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ESL Program 308 Bartlett Hall (413) 545-4210
What kind of placement test is given for the UMASS AMHERST ESL Program?

Any matriculated UMass Amherst student or university employee can take the test. It is given free-of-charge.
For more information about the test please click here!

The ESL Program Placement Test, based on the University of Michigan standards, covers all four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and grammar.
  • Part 1: Writing Proficiency Test (30 minutes):
    Students are given three writing prompts and must choose one to write about in a 30-minute essay
  • Part 2: Listening Test (30 minutes):
    This is a multiple-choice test of academic language. Students listen to questions and statements and choose the best answer.
  • Part 3: Academic Language Proficiency Test (1 hour and 15 minutes):
    This is also a multiple-choice test that covers grammar, vocabulary, and reading.
A score is reported for each module of the test. The individual module scores are then averaged to produce an overall score. Placements are made by each examiner based not only on analysis of overall score but also on each module score in relationship to the other module scores, Writing Proficiency Test score, TOEFL score (if available), SAT score (if available), and number of years the candidate has been in the United States.
Interpretation of the test scores provides a reliable, composite profile of an individual student's overall academic English language proficiency. In addition, the test results indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the student's specific English language skills. All of the information can be used to determine a student's level of English language proficiency: intermediate, advanced, or superior.
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