University of Virginia English Language Proficiency Exam (UVELPE)

UVELPE LogoWhat is the UVELPE Test?

CAELC administers the University of Virginia English Language Proficiency Exam at the beginning of each 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 and fifteen minutes. 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.

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 also 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.

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 December 9, 2020  from 7:00am ET - 10:00am ET and 7:00pm ET - 10:00pm ET. The test will be held online, asynchronously. More information about the testing timeline will be sent to students after they are registered.


How do I prepare for this test?

You do not need to study for this test. Additional instructions on how to access the test will be provided to all students that register. In the meantime, we advise that you:

  • Have a photo ID ready to show prior to your oral assessment;
  • Locate and set up a reliable webcam and microphone;
  • Install Google Chrome on your computer;
  • Use the most reliable and secure internet connection available to you; and
  • Ensure that you can log successfully into Netbadge and Duo Login.

How do I register?

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 register for the test by using this link.