Interpret your EPT scores

The written and oral sections of the EPT are
evaluated using the rubrics found below.

Written scores

Level

Description

ESL Placement

1

Essay may not provide an argument that supports a single central claim. Evidences poorly support the argument and ideas are not interconnected and/or underdeveloped. Essay may attempt complex lexico-grammar but with frequent, noticeable errors that are often inaccurate and cause comprehension difficulty.

Undergraduate:
ESL 111 & ESL 112
Graduate:
ESL 511 & ESL 512
OR
ESL 521 & ESL 522

2

Essay provides an argument that supports a single central claim but it sometimes relies on list-like organization of evidences and/or evidences are not clearly connected. Essay may attempt complex lexico-grammar but sometimes with noticeable errors causing comprehension difficulty for the reader.

Undergraduate:
ESL 111 & ESL 112
Graduate:
ESL 511 & ESL 512
OR
ESL 521 & ESL 522

3

Essay provides a sufficiently-developed argument composed of (often) interconnected, sufficiently-explained evidences supporting a single central claim. Essay displays complex lexico-grammar with academic discourse but sometimes with noticeable errors.

Undergraduate:
ESL 115
Graduate:
ESL 515
OR
ESL 525

4

Essay provides a well-developed argument composed of logically interconnected ideas that collectively/effectively advance the central claim using relevant evidence from the sources. Essay consistently displays complex lexico-grammar of academic discourse with no or very minor errors.

Undergraduate:
ESL 115 or RHET 105
Graduate:
ESL 592c (optional)

 

Oral Scores

Level

Description

ESL Placement

1

Speech patterns, including frequent word stress errors, lack of focus stress, choppy rhythm, non-target-like intonation patterns, and noticeable segmental errors, have a greater than moderate impact on intelligibility.

Speech is very slow and contains a great deal of pauses and other disfluencies. Speaker answers with short phrases (1-3 words) or gives up on harder questions.

Speaker is hard to understand and/or requires a great deal of effort to understand the speaker’s intended message (even by someone accustomed to the speaker’s variety).

Undergraduate: 
ESL 110 highly recommended

Graduate:
ESL 510 required

2

Speech patterns are target-like 50-70% of the time. May use stress and unstress patterns, but also stress all words at times. Word stress, focus stress, and intonation are hard to distinguish. Missing grammatical endings and segmental errors have some impact on intelligibility.

Speech is slow and characterized by more than a few long pauses. Speaker has trouble conveying ideas accurately due to a small range of vocabulary and responses are short or lack development.

Speech requires a moderate amount of effort. A naïve listener may abandon attempts to communicate.

 

Undergraduate: 
ESL 110 highly recommended

Graduate:
ESL 510 required

 

3

Speech patterns are target-like > 70% of the time. Infrequent word stress, focus stress, and segmental errors have little impact on intelligibility.

Speaks slightly slower or faster than expected with a few too many pauses. Responses are sufficient to answer questions/express ideas fully; however, there are some awkward phrases or vocabulary limitations (overuse of phrases or simple language).

Speech does not require a great deal of listener effort to be comprehended by a naïve listener (someone not accustomed to the speaker’s variety of English).

Undergraduate: 
ESL 110 recommended

Graduate:
ESL 510 recommended

4

Speech patterns, including rhythm, linking, word stress, focus stress, intonation, and segmentals are target-like most of the time.

Speaks at a native- or near-native rate using appropriate pausing. Speech is relatively free of disfluencies (false starts, fillers, long silent pauses). Speaker gives lengthy, coherent responses using an appropriate range of vocabulary.

Speaker is easy to understand > 95% of the time.

No oral ESL required

 

For Undergraduate Students

Online English Placement Test

  • Online EPT Writing Score and Placement

The ESL Writing placement information provides a list of courses that you should take to fulfill your Composition I requirement. Completion of ESL 111 (formerly 114)-ESL 112 (formerly 115) sequence or ESL 115 fulfill the campus Composition I requirement for non-native speakers of English. Please consult your academic advisor for more information on your requirements.

A written placement of 111q indicates that you are required to take the ESL 111 (formerly 114)-ESL 112 (formerly 115) sequence to fulfill the Comp 1 requirement.

A written placement of ESL 115q indicates that you are required to take ESL 115 to fulfill the Comp1 requirement.

  • Online EPT Oral Score and Placement

For those who take the oral EPT, the result of the Oral EPT can have 3 different results:

  • Exempt: exempted from ESL 110 based on EPT.
  • ESL 110c: recommended to take ESL 110.
  • ESL 110hc: highly recommended to take ESL 110 based on the EPT. 

For more information about interpreting the EPT cutoff score for Oral Communication courses (undergraduate students), please visit the following website: https://citl.illinois.edu/citl-101/measurement-evaluation/placement-proficiency/current-cutoffs/2022-cutoff-scores-esl
 

For Graduate Students, Visiting Scholars, Faculty, and Staff

EPT Writing Score and Placement

In order to better accommodate students and to offer additional courses, graduate level courses have been renumbered and new courses have been created. All ESL graduate level courses will have a new number in the system.

1. If you choose an academic track:

  • If you are placed in ESL 511, you will take ESL 511 and 512 in sequence.
  • If you are placed in ESL 515, you will be required to take only ESL 515.

2. If you choose a business track:

  • If you are placed in ESL 521, you will take ESL 521 and 522 in sequence.
  • If you are placed in ESL 525, you will be required to take only ESL 525.

If you are placed into ESL 592c, you may take ESL 592, but are not required to.

 

Oral EPT Score and Placement

Students with TOEFL Speaking subscore of 18 or lower (or IELTS Speaking subscore of 6 or lower) must take the Oral EPT for possibility of exemption.

For those who choose to take the oral EPT, the result of the Oral EPT can have 3 different results:

  • Exempt: exempted from ESL 510 based on EPT.
  • ESL 510c: recommended to take ESL 510.
  • ESL 510q: required to take ESL 510 based on the EPT. 

 

If you have any other questions regarding your EPT score, send an email to the EPT Research Assistant.

For information on ESL courses, go to http://www.linguistics.illinois.edu/students/esl/