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English Language Proficiency Testing

Placement Testing

 

The ELP assesses students’ oral language skills.  Incoming graduate students who are non-native speakers of English with scores of 27 or below on the Speaking sub- section of the TOEFL iBT or below an 8 on the speaking section of the IELTS, are required to take a placement test. This enables us to assign students to an appropriate ELP level.

The placement test is computerized and takes approximately 30-40 minutes.  Students listen to questions asked by a virtual avatar and respond to them orally.  It is administered in September, just before academic classes begin.

The proficiency levels on the placement test are as follows:

ELP Rating
ELP Opportunities or Requirements
Follow-up Testing
     
Advanced

No ELP courses required

ELP support available at any time during academic career:

  • ELP Discussion Groups
  • ELP Workshops
  • No further testing required

         
         

    High Intermediate

    ELP course required during 
    Fall semester

    Course includes:

  • 3 hours of class work
  • 1-hour weekly meeting with an undergraduate conversation partner
  • POPT in January (during reading period) upon successful completion of Fall semester

    If students don’t pass POPT continued ELP course work required

         
         
    Intermediate

    ELP course required during Fall semester.

    Course includes:

  • 3 hours of class work
  • 1-hour weekly meeting with an undergraduate conversation partner
  • POPT in January (during reading period) upon successful completion of Fall semester

    If students don’t pass POPT continued ELP course work required

         
         

    Low Intermediate

    ELP course required during Fall and Spring semesters

    Course includes:

  • 3 hours of classwork
  • 45-minute weekly meeting with an ELP instructor
  • 1-hour weekly meeting with an undergraduate conversation partner
  • POPT in May (during reading period) upon successful completion of 2 semesters of ELP courses

    If students don’t pass POPT continued ELP course work required


    Princeton Oral Proficiency Test

    The Princeton Oral Proficiency Test (POPT) is given to students once they have completed at least one semester of ELP coursework.  The POPT evaluates oral proficiency by focusing on the specific activities common to teaching at Princeton.  Students give brief presentations to undergraduate students and are expected to respond to questions asked by the undergraduates.  In addition to the presentation, the graduate student participates in an informal discussion with an undergraduate.  Faculty members from the graduate student’s department are invited to observe.


    The Graduate School and Departmental Policies

    The English Language Program follows guidelines established by the Graduate School . The Graduate School 's Policy Concerning English Language Proficiency can be found at gradschool.princeton.edu/academics/policies/elp.

    It is important that you contact your department to learn its policy regarding the time frame in which you are expected to pass POPT.