What is the English as a Second Language Placement Test?

You get your admissions decision and you are admitted, excitement ensues:

Then you see it, on the second half of your Notice of Admission (found at the bottom of your myIllini Admitted Student Checklist):

And again, in your Admitted Student Checklist:

What is with this English as a Second Language Placement test?

At Illinois, we have students come to our campus from around the world. Our number one goal is always to make sure they are successful when they get to campus. In order to do this, we need to make sure students are placed in the correct classes.

International students who are required to take the English as a Second Language Placement test fall into one of these categories:

  • Did not submit English Language Proficiency (so didn’t send us TOEFL or IELTs scores)
  • Submitted TOEFL scores under 103 or had a 103 TOEFL with either Speaking or Writing scores under 25
  • Submitted IELTS scores under 7.5 or had a 7.5 IELTS with either Speaking or Writing scores under 7

Notice, there is no mention of where you are currently studying or what language you speak at home. That is because even if you are studying in the United States or another English speaking country, you may still have to take the English Placement Test.

How do I get out of it?

Unless you have TOEFL or IELTS scores that meet the minimums I mention above, you don’t. If you do have updated TOEFL or IELTS scores you are welcome to send them and the requirement should update shortly after they are received. I wouldn’t recommend taking TOEFL or IELTS again trying to get these scores. Students are not at a disadvantage for taking the placement test, so why pay for another test when you can take this one for free?

So, how do I take it?

That is the good news; you can take it online! The Department of Linguistics handles English placement testing. If you go to their English Placement Test page, they will give you TONS of information on it.

Not just stuff like when and how to take the test, but also information about what the test covers and how to register. Placement does not generally start until June for online testing. Students who prefer to take the test in person will need to schedule a time in August prior to the start of classes.

If you have general questions about this requirement, you can feel free to ask admissions, but specific questions about the English Placement Test can be sent to eptillinois@illinois.edu.





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