Everything you Need to Know About the NAATI CCL Test

What is the NAATI CCL test?

The NAATI CCL test is not in itself related to the accreditation system for professional translators and interpreters that NAATI is primarily designed for. CCL stands for ‘credentialed community language.’ It is a test that can help would be migrants gain 5 points for their point-based visa applications. NAATI itself is not an immigration authority and cannot advise applicants on immigration policy and how to gain a visa. It merely sets and administers the CCL test. If the test is passed, then this gives the visa applicant 5 extra points to add to other points they may have from other sources.

Test format

The NAATI CCL test is currently only an online test. It can be accessed anywhere where the person wishing to take the test has a decent internet signal. This is probably the most important aspect of prior preparation apart from understanding how the test is administered and what you need to do in advance to help you pass the test. There are resources and plenty of information available on the relevant section of NAATI’s website.

The test consists of two dialogues, consisting of a total of about 300 words. Each dialogue is in two languages: one is in English; the other is in the language of your choice. There are currently 53 different languages available. Each of the two dialogues is broken down into segments of 35 words each and consists of one person speaking in English to the other who responds in the LOTE (language other than English). The test consists of you being able to describe or explain what each person is trying to say to a reasonable standard. Examiners are appointed to listen to your responses and assess whether your ability to explain what the English segment is all about in your chosen language as well as what the LOTE sections are all about in English.

Test time

The test takes 20 minutes to complete, but you are given a further 15 minutes of preparation before the dialogues start. The actual time that tests are available is based on ACT (Canberra) time, which is Australian Eastern Standard time.

Test date

Tests can be accessed from Monday to Friday each week, apart from Australian public holidays.

Who can take the NAATI CCL test?

The NAATI CCL test is designed to suit visa applicants who are applying for one of the visa categories given below. Failure of the test will not affect your visa application. It simply means that you don’t qualify for the extra 5 points.

NAATI CCL validity

As has been explained above, the CCL test is primarily for those visa applicants who can take advantage of their language proficiency to add 5 points to what they already have when applying for various visas, such as the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189), Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190), and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489). NAATI advises applicants for any of these visa subclasses to check with the Department of Home Affairs that the CCL test is still a valid way of adding points as immigration policy can change from time to time.

NAATI CCL test languages

There are 53 NAATI CCL test languages. These are

Arabic            Hungarian       Punjabi

Assyrian       Indonesian       Romanian

Bangle           Italian                 Russian

Bosnian        Japanese             Serbian

Bulgarian     Kannada             Sinhalese

Burmese       Khmer                 Somali

Cantonese    Korean               Spanish

Croatian        Lao                       Swahili

Czech            Macedonian       Tamil

Dari              Malay                     Telugu

Dutch           Malayalam          Thai

Filipino        Mandarin           Tigrinya

Finnish        Marathi               Turkish

French          Nepali                  Urdu

German        Odia                     Vietnamese

Greek             Pashto

Gujarati        Persian

Hazaragi       Polish

Hindi              Portuguese


Although the CCL test is nothing to do with becoming an accredited translator or interpreter in Australia, mention must be made of the importance of NAATI when seeking a professional translator or interpreter. Visa applicants often resort to using a translator to translate their personal documents accurately and there is a requirement to use a NAATI-accredited translator for all visa-related document translations in Australia.