Testing & Placement

Placement Testing

One of the roles of the English Language Program (ELP) is to evaluate the proficiency levels of incoming graduate students who are non-native speakers of English. To do this, the ELP is required to test the following students:

  • Students who score a 27 or below on the Speaking sub-section of the TOEFL iBT
  • Students who score an 8 or below on the Speaking section of the IELTS 

The placement test is a face-to-face conversation between a student and an ELP instructor. It is designed to determine the student’s ability to use English effectively and appropriately in real-life situations. During the interview, the student is asked to respond to questions about his/her interests and experiences and to offer opinions about topics of personal or general interest. The interview may also include a role-play in which the student is asked to engage in a conversation about a possible, but not an actual situation. The interview takes between 20-30 minutes and is recorded.  

The proficiency levels on the placement test are as follows:

ELP Rating Opportunities or Requirements

Follow-up Testing

Advanced No ELP courses required No further testing
 

ELP support available at any time during the graduate student's academic career:

• ELP discussion groups
• ELP workshops

 
High Intermediate ELP course required - starting with Fall semester Princeton Oral Proficiency Test (POPT) 
 

Course includes:

• 3 hours of class work
• 1-hour weekly meeting with an undergraduate conversation partner

POPT in January (during reading period) upon successful completion of the Fall semester.

If students don't pass the POPT continued ELP course work required.

Intermediate ELP course required - starting with Fall semester Princeton Oral Proficiency Test (POPT)
 

Course includes:

• 3 hours of class work
• 1-hour weekly meeting with an undergraduate conversation partner

POPT in January (during reading period) upon successful completion of the Fall semester.

If students don't pass the POPT continued ELP course work required.

Low Intermediate ELP course required - Fall and Spring semesters Princeton Oral Proficiency Test (POPT)
 

Course includes:

• 3 hours of class work
• 45-minute weekly meeting with an ELP instructor
• 1-hour weekly meeting with an undergraduate conversation partner

POPT in May (during reading period) upon successful completion of 2 semesters of ELP courses

If students don't pass the POPT continued ELP course work required.