UIS ESL Placement Exam

The ESL Program administers a placement exam to incoming undergraduate students who score below a 100 iBT (600 PBT) or the equivalent. We want to be sure that students are registering for the proper classes so that they have the best chance to achieve success in their first and future semesters.

About the Test

The English Placement Exam tests one’s ability in academic situations focusing primarily on Writing and Speaking.

  • Writing – You will have to write a short essay using information from a news report. 60 minutes including the time it takes to read the report.
  • Speaking – You will briefly present your opinion from the writing section. 10 minutes.

What about Scoring?

This is a holistic exam which suggests whether you would benefit from taking an ESL class(es) along with your other courses. If you are fully admitted to UIS, the results of the test are suggested; they are not mandatory. In other words, you will not be required to register for a particular class.

Exams will be graded promptly. Test takers will be emailed the results and will be able to schedule an immediate appointment with the ESL Program.

When and where is the test?

The test is offered one time only, on campus during Orientation week. See the International Student Orientation schedule.

How do I register?

All undergraduates are required to take the exam and do not need to pre-register. If you are a graduate student and would like to take the exam, contact esl@uis.edu.

What should I bring to the exam?

On exam day, your name must appear on the registration list. You should bring identification (e.g. iCard, Passport, national identity card).

How can I prepare?

Because this exam tests your overall English communicative abilities and not specific content, it is difficult to study for. To prepare, use English as much as possible – listen to news stories on the internet or radio, read widely and frequently, write short essays and/or letters to friends, and find opportunities to talk in English. All of these things will also help you when you begin classes. On the night before the exam, try to get a good night’s sleep.

Any Questions?

Contact the ESL Program, 206-8356, BRK 460