International students follow the same policies and procedures as any
other new freshman or transfer student. The only difference concerns
your English language ability.
ESL Placement Testing for Non-Native Speakers of English
If English is not your native language, 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 of English as a Second Language (ESL), there is the English Placement Test.
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 English Placement Test ("the EPT") will indicate which ESL courses you should enroll in, if any. Your score report will recommend a particular course for you.
All undergraduate students must fulfill the 'Composition I' General Education requirement. The ESL composition courses do NOT teach you the English language as if you were still learning grammar, vocabulary, etc. Rather, they teach you the academic research and writing skills that will be essential for success in your university classes. Completing ESL 111-112 or ESL 115 fulfills your Gen Ed 'Composition I' requirement.
- If you received an email stating 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 academic writing course. The only exception is if you already fulfilled the General Education 'Composition I' 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) based on sufficiently high ACT, SAT, AP, or IB scores.
- If you did not receive an email stating 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.
For some non-native speakers of English, it is possible that you received the email stating 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 official ACT or SAT score. You may ignore the requirement to take the Written EPT only if the 'Composition I' requirement is marked as "completed" on your official academic record. Contact PNP if you have any questions.
EPT test dates
The English Placement Test ("the EPT") will be offered in mid-semester. Please check back.
Be sure to discuss your course enrollment decisions with your academic advisor. If you earned RHET 105 credit based on an ACT, SAT, AP or IB test score, 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.