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 Sample Materials

ADFELPS Test Formats

Reading Test Format

The reading test should last no longer than 60 minutes. This is preceded by 5 minutes reading time.
The reading test will consists of the following tasks:

Task 1
 (approximately 3-5 mins)
Fill in the details using the information given in the text.

Task 2
(approximately 5-10 mins)
Write short answers to questions based on a newspaper article.

Task 3 (approximately 10 mins)
Skim read the text given and match the text most closely with the items/instructions provided.

Task 4 (approximately 10-15 mins)
Read the text and based on the information , answer the questions with short answers where possible

Task 5 (approximately20 mins)
Read the text and answer questions based on the information


  • Instructions vary from test to test.
  • Typical question types include multiple choice, matching vocabulary and short answer questions.
Listening Test Format

The listening test is approximately 40 minutes in duration.
It consists of the following tasks:

Task 1
 A short conversation between two people. As you listen, write your answers in the table provided.

Task 2 An average length conversation between two people. As you listen, circle the best answer (multiple choice objective questions) to each question.

Task 3 A long conversation between two people. As you listen, write the answers in the table provided.

Task 4 A radio program/discussion on a defence issue. As you listen, write your answers in the spaces provided.

Task 5 A radio discussion. As you listen, write your answers in the spaces provided.

Note :

  • The task instructions can vary from test to test.
  • The listening text for each task is played twice.
  • An example is provided for each task.
Reading Test Format

The writing test is 60 minutes in duration.
It will consists of the following tasks:

Task 1 (20 minutes)
A short descriptive essay of about 120 words.

Task 2 (40 minutes)
A short essay of about 200 words discussing a topic in some depth.

Note: For both Task 1 and Task 2 candidates are given a choice of two topics.

Speaking Test Format

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

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

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

Phase 3 (5 minutes)
Describing, explaining and comparing familiar topics with reference to both present and past.

Phase 4 (5 minutes)
Role play-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.

The marking of Reading and Listening tests is done using an answer key, and is done by suitably trained personnel. However, the rating of Writing and Speaking in particular can only be carried out by accredited ADFELPS raters.

Where are tests administered?

Full ADFELPS testing (including the speaking interview) is currently able to be conducted in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Vietnam
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Laos
  • Fiji (from Jan 2004)

Limited ADFELPS testing (excluding speaking) is currently conducted in the following countries:

  • Cambodia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Brunei
  • Samoa
  • East Timor
  • Marshall Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Kiribati
  • Palau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
ADFELPS Enquiries

How can I get further information?

For any enquiries contact:

Defence International Training Centre
RAAF Williams
VIC 3027

Phone: +61(03) 92562820
+61(03) 92562358

Fax: +61(03)92562913



ADFELPS Test Results

How to interpret test results?

Results of candidates are recorded in the form of a test report. Test record forms provide:

  • Candidates’ scores on a band scale from 4 to 9 for each skill.
  • ADFELPS Summary of Language Proficiency Level Descriptors.
  • ADFELPS test record form provides a profile of English ability in listening, reading, writing and speaking. This allows receiving institutions to clearly identify the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.

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