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  English Language Proficiency Skills

If you wish to work in Australia or New Zealand as a medical practitioner you will need to undergo an English language assessment or be exempt.

Who is exempt?
If you have grown up or have completed all of your studies in the following countries you will generally be exempt from this process:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Each Australian state and territory has its own criteria for exemption, as does New Zealand. Please visit the Australian Medical Council or the New Zealand Medical Council for more information.

Will I have to sit the English language test?
If you are from any other country other than those listed above then you will need to pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam before you can register with one of the Australian medical boards or the New Zealand Medical Council.

It is best to sit your IELTS as early as possible so that your employment process is not delayed once you have been appointed the job of your choice.

IELTS is designed to assess your language ability where English is used to communicate.

The exam covers all four language skills:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

It is offered in two test formats - Academic and General Training. As you will be requiring professional registration you will need to sit the Academic module.

To find out all the information you will need to complete this assessment please visit the IELTS website. This site will also guide you to an accredited Test Centre in your current country of residence and will help you with test preparation and test day advice.

While you may be confident of your English skills you will generally need to score 7 or above in all modules to work in Australia and a total of 7.5 across all bands to work in New Zealand.

If you have already completed your IELTS, your certificate must be no more than two years old.

This information is general and may not be applicable to your personal situation. Please visit the Australian Medical Council or the New Zealand Medical Council to get comprehensive details.

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