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November 8, 2023

A Complete Guide to the IELTS Score for Australia Student Visa

One of the many eligibility requirements for obtaining an Australia Student Visa is to meet the English language requirements. To provide a valid score, you must submit an English Language Test score that was taken within 2 years of applying for the Australia student visa. One such English test is the IELTS Academic test, which is designed to assess English-language skills, particularly the skills essential for academic pursuits at the undergraduate or postgraduate levels. However, you might be wondering whether the IELTS score varies between different courses or universities in Australia. Let’s explore the intricacies involved and learn more about the IELTS scores of some of the popular Universities in Australia.

What is IELTS and what makes it the #1?

Relied upon by millions of English Language Test takers, IELTS is preferred by more than 11,500 reputed organisations. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System, run by the British Council in partnership with IDP Education and Cambridge Assessment English.

This test has been developed to test the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers who aim to study and work in a country where English is a primary language. Introduced in 1989, IELTS results were designed to evaluate overall and individual skills on a 9-band scale.

The individual skills include Speaking, Reading, Listening, and Writing. Although the minimum IELTS score to apply at an education institution in Australia is 5.5, the score varies based on the study program and the Education institute.

IELTS is accepted by almost all immigration officers as proof of English language skills. The robust assessment structure and framework are highly regarded by international universities. This test effectively examines the student’s ability to communicate in common and everyday situations for study and work scenarios. As this test is conducted in person, where the student is evaluated by the IELTS provider, this makes it an even more accurate measure of communication skills in English.

The IELTS band score set by educational institutions for different programs is based on the level demanded in English linguistics:

  • Linguistically demanding academic courses
  • Linguistically less demanding academic courses
  • Linguistically demanding training courses
  • Linguistically less demanding training courses 

The scores differ for organisations as well based on the following factors:

  1. The level of language ability demanded at the workplace.
  2. The type of applicants to be recruited for the job.
  3. The type and level of language skills required for tasks such as giving presentations, carrying out research, teaching and so on.

Therefore, the IELTS preparation program will assess your English speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. It helps you understand your capacity to interact in this language. 

Secondly, if you are looking to live and work in Australia after completing your studies, this is possible through IELTS. This means that some visas, residency applications, and work permits require proof of English language proficiency alongside your degree.

A detailed outlook of the IELTS scores for Australia   

For international students aged 18 and above, no proof of parental consent is needed to take the test. However, those under the age of 18 must have parental consent.

When it comes to IELTS scores, an undergraduate degree typically requires a score of 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section of the test. Some specific institutions allow international students with the same IELTS score to enrol in postgraduate courses.

For postgraduate degrees, the most common requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with no individual band score lower than 6.0. 

It is important to note that intricate courses like Law and Medicine are more challenging and demanding of IELTS and academic requirements.

Let’s look at the IELTS scores across some of the universities in Australia based on the courses they offer. Do note that these scores mentioned below are true at the time of writing this blog and may be subject to change in the future. Also, please remember that this is not a comprehensive list of IELTS scores of all the courses in all the universities in Australia. IELTS scores for Research and high-level programs in other studies are not mentioned in the table below.

University in Australia Degree Study Program Score (Band)
The University of Melbourne Undergraduate Faculty of Arts 7.0 (6.0)
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences (Graduate in Surgical Education) 7.0 (7.0)
Bachelor of Law (Single Subject Study in Law) 6.5 (6.0)
Post-Graduate Faculty of Arts 7.0 (6.0)
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences (Master of Medicine – Radiology) 7.0 (7.0)
Master of Philosophy 7.0 (6.0)
The University of New South Wales Undergraduate Arts, Design & Architecture 6.5 (6.0)
Medicine & Health 6.5 (6.0)
Law & Justice 7.0 (6.0)
Post-Graduate Arts, Design & Architecture 6.5 (6.0)
Medicine & Health 6.5 (6.0)
Law & Justice 7.0 (6.0)
The University of Sydney Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts 6.5 (6.0)
Bachelor of Science 6.5 (6.0)
Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law 7.5 (7.0)
Post-Graduate Master of Economics 7.0 (6.0)
Master of Surgery 7.0 (6.5)
Master of Economics 7.0 (6.0)
Australian National University Undergraduate For all undergraduate, post-graduate, and higher degree programs 6.5 (6.0)
Monash University Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts 6.5 (6.0)
Bachelor of Medical Science and Medicine 7.0 (6.5)
Bachelor of Law 7.0 (6.5)
Post-Graduate Master of Journalism with Master of Arts 7.0 (6.5)
Master of Medical Science and Medicine 7.0 (6.5)
Master of Law (Honours) 6.5 (6.0)
The University of Queensland Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 6.5 (6.0)
Bachelor of Health Sciences 6.5 (6.0)
Bachelor of Laws 6.5 (6.0)
Post-Graduate Master of Economics 6.5 (6.0)
Master of Environmental Health Sciences 6.5 (6.0)
Master of Laws 6.5 (6.0)
The University of Western Australia Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts Not Specified
Bachelor of Science Not Specified
Bachelor of Law 7.0 (6.5)
Post-Graduate Master of Business Administration 7.5 (6.0)
Master of Teaching 7.5 

(8.0 in Speaking and Listening & 7.0 in Reading and Writing)

Master of Law 7.0 (6.5)
The University of Adelaide Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts 6.5 (6.0)
Bachelor of Science 6.5 (6.0)
Bachelor of Laws 7.0 

(6.5 in Reading and Listening & 7.0 in Speaking and Writing)

Post-Graduate Master of Arts 6.5 (6.0)
Master of Biotechnology 6.5 (6.0)
Master of Laws 6.5 (6.0)
University of Technology Sydney Undergraduate Bachelor of Economics 7.5

(8.0 in Speaking and Listening & 7.0 in Reading and Writing)

Bachelor of Science 7.5

(8.0 in Speaking and Listening & 7.0 in Reading and Writing)

Bachelor of Communication Online 7.0, Writing 7.0
Post-Graduate Master of Teaching in Secondary Education Academic & Online


(8.0 in Speaking and Listening & 7.0 in Reading and Writing)

Master of Pharmacy Academic

7.0 (7.0)

Master of Media Practice and Industry Academic & Online

7.5 (6.5)

Macquarie University Undergraduate & Post-Graduate Medicine >6.5
Law >6.5
Education >6.5
General Academic 6.5

The IELTS Test Structure

IELTS comprises two types of test structures depending on the level of study an international student is likely to pursue.

IELTS General: The IELTS General Training Test is for those wishing to migrate to English-speaking countries like the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, etc. This is also suitable for those training or studying at below degree level.

It assesses English language skills applied on a daily basis in social situations and workplace environments. However, International students aiming to study abroad must take the IELTS Academic test.

IELTS Academic: International students applying to study in English-speaking universities. The test can be taken in a test centre on a computer, on paper, or online from home or in a private location with a good internet connection.

The IELTS Test takes a total duration of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Both these types of tests entail taking the same speaking and listening tests. However, the reading and writing tests remain different. Another thing to note is that the reading, writing and listening sections are completed on the same day without intermittent breaks. The speaking test is scheduled a week before or after these tests. For instance, the speaking test will take place before the other tests if the student has booked an online IELTS test.

So, let’s look at how the IELTS Test is structured.

  • Listening 
  • Reading – General / Academic 
  • Writing – General / Academic
  • Speaking 
Listening Reading Writing Speaking
30 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 11 to 14 minutes
You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write answers to a series of questions.

You will be tested for your ability to understand ideas and detailed factual information, the attitude and opinion of the speakers, the objective of an utterance, and proof of your ability to follow the development of ideas.

The General Reading Test has three sections, including material encountered daily in an English-speaking environment. These include extracts from magazines, newspapers, books, notices, advertisements, company guidelines and handbooks. 

The Academic Reading Test has three reading passages with several questions using several task types. This includes long (descriptive, factual, analytical, and discursive) texts taken from non-specialist sources that are appropriate if you are seeking professional registration or enrolling in a university course.

The General Writing Test has two tasks on general interest. Task 1 presents a specific situation for which you must write a letter requesting information or explain the situation. Task 2 requires you to write an essay of a point of view, problem or argument. 

The Academic Writing Test has two tasks. Task 1 presents a table, diagram, chart, or graph, asking you to describe and summarize the information. Task 2 requires you to write an essay on a point of view, problem or argument.

A recorded test comprising three parts. The tests involve oral interviews that are designed to test your task input, interaction pattern, and output.
Paper Format / Online Test Paper Format / Online Test Paper Format / Online Test Oral Interviews / Online Test
40 questions – 1 mark each 40 questions – 1 mark each 2 Tasks, wherein Task 2 carries more weight than Task 1. Scores are displayed in whole and half bands. Scores are displayed in whole and half bands.

Preparing for the IELTS Test

Give yourself enough time to begin practising for the IELTS test and base your time on your current level of the English language. If English is not your native language, the earlier you begin practising, the better your chances of obtaining a higher score. More importantly, learning English and preparing for the IELTS test will help you communicate and understand people while you interact with native English speakers in Australia.

Firstly, it is important to understand the test format. So, we recommend that you visit the official IELTS website to get a thorough idea of how the test is going to be conducted.

The website offers sample questions, official practice materials and tests to help you gain the confidence to take the test. The more you practice, the higher your chances of comprehending what to expect in the test.

While you may follow an approach more suitable to you, here’s a short and quick list of methods to prepare for the IELTS Test.

  • Analyse and identify your strong and weak points in English proficiency. Allocate and focus your study areas accordingly.
  • Set a clear goal for the IELTS score that you aim to obtain and create a study schedule accordingly.
  • Improve your English language skills by engaging with English content in various formats from newspapers to videos, podcasts, etc.
  • Expose yourself to the various English accents and styles of speaking. Since you plan to study in Australia, watch and learn from videos of Australia speaking and interacting.
  • Practice the mock tests in a time-bound manner to ensure you become efficient in the pressure and limit of time.
  • Consider joining an IELTS preparation class to get personalised guidance.

With these tips and comprehensive guidance on how IELTS works, you can work your way up to getting a good score.