Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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EPT_GuideFor Students


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign English Placement Test (EPT) is used to assess English ability of newly admitted international students as validated against the English language demands of our campus.

The EPT does not assess or in any way affect the qualification of graduate student International Teaching Assistants (ITAs). For information about English language assessment requirements of ITAs, please go to:

EPT Information and Registration

Click here if you are an Undergraduate Student. Click here if you are a Graduate Student, Visiting Scholar, Faculty, or Staff.

It is strongly advised that students take the test before the start of instruction to receive the results in time for class registration.

Frequently Asked Questions Interpreting your EPT scores

Who Takes the EPT?
Many newly admitted University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign international students are required to take the EPT according to their pre-arrival scores on either of two international ESL tests: the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

1. International undergraduate students:

To be exempt from EPT, students must score either

On TOEFL iBT: total 103 or above, and 25 or above on both speaking & writing; or on IELTS: 7.5 or above total, and 7 or above on both speaking & writing.

2. International graduate students whose total TOEFL scores are 102 (TOEFL iBT) or below (*total IELTS score of 7.0 or below) are required to take the EPT.

Further details about TOEFL and IELTS requirements are given at the following websites:

  • For graduate students/applicants, faculty, or staff:
  • For undergraduate students/applicants, undergraduate transfer, and undergraduate non-degree students/applicants:

In addition to the requirements as explained at the above two websites, individual departments and/or advisors may require or encourage students to take the EPT, and students themselves may elect to take the test so that they can enroll in ESL courses at UIUC.

What is on the EPT?
The EPT consists of two parts: a written test and an oral test. The writing test requires students to produce an academic essay based on the information obtained from a reading passage and a short lecture. In the oral test, students are given a topic on which to speak for three minutes. If students speak intelligibly, they will be exempted from further oral testing. Otherwise, students will be required to take another oral exam.

All students are strongly recommended to take the EPT well before classes begin, and if possible, at least two full business days before meeting with their advisor(s) to do final course selection.

Students will be placed into or exempted from the general oral or written ESL service courses based on the results of the test.

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