Requirements for Retaking The OEAI

Students may take the OEAI a maximum of 3 times and only one time per semester.

Students who receive a score of 1-2 must complete one English improvement activity in order to be eligible to retake the OEAI.

English improvement activities (only one is required, though both may be selected):

1. Take an approved ESL course:

Enroll in one of the three ITA-focused ESL courses (ESL 504, 506, or 510).
Students who choose an ESL course as an improvement activity may retake the OEAI that same semester. Students who plan to do this will be assigned an OEAI date that is late in the semester, so they can complete most of the ESL coursework prior to their interview. Students must satisfactorily complete the ESL course in order for their OEAI score to be considered official.


2. Work with a tutor:

Complete at least 8 weeks of tutoring with an approved OEAI tutor. Please note that tutors are not employed by the university. They offer their services on a freelance basis and charge for their services.

If the student selects tutoring for the improvement activity, the following requirements apply:

  • Students must meet with the tutor at least once a week for a minimum of 8 weeks.
    • Students who received a 2( formerly a 4) on the OEAI must complete a minimum of 10 hours of tutoring.
    • Students with an OEAI score of 1 (formerly 3) must complete a minimum of 20 hours of tutoring before retaking the OEAI.
  • The tutoring must be completed after the most recent OEAI.
    • Note: Plan ahead! You should start your 8 weeks of tutoring by (or ideally before) the beginning of the semester during which you plan to retake the OEAI. Start searching for a tutor at least 4-6 weeks before you plan to start tutoring.
  • A letter from the tutor with a completed tutor form must be submitted to the OEAI Coordinator, oeai-illinois@illinois.edu, at least one week prior to any subsequent OEAI. Please name the file in the following format: (student's)firstname_lastname_OEAI_TutoringForm.


The English improvement activity must be completed during a semester after the most recent OEAI.


Individual language assessment meeting

Students who receive a 1 (formerly 3) on their second OEAI attempt are strongly encouraged to arrange for an individual language assessment meeting with the ESL_ITA Coordinator in the Linguistics Department, Dr. Suzanne Franks. This one-hour consultation is free of charge. At this meeting, the student will be given a diagnostic exam. Based on that exam, a study plan will be developed to guide the student’s oral English improvement.