University of Virginia English Language Proficiency Exam (UVELPE)

UVELPE LogoWhat is the UVELPE Test?

CAELC administers the University of Virginia English Language Proficiency Exam (UVELPE) two or three times a year, prior to the start of a semester. The exam is used to determine the adequacy of English language skills for various academic purposes. Any recommendations for further language study are based on the results of the exam. 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 weeks. To read more about this language requirement, please refer to the graduate handbook here.

Please note: As of August 2020, the oral portion of this UVELPE Test now meets the graduate record testing requirement for prospective graduate teaching assistants whose first language is one other than English. CAELC will offer the UVELPE Oral Test as a stand-alone option for all students not required to take the UVELPE (potential teaching assistants who had TOEFL waived OR students who have already taken the UVELPE prior to August 2020).

Do I need this test?

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) unless they have been exempted from TOEFL or IELTS. 

You need to take the UVELPE Test if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You were required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores for your admission into UVA; AND
  2. You have not taken the UVELPE Test before (students can only take the exam once).

If you were not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores for your admission into UVA, you are not required by the graduate record to take this exam.

In some cases, graduate departments have required exempted students to take the UVELPE. This can happen if the department wishes for the student to receive the resources and support that we offer. CAELC recommends that any student who was exempted from the TOEFL or IELTS for admission contact their department to see if they are required to take the UVELPE. CAELC is unable to verify this information on behalf of the student.

Faculty, research associates, and research fellows for whom English is not their first language may also take the exam in order to take ESL courses with CAELC.

Orange Chevron Point RightNote: If you are a prospective international TA and are not required to take the UVELPE (you were not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores in your admission into UVA), we recommend speaking with your Director of Graduate Studies about the UVELPE Oral Test. This standalone option is offered for prospective international TAs who are exempt from the UVELPE requirement.

When is the next test offered?

The UVELPE (University of Virginia English Language Proficiency Exam) will be held on:

May 21, 2024 from 7:00PM-10:00PM, May 22, 2024 from 12:00PM-3:00PM, and May 23, 2024 from 7:00AM-10:00AM 

Please note that all times are in Eastern Standard Time. 

The test will be held online, asynchronously. More information about the testing timeline will be sent to students after they are registered. It is recommended that all students prioritize these dates to ensure timely recommendations and ESL class placements (if any) in anticipation of their fall semester. Students with unavoidable scheduling conflicts with the above dates are encouraged to use the registration form below so that we can address the conflict.

How do I prepare for this test?

Please refer to our test prep guide found at this link.

How do I register?

The registration for the May 2024 exam is open. Please register here.  

If you are an incoming (new) international graduate student, you should receive an email from CAELC about the test with information on how to register. However, if you have not yet received an email from us, please contact us at