Placement & Proficiency
Placement and Proficiency Testing
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For questions or information, 
please contact:

Placement & Proficiency
(217) 244-4437


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

International Students

International students follow the same policies and procedures as any other new freshman or transfer student. The only difference concerns your English language ability. See below for information about the English Placement Test.


Placement testing for 2018-2019 has ended.

Placement testing for 2019-2020 will open in April.


ESL Placement Testing for Non-Native Speakers of English

If English is your second language (ESL) or a foreign language (EFL), you had to meet certain MINIMUM requirements to demonstrate your "competence in English" in order to be admitted to Illinois. For those international students who would benefit from additional study, there is the English Placement Test (the EPT).

Some ESL courses focus on academic writing, other ESL courses focus on pronunciation, while still others address both oral and written communication. The results of the EPT will indicate which ESL course(s) you should enroll in, if any. Your score report will recommend a particular course for you.

  • If your “Notice of Admission” does not state that you must take the EPT, you may choose to take it if you wish to enroll in ESL courses, or you may choose not to take it.
  • If your “Notice of Admission” states that you must take the EPT, then you are required to take the test. The ACT or SAT scores that you submitted will not be used to place you into an English composition course. The only exception is if you already fulfilled the University's 'Composition I' General Education requirement with transferred coursework from another post-secondary institution or with test-based credit for RHET 105 (which is our introductory course on academic research and writing) from the ACT, SAT, AP, or IB exams.

For some non-native speakers of English, it is possible that your Notice of Admission states that you are required to take the EPT and yet you know that your ACT or SAT score is high enough to earn you credit for RHET 105. In this situation, make sure that Illinois has received and processed that ACT or SAT score. You may ignore the requirement to take the EPT only if the General Education 'Composition I' requirement is marked as "completed" on your official academic record.

Please discuss your course enrollment options carefully with your academic advisor. If you earned RHET 105 credit based on an ACT, SAT, AP or IB exam, and yet your TOEFL or IELTS scores indicate that you would benefit from additional instruction in the academic communication that will be expected of you in your classes, whether it be written communication or oral communication, you might want to take an ESL class even though it is not required. It can help you prepare for success in future classes.

Learn more about the EPT.

The General Education Language Requirement

for Non-Native Speakers of English

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign requires that all undergraduate students study a "language other than English" (LOTE) through either the third or the fourth level, depending on the program and College. This is a General Education requirement. For non-native speakers of English, it means the following:

  • All programs in the Gies College of Business, most programs in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and some programs in the College of Fine & Applied Arts require that you successfully complete four years of studying your native language at the upper secondary level (senior high school). Otherwise, you will need to demonstrate fourth-level proficiency once you come to campus.
  • For other Colleges and programs, you are required to successfully complete three years of studying your native language at the upper secondary level (senior high school). Otherwise, you will need to demonstrate third-level proficiency once you come to campus.
  • If you are entering the Division of General Studies, you should follow the requirements of the College that you intend to transfer to.

If you begin your studies at Illinois without having fulfilled the General Education language requirement, either you must take a LOTE placement exam and enroll in the appropriate course(s), or you must take a LOTE proficiency exam to demonstrate your command of the language.

The language proficiency exam that you take must assess at least reading and writing abilities. If you pass a proficiency exam at the appropriate level in your native language, you will fulfill your General Education LOTE requirement, but you will not necessarily earn academic credit. You should consult with your academic advisor if you have questions about earning credit towards graduation or about fulfilling any of the Gen Ed requirements.

Placement exams for Japanese and Korean are offered on campus (not online) at the beginning of each fall and spring semester and are open to both new students and continuing students. Students who place beyond the fourth level fulfill the Gen Ed LOTE requirement. Credit, however, is not awarded.

Scores from the online Chinese Placement Test serve only to place students into the appropriate Chinese course. They cannot be used to fulfill the Gen Ed language requirement. Only passing results from the online Chinese Proficiency Exam will fulfill the language requirement. Academic credit is not awarded.

Registration for the East Asian language tests is always required.