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For questions or information, please contact:

EPI Coordinator
(217) 265-6136


Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Interpreting EPI Scores

Please note: EPI scores are provided to the academic unit that registered the examinee. If you have not received your score within two weeks after your interview date, contact your department.

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

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

  • Fluency: smoothness in delivery and frequency of hesitations and re-starts
  • Linguistic Accuracy: pronunciation and grammatical accuracy (minor errors may occur); vocabulary range appropriate for teaching
  • Discourse Management: the ability to develop and organize ideas and to speak at length
  • Question Handling and Listening: the ability to give appropriate answers and negotiation skills for communication
  • Listener Effort: the ease or difficulty in processing the examinee's speech

EPI Score Interpretation Guidelines for Examinees can be accessed here.

Possible global scores are 2, 3, 4, 4CP, 5, and 6. Scores of 5 or 6 are passing scores and the applicant is then cleared to teach. A score of 4CP is a “conditional pass” which allows the student to be a TA provided he or she successfully completes ESL 508 during or before the first semester of teaching.  Students who receive a 4CP, 5, or 6 on the EPI must attend the Graduate Academy for College Teaching prior to teaching their first semester.

Score descriptors




Level 6

Communication is always effective; speaker has sophisticated language skills appropriate for a teaching context.

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

Level 5

Communication is generally effective; speaker has satisfactory language skills at ranges appropriate for a teaching context.

Level 4CP

Communication is generally effective; however due to isolated weakness, communication is occasionally difficult. Further ESL coursework is required during or before the first semester of teaching in order to refine the speaker's language skills for a teaching context.

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

Level 4

Communication is somewhat effective. Inconsistent performance indicates speaker is not ready to be a classroom instructor.

Non-passing; student is NOT permitted to be a TA and must retake the exam or obtain a qualifying speaking score on the TOEFL or IELTS.

Level 3

Communication is marginally effective; speaker has limited language skills for a teaching context.

Level 2

Communication is generally not effective; speaker has unsatisfactory language for a teaching context.

The following video explains how to interpret an Official EPI Score Report