What is the AEAS test pass score?

There is no pass score for the AEAS test. The AEAS test is an assessment of students’ actual abilities in:

English language proficiency
Mathematical reasoning
General ability
Scores show if students are below average, average or above average – against students in the same year level – in these three areas.

How long is the AEAS Report valid?

AEAS Reports are valid for one year from the test date. This is because school aged students’ English language skills tend to improve substantially in one year, particularly if they have completed an ELICOS program or are attending school/living in Australia. Some students English language skills may weaken if they do not practice English and continue living and learning in a non English speaking environment.

When will I get my AEAS test results?

AEAS test results are available ten working days after the test date. Expect delays when supporting documents, such as school reports, are not provided.

Results are emailed in PDF format. Students in China should not supply a QQ email address as PDF documents are often blocked by the QQ server. This will delay receipt of your report.

What kind of photo should I provide to AEAS?

All students must provide a current passport sized photograph on the day of testing. The photograph should be clearly recognisable as the student presenting for testing. The photograph should be no more than 3 months old. Students who do not meet these requirements may not be admitted for testing.

Do I need to translate my school report?

Yes, all school reports must be provided in English. The original school report and original translation should be brought to the test session along with one photocopy of each. The test administrator will verify the copies against the originals on the day of testing.

Why do I have to wait three months before re-taking the AEAS test?

The AEAS test is designed to give an accurate assessment of a student’s abilities. As such, a period of three months is considered the minimum amount of time a student would need to make any significant improvement to their English language proficiency.

Taking the test repeatedly within a short period of time would lead to an inflated score due to practice effect, giving an inaccurate result. This regulation is not negotiable.

How should I prepare for the AEAS test?

Don’t spend a lot of time preparing for the test. The test assesses students’ actual abilities in English language proficiency, general ability and mathematical reasoning.

AEAS suggests students revise English language materials from their school curriculum and purchase a copy of the AEAS Practice Test Booklet (available for Years 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12).

Students do not need to study for the general ability or the mathematical reasoning sections of the test. For the results of these tests to be valid, it is important they are completed by students without any practice.

AEAS runs a Studying in Australian Schools Preparation Course in China which introduces the AEAS test and information about studying in Australia. Interested students can contact the AEAS Beijing Office.

AEAS does not recommend attending intensive test preparation courses as they teach how to achieve inflated test results. They do not teach real English language skills. Students who attend these courses often find themselves out of their depth and struggling in the Australian classroom. Some students have been withdrawn from school in Australia due to insufficient English language skills. They then complete additional intensive English studies at extra cost and over additional time. This may delay their secondary education by up to one year.

How do schools use the AEAS test?

The AEAS test is just one part of the enrolment process. Each school uses the AEAS Report differently and has different entry requirements. No school uses the AEAS Report as the only determinant when enrolling a student. Check the requirements of your selected school before making an application.

NOTE: Many schools ask students to take the AEAS test twice. Once when they submit an enrolment application and again after they have completed their intensive English language program (ELICOS).

What is ELICOS?

ELICOS (English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students) is a course designed to teach international students the English language skills needed to be successful in an Australian classroom.

It is rare for an international student not to need ELICOS. Students can need anywhere from 10-40 weeks ELICOS depending on their English language proficiency and prior exposure to the English language.

Some Australian schools have an ELICOS centre on campus, however, most will recommend an independent ELICOS provider to you.

My total English language score is below 40, will any schools in Australia accept me?

Yes! Australian schools enrol students with a range of English language proficiencies. Students with limited English language will have to complete the AEAS recommended ELICOS program prior to enrolment. Schools will issue a COE on the basis that the student will complete the recommended ELICOS program before they commence at the school.

Is it true you need a total English language score of 60 or over to be accepted into an Australian school?

No, that is not true. Australian schools accept students with varying English proficiency levels (see Question above: My total English language score is below 40, will any schools in Australia accept me?). The most important thing is that the student has enough time to complete the recommended ELICOS program. AEAS recommends students take the AEAS test at least 8-10 months before they wish to commence studies in Australia.

Students applying for Year 11 studies should take the AEAS test at least 6-12 months (depending on the country, school application times and likely visa processing time) prior to their anticipated commencement date. This gives them time to plan their ELICOS studies to ensure they are ready to commence school at the beginning of the academic year (January/February in Australia).

It is very important that students entering Year 11 in Australia have reasonably proficient English language skills. In particular, analytical writing skills will be required which presumes a certain standard of English.

I heard there are some AEAS preparation courses running in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing. Do you recommend attending these courses?

AEAS does not recommend attending any non official AEAS test preparation course. Such programs have been known to engage in unethical and sometimes illegal behaviour such as purposefully stealing AEAS test papers, encouraged students to cheat on their test, and encouraging students to sit the test on behalf of another.

Any student caught cheating in a test session, making any record of test content or taking the test on behalf of another student will be automatically disqualified and will not be able to take the test in the future.

My friend got an AEAS score of 80, but after studying for a few months in an Australia school, he was asked to leave because his English was not good enough. Why did this happen when he got an AEAS score of 80?

Australian schools use the AEAS test to assess applications, but all schools monitor international students once they begin studies. If a school feels the student is not coping in an English medium classroom, they may ask the student to complete further ELICOS studies or to re-sit the AEAS test. In extreme cases they will ask the student to leave the school.

AEAS has heard of one case where a student achieved a high score by attending an unauthorized test preparation course, but once in Australia he found the tactics he was taught to pass the test were not useful in an English medium classroom. He was not able to understand lessons and was therefore asked to leave the school and to complete additional ELICOS.

In another case, a student had someone else sit the test session on their behalf in order to achieve a high score. In this case the student was also asked to leave the school because he was not able to understand lessons or produce homework at the required level.

I’m in Year 9, why do I need to take the Year 10 test

AEAS tests students for the Year level they are applying to enter to ensure the student will be able to cope at that year level when they begin school in Australia. A Year 9 student is tested with Year 10 test papers, which were designed for students at Year 9 level.

My AEAS Report says I got 10 out of 20 answers correct on my reading test, but I think I got more questions than that correct.
AEAS sub tests (spelling, reading, writing, vocabulary, speaking) do not all have the same number of questions. For example, while the vocabulary test may have 30 questions, the reading test may have 25. In order to make a total English language score out of 100, all sub test scores are scaled. Each sub test score is scaled to give a score out of 20.

What is a stanine? Is it the same as a percentage?

A stanine score is not the same as a percentage. A percentage score is the number of questions answered correctly out of the total number. AEAS does not report percentage scores.

A stanine score reports a student’s abilities in relation to the standard ability level of students in their peer group. The stanine score reports whether the student has below average, average or above average abilities in any skill set. A stanine score from 1-3 denotes below average abilities. A score of 4-6 denotes average abilities and a score of 7-9 denotes above average abilities. The graph shows the distribution of results expected for the tested population.

How are AEAS tests developed?

AEAS English proficiency tests are developed by the Language Research and Testing Centre (LRTC) at the University of Melbourne on behalf of AEAS. It takes significant time and money to develop AEAS tests as, unlike other English proficiency tests, AEAS tests students from Year 4 to 12 with papers specifically designed for the Year 4-6, Year 7-9 and Year 10-12 year groups.

LRTC develops papers through a process of consultation and trialing. This involves a significant research component where the Centre researches the language requirements for each year group using national and state curriculum documents, textbooks and research into comparable tests for young learners. A focus group with ESL teachers is also conducted to give feedback on test design and content. Finally the tests are trialed within the student population.

Please contact the AEAS Melbourne Office for more information.

When should a student take the AEAS test?

AEAS encourages students to take the AEAS test well in advance of when they would like to commence studies in Australia. School places fill quickly, particularly at Year 11 level. Taking the AEAS test 8-10 months before the anticipated commencement date ensures places are still available and students have enough time to complete ELICOS studies prior to commencement.

Can the AEAS test be taken online?

Although online testing is increasing in popularity, AEAS does not provide an online testing service. This is because online testing limits the type of questions that can be used (many online test questions are multiple choice and cannot include a handwritten writing test), cannot accurately assess speaking skills, and do not provide the additional observational information that face to face testing does.

Additionally, the integrity of online testing procedures should also be queried.

Who is supervising testing?
Do they have test administration skills?
Do they have a pre-existing relationship with the student and a vested interest in the test outcome?
Is testing occurring under examination conditions and in a quiet space away from office staff and distractions?
Does the computer used for testing block access to other programs and/or internet sites?
Additionally, in some countries it is not advisable for education agents or students’ current schools to have any role in test administration

In AEAS’ opinion, face to face testing provides an accurate and comprehensive assessment with high levels of integrity in the test process.

Who are the AEAS Test Administrators?

AEAS engages Test Administrators either directly or through approved AEAS Test Centres. All Test Administrators are university qualified and are native English speaking (or have equivalent English skills). For further information about mandatory qualifications and other desired skills, please contact AEAS Melbourne Office.

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