The tests described below are offered online, and available to interested individuals or programs worldwide.
1. The CESL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)
This proficiency test has been specifically designed to assess the oral proficiency of potential visiting scholars to UA, and satisfies requirements of the International and Faculty and Scholars for issuing a J1 Visa.
The essential information about the OPI is as follows:
- The OPI assesses oral proficiency only, and does not assess competence in other skills (e.g. Reading, Writing). The test is conducted online (via Skype or other application) and is a 15-minute interview with an assessment specialist from CESL
- Through a series of questions, both general and academic in nature, the fluency, accuracy and range of the test-taker’s oral English production is assessed
- The test is scored using a rubric from the Common European Frame of Reference (CEFR), the world-standard proficiency scale for language assessment
- In order to qualify for a J1 visa, test-takers must score a B2 (i.e. highly independent) on the CEFR scale
- Shortly after the interview, typically on the same day, the test-taker is sent a formal score report via e-mail with the proficiency score from the test
- The test costs $50, and test-takers can register for it at the following website: https://ceslapp.arizona.edu/admissions/vscholars/
- Typically, interview tests are scheduled and conducted within two weeks of applying for the test
- Test-takers from around the world have taken this test since it was launched in January 2015. It is a viable and practical alternative for potential visiting scholars instead of taking one of the commercial English proficiency tests (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS).
To learn more, please click here.
2. The CESL English Proficiency Assessment (EPA)
This proficiency test has been developed for assessing the proficiency of individuals joining CESL programs and courses, for example online classes in the TEFL Training program.
The essential information about the EPA is as follows:
- This online test is designed to assess spoken proficiency, as well as writing proficiency (and, to some degree, Reading skills), and consists of two sub-tests
- The Speaking test involves an oral interview conducted online (e.g. via Skype or similar application) with CESL instructors. The interview lasts approximately 10 minutes, and consists of a series of questions (both general and work-related). Test-takers oral production is scored using a rubric from the Common European Frame of Reference (CEFR), the world-standard proficiency scale for language assessment.
- The Writing test is conducted online via an application called Qualtrics. Test-takers are required to read a short book/article excerpt (e.g. two paragraphs) and respond to a prompt based on it. Test-takers are given one hour to complete this component of the test.
- After completing the Spoken interview, test-takers are then directed to the Writing test. In this way, both components are completed within a short time frame (e.g. 24 hours). Test-takers will be issued with official score reports showing their scores on both parts of the EPA
- Test-takers need to demonstrate a B2 (e.g. independent) level of proficiency on both parts of the EPA to qualify for participation in teacher training courses offered by CESL
- The test fee is $50, and potential test-takers will be provided with access details to register for the test.
The EPA is designed to ensure that students enrolled in CESL teacher training programs and courses have the necessary English proficiency to be successful in them.
3. The ITEP
- When students first arrive to study in the Intensive English Program (IEP) or the University Track, they take a placement test. Based on the score of this test, students are placed into an appropriate levels (levels 1-7 in the IEP, or levels 8 and 9 in the University Track).
The CESL Level Jump Test (the ITEP Academic Plus Exam):
- Students who think they were placed in the wrong level at the beginning of a session may take the ITEP Academic Plus test to see if they are eligible to jump a CESL level at the end of the session of study. This test is currently only available for students taking levels 1-5 in CESL's IEP, and may only be taken by students who finish the session with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. More information can be found in the student handbook. The cost to take the level jump test is $45.