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English Language Proficiency Testing Changes

Modified: August 21, 2015

The Graduate School is announcing changes to the English language proficiency testing procedures that will allow more flexibility for international students seeking to fulfill The Graduate School’s English proficiency requirement.

Students can satisfy the English proficiency requirement by passing the Versant test (scoring 65 or higher out of a possible 80) or SPEAK test (scoring 50 or higher out of a possible 60). There are now three additional ways students may fulfill this requirement, effective immediately:

TOEFL Speaking Section sub-score. A score of 26 or higher (out of a possible 30) on the Speaking Section of the TOEFL internet-based test will now fulfill TGS’s English proficiency requirement. Students who submit a score in this range will not be required to take the Versant test upon arrival at Northwestern, and can consider their proficiency requirement to be met.

Two Versant test scores of 63 or 64. Students who score within the two-point margin of error for passing the Versant test on two separate occasions will fulfill the English proficiency requirement. The tests need not be consecutive.

Teaching demonstration in LING 480. During summer quarter 2016, English Language Programs will re-introduce Linguistics 480, The Language of Teaching and Teachers. This course will be co-taught with the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, and will include a teaching demonstration as a capstone project at the course’s conclusion. This demonstration will allow students to demonstrate their English proficiency in a live, face-to-face context, as they directly address the skills they will need to be effective teachers and TA’s. Students who demonstrate the required level of English proficiency during their teaching demonstration will fulfill the English proficiency requirement. More information about the course and teaching demonstration (including pre-requisites for enrollment) will become available later in the 2015-16 academic year.

Announcements, Director of Graduate Study