ADFELPS is an English language proficiency rating system used to assess the English language skills of Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) candidates and to describe the levels of English required for target courses conducted by the Australian Defence Forces (ADF).

ADFELPS Test Formats

Reading Test Format

Test candidates are given 60 minutes to complete the reading test. This is preceded by 5 minutes reading time.

The reading test consists of five tasks. Typical question types include multiple choice, matching vocabulary and short answer questions. The following is a suggestion on how test takers can manage their time when completing a reading test.

Task 1
 (approximately 3-5 mins)

Task 2
(approximately 5-10 mins)

Task 3 (approximately 10 mins)

Task 4 (approximately 10-15 mins)

Task 5 (approximately 20 mins)

Listening Test Format

The listening test averages approximately 40 minutes in duration. It varies slightly between versions. It consists of multiple choice and short answer tasks. The audio for each task is played twice. An example that has been completed is provided for each task.

Writing Test Format

The writing test is 60 minutes in duration. It consists of two essay style tasks. Task 1 is a short descriptive essay of about 120 words, and Task 2 is a longer essay often asking the candidate to write a discursive or argumentative essay of about 200 words. For both Task 1 and Task 2 candidates are given a choice of two topics. The following is a suggestion on how test takers can manage their time when completing a writing test.

Task 1 (20 minutes)

Task 2 (40 minutes)

Speaking Test Format

The speaking test consists of an interview lasting 15-20 minutes. The interview is broken up into five phases.

Phase 1 
(1-2 minutes)
Greeting and familiarisation. (Unassessed)

Phase 2 (2-3 minutes)
Providing basic personal information and responding to simple questions.

Phase 3 (4 minutes)
Describing, explaining and comparing familiar topics with reference to both present and past.

Phase 4 (4 minutes)
Role play for information gathering, explication, using social and vocational registers.

Phase 5 (5 minutes)
Stating an opinion, discussing, speculating, hypothesising.



The ADFELPS is used to:

  • assess English language proficiency of Defence Cooperation Program(DCP) candidates.
  • identify suitable candidates for Australian Defence Force(ADF) courses.
  • determine English language profiles for all ADF courses available to DCP personnel.
  • match DCP personnel to appropriate courses, based on their English language proficiency.
ADFELPS Administration

Who administers tests?

Within Australia, testing is done at the Defence International Training Centre (DITC). In other countries testing is carried out by Australian Language Advisers (ALAs), Maritime Surveillance Advisers (MSAs), Australian embassy personnel and trained personnel from regional defence forces.

ADFELPS Enquiries

How can I get further information?

For any enquiries contact:

Defence International Training Centre
RAAF Williams
VIC 3027

Phone: +61 (03) 9256 2820
+61 (03) 9256 2358

Fax: +61 (03) 9256 2913



ADFELPS Test Results

An ADFELPS test result remains valid for twelve months from the date of issue. No test candidate may be retested within a three month period of the date of issue.