UNSW Institute of Languages




The Professional English Assessment for Teachers (PEAT) Test is designed to determine the level of competence in English of overseas trained teachers who wish to gain approval to teach in NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) government schools.  It is not an assessment of subject matter competence but an assessment of English language skills within the educational context. The result obtained in each language component of the PEAT indicates whether your proficiency is of a standard which would enable you to teach and interact effectively and confidently in a school setting in NSW.

Only those overseas trained teachers who have obtained prior approval from the Teacher Recruitment Unit at NSW DEC are allowed to register for this test.

NSW DEC requires candidates to achieve Band A or A+ in all components in order to pass the PEAT.

Test Format Description Test Time
Listening - 3 sections Section 1: Two-way discussion (2.5 mins - played twice),
multiple choice questions.
Section 2: Three-way discussion (2.5 mins - played twice),
multiple choice questions.
Section 3: Monologue (4 mins - played twice),
note taking answers
60 minutes
Reading - 3 sections Section 1: NSW DEC policy text (approx 900 words),
multiple choice questions.
Section 2: Workplace related text (approx 700 words),
multiple choice questions and single word cloze
Section 3: Authentic sample of student writing (handwritten), multiple choice questions.
50 minutes
Writing - 3 sections Section1: Writing an incident report
Section 2: Writing a letter home
Section 3: Authentic sample of student writing (typed),
identifying errors and providing written feedback on student’s work .
70 minutes
Speaking - 3 sections Section 1: Interview and discussion (5 mins)
Section 2: Role play (preparation 4 mins; performance 5 mins)
Section 3: Presentation (preparation 4 mins; performance 5 mins)
23-25 minutes
TOTAL TEST TIME 3 hours 25 minutes

For a comprehensive description of all components within the PEAT Test, please download the PEAT Guide for Candidates.

  • The PEAT Test fees are:
    • 4 components (full test) - AUD$500
    • 3 components - AUD$430
    • 2 components - AUD$365
    • 1 component - AUD$190

2014 PEAT Tests Dates

Exam Day Exam Date Applications Close* Location
Saturday (Places available for
Listening, Reading & Writing
components only)
1 March 2014 14 February 2014 Randwick
Saturday 12 April 2014 28 March 2014 Randwick
Saturday 24 May 2014 9 May 2014 Randwick
Sunday 6 July 2014 23 June 2014 Randwick
Saturday 16 August 2014 4 August 2014 Randwick
Saturday 27 September 2014 15 September 2014 Randwick
Sunday 2 November 2014 20 October 2014 Randwick
Saturday 6 December 2014 24 November 2014 Randwick

*Note you are advised to apply before the closing date to ensure a place in the test. If a test is full you will be offered a place in the next available test date.

Registration Time PEAT Component
8.30 am - 9.00 am Full Test
Listening Component
Reading Component
10.15 am - 10.30 am Writing Component
11.45 am - 12.00 pm Speaking Component


Test Venue Locations

Randwick Campus
UNSW Institute of Languages
Building R14
22-32 King Street
Randwick NSW 2031

Download our location map

Test Day Checklist

  • Determine how you will travel to the test venue on time before your test day.
    • Please note that there is free street parking available in the surrounding streets, however it can be difficult to find a place when there are large events on at Randwick racecourse.
  • On the day of the test the R14 building at Randwick will open at 8.30 am when registration commences.
    • It is the first building on your right when you enter the campus via the main gate on King St.
  • You should bring with you the following:
    • your valid passport or your valid Australian driver’s licence.  No other forms of identification will be accepted.
    • your test receipt.
    • blue or black pens for completing the test.
  • Please note, late candidates will not be admitted to the test room after the test has commenced.
  • There is a bag room clearly marked where you should leave all personal items.  All mobile phones should be switched off and placed in the bag room, which will be locked throughout the duration of the morning testing. If you are attempting the Speaking component, your personal belongings, including mobile phones, will be placed just outside the Speaking test room (you will need to take your identification documents into the room with you).


  • You will normally receive your Notification of Results in the mail within 10 working days of the PEAT test.
  • You will receive your result in the form of a band descriptor.  To understand these in more detail please download the PEAT Description of Bands.

When do I get my candidate number and speaking time?
You will be given a label with your candidate number when you register on the test day.  A Speaking test list can be found in the foyer on the first and second floors. You should check this carefully for your Speaking test time.

Can I change my test date?
Yes, as long as you do so more than 10 working days before the test date. There will be a transfer fee of AUD$95.00.  You will need to apply to Student Services for a transfer to another test date and pay the transfer fee.  Requests for transfers received within 10 working days prior to the test date will not be accepted unless accompanied by a medical certificate and transfer fee of AUD$95.00.

Can I cancel my test?
Yes.  If you do so more than 10 working days before the test date you will receive a refund, less a cancellation fee of 20% of the test fee. If you cancel within 10 working days prior to the test date, refunds are only available under exceptional circumstances. You must apply in writing to Student Services. If your refund is approved there will be a cancellation fee of 20% of the test fee. Please email your request to: enquiries@unswglobal.unsw.edu.au

How can I change my address?
You should email Student Services at:  enquiries@unswglobal.unsw.edu.au for any changes to your contact details.

Can I attempt each test component separately?
No.  When you first sit the PEAT you must take the full test.  Once you have attained a Band A+/A in one or more of your components you will need to retake all those remaining components in each subsequent attempt until you achieve a Band A+/A in all four components.

Can I apply for a re-mark?
Yes.  Re-marks are only available for the Writing and Speaking components.  You can apply for a re-mark by completing the PEAT Re-mark Report and Credit Card Authorisation Form.

  • You will be charged AUD$186 per component that you request a re-mark for.
  • This fee will be refunded in full to all candidates who receive an A grade or above (pass) as a result of the re-mark.

Preparation Workshops

UNSW Institute of Languages offers a series of four PEAT workshops concentrating on each of the PEAT test components - reading, writing, listening and speaking.  Each workshop will focus on PEAT skills and strategies rather than on language development and includes information about the content of the PEAT, skills and strategies for the PEAT, and timed test practice.
You must be an overseas trained teacher seeking employment with the NSW Department of Education and Communications (DEC) and preparing for PEAT to enrol in the PEAT workshops.

Preparation Materials

UNSW Institute of Languages provides free access to two sample tests which are representative of the actual PEAT test tasks.  You should use this Exemplar material under strict assessment conditions following the timing and instructions exactly to gain a good idea of your ability in the different components.

The Answer Key is included at the end of the Exemplar material.  Where exact answers cannot be given, the criteria indicate what the examiners are looking for.

How to Apply

  • Applications are accepted online, by mail or in person at our Randwick campus.
  • New Applicants please include with your application:
    • a copy of your NSW Department of Education and Communities Letter/Email, and
    • a Statement of Eligibility from the NSW Institute of Teachers
  • Returning PEAT Test candidates please include with your application:
    • your last PEAT results including copies of your results for any components in which you achieved a Band A or A+
  • Graduate Recruitment Program (GRP) candidates please include with your application:
    • a Statement of Eligibility from the NSW Institute of Teachers, and
    • evidence that you are applying to the NSW DEC.  Please include the ID number which appears on the Acknowledgement of Application email you receive from NSW DEC, at the bottom of the page.
    • e.g. Applicant name: Michael Smith
      Application ID: 200912345 Graduate Recruitment Program
             Date: 22-09-2009 09:21

Apply Online

  1. Fill in the online Application Form and Submit
  2. Attach or email scanned copies of DEC letter/email, Statement of Eligibility from NSWIT, Peat results relevant to your application status.

Apply by Mail

  1. Print the Application Form.
  2. Fill in the Application Form, selecting two test dates. Include copies of DEC letter/email, NSWIT Statement of Eligibility, PEAT results relevant to your application status.
  3. Mail to:
    UNSW Institute of Languages
    PO Box 853
    Kensington NSW 1465

Apply in Person

  1. Print the Application Form.
  2. Fill in the Application Form, selecting two test dates. Include copies of DEC letter/email, NSWIT Statement of Eligibility, PEAT results relevant to your application status.
  3. Submit your Application Form with payment to our Randwick campus.
    22-32 King Street, Randwick NSW 2031

If your application form is not complete and the documents attached are not correct or if they are missing, we will not be able to process your application until they are received.

Click here to enquire Apply Online