English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE)
English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) is offered by Texas A&M to all international students for English Proficiency Verification and English Proficiency Certification:
The Measurement & Research Services (MARS) administers the ELPE. For ELPE exam schedule and registration, please visit ELPE Registration (MARS) page.
What is English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE)?
Texas A&M University requires students from other countries to demonstrate the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language.
The ELPE is given at Texas A&M. New students take it upon their arrival approximately one and a half weeks before classes start. This provides time for the test to be scored before students have to register for classes. The ELPE contains 6 segments:
A passing score for graduate students is 80% on each of the six proficiency areas. For undergraduate students, a score of 70% is the passing score for each area.
Please refer to following handouts for test procedures:
Who Must Take the ELPE?
There are two levels of English Proficiency Status for graduate students:
"Verified" is the minimum English language proficiency required to graduate, to complete the preliminary examination (if doctoral student), or to hold the final examination or thesis defense. Students who are verified may not teach.
Please note that individual colleges may choose to establish minimum English Proficiency Verification requirements that exceed those of the University.
Certification is required, by the State of Texas, and Texas A&M University, before a graduate student is eligible to serve as a graduate assistant-teaching, or any other position considered to be a teaching position (e.g., instructor, lab instructor, lecturer, etc.).
What Happens if I don't Pass the ELPE?
Undergraduate International Students
Undergraduate international students need to enroll in the English Language Institute (ELI) classes for those areas not passed. Following the test, your test scores and ratings on the essay and interview will be submitted to the International Student Placement Committee (ISPC). This committee, which includes representatives from the colleges, reviews the results and determines which courses you will be required to take at the ELI. In general, undergraduates are required to take ELI courses in all areas they do not pass. At the end of the ELI class, a score of 70% is the passing score in each area. Students can also demonstrate proficiency through superior performance in ELI courses.
Your test scores and ratings on the essay and interview are forwarded to your graduate department. The Departmental Graduate Advisor makes placement decisions on the basis of the scores, departmental policy, and consultation with the ELI. Graduate advisors may also interview the students themselves. The Departmental Graduate Advisors are responsible for making all placements of graduate students in ELI courses.
If you score below 550 on the TOEFL you may be allowed to postpone some or all of your English Proficiency requirements for one semester and re-take the ELPE at that time. You must begin to take ELI courses (in at least one of the areas not yet passed) no later than your second semester enrolled at TAMU. Students may take a combination of TAMU and ELI courses up to a total of 15 hours in fall or spring semesters and up to a total of 12 hours for a ten week summer session. At the end of any ELI classes, the passing score for graduate students on another ELPE test is 80% for each of the proficiency requirements. Graduate students may also demonstrate proficiency through superior performance in ELI courses.
International students who fail to score at least 80% on ONE of the six sections but score 80% on the other sections may appeal their results. Please contact your Departmental Graduate Advisor for further information.
How to Prepare for the ELPE
There are some reference materials in the Sterling C. Evans Library at Texas A&M. Some books are held on reserve at the Reserve Desk, and audio tapes may be checked out in the Learning Resource Department. Except for the oral interview and composition segments of the ELPE, students may prepare ahead of time by studying for the Michigan Test Battery, since this standardized test makes up a large part of the ELPE.
Students are encouraged to attend the ELPE Practice Session offered by ISS to get general assistance with preparing for the ELPE.
Below are some useful links about ELPE exam:
last updated: 8/2011
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