Language Center

Placement Tests

The Language Center primarily uses the TOEFL exam (paper-based or internet) and a writing placement test to assess a student’s English level and learning needs.  Students who take the internet-based TOEFL exam also take a grammar placement test. 

The TOEFL exam (http://www.ets.org/toefl) is a general test of English ability.  There are two versions accepted at the Language Center, the paper-based or institutional TOEFL, and the internet-based TOEFL.  Both exams test a student’s ability to understand the English language.  The paper-based TOEFL has three sections:  listening, structure and written expression, and reading.  The internet-based TOEFL has four sections:  reading, listening, speaking, and writing.  Based on the results of the TOEFL, the Language Center can place a student into an appropriate level of courses or allow him/her to begin academic courses directly.

The writing placement test is a test designed by the Language Center and is given to all students to assess a student’s level of writing.  Students choose one of two prompts and write a paragraph or essay that demonstrates their ability to write in English correctly and effectively.  Through this test, the Language Center can place a student into the proper Academic Writing course or allow him/her to begin academic courses directly. 

The grammar placement test is a test given only to students who have taken the internet-based TOEFL exam and receive a score below that which corresponds to 530 on the paper-based test.  Through this test, the Language Center can place a student into the proper Grammar in Academic Context course or allow him/her to begin academic courses directly.