All incoming (new) graduate students whose first language is one other than English are required to take the University of Virginia English Language Proficiency Exam (UVELPE). CAELC administers the University of Virginia English Language Proficiency Exam at the beginning of each semester. The exam is used to determine the general adequacy of English language skills for various academic purposes. Any recommendations for further language study are based on the results of the exam. Incoming graduate students for whom English is not the first language are required to take the exam. Faculty, research associates, and research fellows for whom English is not the first language may also take the exam. In the case of a student, exam results and recommendations are forwarded to the student's director of graduate studies, graduate coordinator and associate dean as well as to the student. The University of Virginia English Language Proficiency Exam consists of three components: a grammar and vocabulary test, an essay, and an oral assessment. The exam usually requires about two hours. Results and recommendations are available within a few days to a week. To read more about this language requirement, please refer to the graduate handbook here.
The oral portion of the UVELPE Test now meets the graduate record testing requirement for prospective graduate teaching assistants whose first language is one other than English. A score of at least 55 is required for permission to begin teaching without completion of appropriate oral language training.
To find out current UVELPE testing times and registration information, click here.
UVELPE ORAL TEST (formerly SPEAK Test)
The UVELPE Oral Test is included in the UVELPE but can be taken as a standalone separate test. Prospective international teaching assistants may take the exam in July, August, and December of each year. Candidates for the UVELPE Oral Test are notified by their home academic department. Scores on this test are used to determine if prospective international teaching assistants require English language training before they begin their teaching assignment at UVA. Students may be referred to the Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC) to continue to improve their spoken English before they are released to teach. This test does not require any preparation. The test uses standard spoken English and does not require any specialized vocabulary or advance preparation. The UVELPE Oral Test consists of activities such as giving information, expressing opinions, summarizing dialogues, and explaining graphs or charts.
All prospective graduate teaching assistants whose first language is one other than English are required to take the oral portion of the UVELPE. This can be accomplished by taking the UVELPE Test (above) or the UVELPE Oral Test standalone option listed here. A score of at least 55 is required for permission to begin teaching without completion of appropriate oral language training.
This test is only offered as a standalone option for prospective international teaching assistants who were exempt from taking the UVELPE Test. If you aren't sure if you need this test, please speak with your Director of Graduate Studies.