International students follow the same policies and procedures as any other new freshman or transfer student. The only difference concerns your English language ability. Read about the English Placement Test, below.
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 course(s) 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
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 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.
It is no longer possible to take the Written EPT online. The last testing window is underway (August 6-8).
- Are you an international undergraduate who needs to take only the Oral EPT? If so, register now for either the August 12 online test or one of the August 16-23 on-campus interviews.
- Do you need to register for the on-campus EPT (Written and Oral)? Spots are still available for August 16, 19, and 20. Testing sessions for August 21, 22, and 23 are full.
Learn more about the EPT.
If you are ready to take your math placement test, go to the Math Department’s ALEKS PPL page.
If you are ready to take a science or language placement test, go to the Learn@Illinois page.