General English test criteria
New pilot licensing regulations commence on 1 September 2014. CASA is currently reviewing and, where necessary, updating all website content to ensure it correctly reflects these regulations. Please note the information on this page might be outdated. If you have any questions about the new licensing regulations please contact your local Aviation Safety Advisor or CASA’s Licensing and Registration Centre for up to date advice.
CASA sets a minimum standard of general English language proficiency for applicants of the Student Pilot Licence (SPL).
The aim of requiring student-pilots to have a minimum proficiency to communicate orally in general English is two-fold, to enable the SPL holder to safely conduct flying training operations as well as have a practical prospect of attaining the required minimum ICAO language proficiency standards by the time the training is completed.
The requirement for SPL applicants to produce documentary evidence of general English language proficiency came into force with effect from 1 January 2009.
If SPL applicants are unable to demonstrate they have been schooled in English or employed for a defined period in a specified English speaking country, they must have their English proficiency proven through a general English language test acceptable to CASA, and to the required minimum standard.
CASA has nominated IELTS or TOEFL or TOEIC as the acceptable general English language test. These international general English tests are delivered by commercial companies which are completely independent of CASA.
Some authorities in English speaking countries rely on a pass in one of these tests as admission requirement for non-native English speakers to their colleges and universities, or for those applying to migrate, etc. Therefore applicants should not assume the company administering these tests would automatically know they require a pass to satisfy CASA language criterion for issue of a SPL.
For example, as in the case of TOEIC, SPL applicants should note that the required test to meet the CASA SPL criterion would consists of two separate sittings with the associated fees, one for Listening & Reading and another for Speaking & Writing.
The applicants are personally responsible for informing the test centres exactly what test or tests they wish to take.
Additionally, like all exam sittings, prior arrangements would be essential as there is considerable demand for such general English language testing. CASA advises candidates to lodge their applications as early as possible.
CASA requires the minimum scores for the respective English language tests for the issue of a SPL:
|Test type||Minimum score|
|International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General or Academic training module||Overall grade of 5.5 with no paper lower than 5|
|Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC-Secure Program/Public Testing Centre)||
(a) listening – 350;
(b) reading – 300;
(c) speaking – 160;
(d) writing – 140
|Test of English as a Foreign Language internet based test (TOEFL IBT)||71|
|Test of English as a Foreign Language computer based test (TOEFL CBT)||197|
|Test of English as a Foreign Language paper based test (TOEFL PB)||530|
Validity of general English language test when applying for SPL
The test taken by applicant shall not be older than 2 years on date of application for the SPL.
Information on TOEIC
The TOEIC Australia and New Zealand web site provides information and guidance on the TOEIC, including details on the test, public test centres and centres offering preparatory courses.