard English tests recognised in Australia. CPA Australia together with the other two assessing authorities made the decision to require the IELTS Test Report from applicants to prove their English proficiency. However, we may in future consider other English tests, e.g. TOEFL for applicants who reside in areas the IELTS test is not available.

Kind regards,

Tracey Huynh | Qualifications Advisor | Qualifications Assessment Unit

Member Advisory & Information Services | CPA Australia