When graduate students enter their programs, they may be required to take an English language proficiency assessment. Typically, these exams happen in August or January. If you would like to learn more about your own program’s policies, contact your department administrator or schedule an appointment with our ELP Program Manager, Katie Blackburn Brown

Please note: Completing two or fewer years of education in the United States or other English-speaking nations and/or completion of a Duolingo English Language Test, TOEFL, or IELTS test does not qualify a student for exemption from completing this assessment.

About the Test

Test Sections

This test has both sub-skill focused sections and integrated language use tasks. Students will complete tasks to demonstrate grammar and vocabulary knowledge as well as tasks that require a written or spoken response. Students will submit a written exam and participate in an oral interview.


All test sections will take place on a computer through the platforms Canvas and Zoom. You will need to set-up your Washington University email address in order to access these applications for this assessment.

How to Prepare

The best way to prepare is to read, write, hear, and speak English on a regular basis before your test. No commercially prepared materials are available to prepare for these exams.

Understanding the Results

Based on performance, students will be identified for support or exempted from support. These supports may include both written and spoken supports, or courses recommended may match only a sub-set of skills, depending upon each student’s need.

Our Scores


The student has attained a level of English that exempts them from a need for further English language courses during their program. However, if a student would like support they remain eligible for advanced courses.

Support Offered

The student is able to partake in the English Language Program, as they complete their program of study. Departments and programs with high standards for English proficiency may wish to include these recommendations as requirements.

Support Recommended

The student may benefit substantially from courses in English language during their program of study. Departments and programs requiring completion of ELP recommendations should include these requirements.

Our Recommendations

Students identified for support will be given an individualized set of classes and other supports that are recommended. Requirements to complete such recommendations are determined by individual departments and programs. Consequently, students should discuss their set of recommendations with their advisor, program director, director of graduate studies, and/or administrators to ensure that they are meeting language requirements. If a student is not recommended to enroll in classes based on scores and would like English language supports, they still remain eligible for advanced level courses as they progress to degree.

Students may be offered support when their scores indicate that a course may be of use to them during their program. These students could benefit from specific courses or other supports throughout their programs but may not need as much support as a student recommended for courses.

If any student, administrator, or faculty member would like to discuss scores, request a retest, or simply have questions about this process, please email our Program Manager, Katie Blackburn Brown.