English as a Second Language
English Placement Exam ESL Courses ESL Home

English Placement Exam

Next offering of the English placement exam for International Students:
Tuesday, January 7th at 1:00 p.m. in Centennial Hall 100
Registration begins at 12:40 p.m.
Bring a picture ID and some pencils. Please bring ear buds or
computer headphones if you have them.
U.S. residents and citizens contact Julie Condon for appointment.
more about the exam

English Placement Exam: International Students

As per university regulations, the English placement exam is a condition of each international student's enrollment, unless one of the following eight exemption criteria are met (effective Spring Semester, 2001):

  1. You submitted an official TOEFL score for admission of at least 600 (paper and pencil) or 100 (internet Based Test – iBT) with subscores of no less than 25 in reading, writing, and listening.
  2. An official IELTS score for admission of at least 7.5;
  3. An official Michigan score of 96 (undergraduates only).
  4. Graduation from the Intensive English Center at SCSU; (Level 4 for undergraduates, Level 5 for graduate students)
  5. Successful completion of English 191 (Introduction to Rhetorical and Analytical Writing) or an equivalent course with a grade of C or better;
  6. Documented transfer of ENGL 100 with a grade of C or better.
  7. Graduation from an Associate Arts degree program at an accredited US college or university (undergraduates only);
  8. Graduation from a Bachelor's degree program at an accredited US college or university;
  9. Graduation from a Master's degree program at an accredited US university; or

If your answer was "Yes" to any of the above eight questions, then you are not required to take the English placement exam (and you are not required to take any of the ESL courses associated with the exam either). If your answer was "No" to all of the above eight questions, then you are required to take the English placement exam prior to your first semester at SCSU (during the week before classes begin).

English Placement Exam: United States Residents and Citizens

If you are a US Resident or Citizen who is required to take the Accuplacer Exam, you will first be given the Accuplacer Reading test for native speakers of English. If you score 54 or below on the Accuplacer Reading test, and if demographic questions indicate that English is a second or non-native language for you, you will be required to take the Accuplacer ESL Reading test, Accuplacer ESL Listening Test, and  College ESL Essay Test. Based on those test scores, you may be required to enroll in and complete ESL courses.

The Exam

The exam consists of three parts: writing, reading and listening. The writing exam is a fifty minute essay on a general topic that is graded for content, organization, grammar, vocabulary and mechanics. One way to review for the writing exam is  using the Internet. http://leo.stcloudstate.edu  is a good site. Also Google “College Writing” or “Academic Writing” to see other school’s writing sites. Review the terms used in the grading criteria above and what they mean for college composition.

The Accuplacer ESL Reading and Listening tests are both multiple choice, computer-adaptive tests of 20 questions each, which the student is able to complete at his/her own pace (there is no specific time limit for the reading and listening tests; most students complete both of the tests within 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours).

A description and practice questions for the ESL Reading tests can be found at http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/accuplacer/accuplacer-sample-questions-for-students.pdf (on page 15)

There are no practice questions provided for the ESL Listening test. Here is a description of the test from the company’s website:

The ESL Listening test consists of 20 questions and measures the ability of nonnative speakers of English to listen to and understand one or more people speaking in English. There are two content areas assessed:

  • Literal Comprehension
    • Identify the main idea or main subject of a passage
    • Identify factual details and information
    • Understand instructions
  • Implied Meaning
    • Understand the relationship between ideas
      (e.g., sequence of events, cause and effect, comparison and contrast, problem and solution)
    • Make inferences
    • Make predictions
    • Identify the speaker’s purpose, tone or point of view

An iTunes app is now available for $1.99 to prepare for Accuplacer reading and math tests. Although there is no specific ESL practice, using the Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills portions of the app should may be helpful. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/official-accuplacer-study/id479626721?mt=8

NEW!!! Web-based Accuplacer practice is now available: http://accuplacerpractice.collegeboard.org. When setting up an account, you will need to follow the links to pay $2.99 online. Then an access code will be sent to the email you provide. Using that access code, you can enter the site. Again, though there are no practice sections for ESL, the Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills portions would be of value for you. Math practice is also there.

There are no sample questions for the listening test.

On the day of the exam, please bring several pencils. A photo identification card (student campus card, passport, driver's license) is required to gain access to the test site.

Untitled Document