NOTE: As of February 2024, the scale for OEAI scores has been updated to enhance interpretation. The previous range (1-2-3-4-4CP-5-6) has been simplified to (1-2-3-4-5). On the new scale, a score of 3 corresponds to the previous 4CP (conditional pass). This adjustment will be implemented in the score reports starting February 2024. For a comparison of the two scales, see the table below under "Score Interpretation".


Examinee OEAI Score Access:

Within two weeks after an OEAI exam, examinees will receive an email with their scores and information on how to interpret the scores. If you do not receive the email within two weeks after your OEAI exam date, contact If you took the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) before 2023 and need your score report, please contact your department.

Academic Unit OEAI Score Access:

Academic units will also receive their students' OEAI scores within two weeks after the exam date. Starting in June 2023, the scores will also be accessible through the OEAI registration form by whomever completed the initial registration for a student. Academic units needing assistance locating a specific score should contact

Score Interpretation

The OEAI assesses oral English proficiency using a global rating scale that addresses overall communicative ability for teaching.

Score Interpretation


Old scale (prior to Feb 2024)





Communication is consistently effective. Very little listener effort is needed to follow the speech. Language proficiency is adequate for classroom teaching without any additional support. 

Passed; student is permitted to be a TA with no restrictions



Communication is highly effective. Student is ready for classroom teaching, although a small amount of listener effort is needed to follow the speech. 



Communication is generally effective, with weaknesses interfering with listener comprehension. Student is ready for classroom teaching while concurrently taking ESL508 to receive additional support. 

Conditional Pass; student is required to successfully complete ESL 508 during or before the first semester of teaching



Communication is somewhat effective. Obvious weaknesses in language proficiency cause noticeable and rather consistent listener effort. Student is not ready for classroom teaching. 

Did not pass. Student is not permitted to be a TA. Student must engage in an oral English improvement activity and retake the OEAI, or obtain a qualifying speaking score on the TOEFL or IELTS.

Oral English improvement activities include taking an ESL course (i.e., ESL504, ESL506, or ESL510), or working with a tutor. For guidance on which course suits you the best, please contact the ESL ITA Coordinator, Dr. Suzanne Franks



Communication is marginally effective but requires substantial listener effort.




*Students who receive a 3, 4, and 5 on the OEAI must attend the Graduate Academy for College Teaching prior to teaching their first semester. All scores are final and not subject to appeal.

Evaluation Criteria

To arrive at a global score, the OEAI evaluates examinees' speaking ability in terms of the following five features:

  • Fluency: Delivery is smooth. Frequency of hesitations and re-starts that interrupt the flow of conversation is minimal. Speaker can speak beyond the phrase and sentence level without needing to collect thoughts.
  • Pronunciation: Speech is intelligible. Speaker displays a full and consistent sound system, utilizes intonation and prosody for communicative effect, and gives stress and prominence to appropriate syllables and words. 
  • Language Control: Speaker is able to use a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures appropriately in teaching contexts.
  • Coherence and Pragmatics: Speaker is able to develop ideas with elaboration and sufficient supporting details. Speech is well-structured and consistently coherent. Speaker displays strong command of communication strategies and can balance turn-taking.
  • Comprehension: Speaker is able to understand interviewer's questions and negotiate for meaning when communication breaks down.