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Methods of Oral English Proficiency Certification

Students are certified either on the basis of their score on the Oral English Proficiency Test (OEPT) or on their performance in ENGL 62000, "Classroom Communication in ESL for International Teaching Assistants," an English as a second language course in oral communication exclusively for non-native, English-speaking TAs.

Students may also be certified via the Test of Spoken English (TSE), TOEFL iBT, International English Language Testing System, Academic (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE), Academic. See the chart below for the scores that can be accepted for certification.

Purdue Test Score Cut-Offs for Graduate School Admission and ITA Certification

The chart below shows the cut-off scores for admission to Purdue's Graduate School, and the scores accepted for certification, as of June 2010. It is important to note is that the Graduate School's required score for speaking, currently 18 on the TOEFL iBT, is significantly lower than the cut-off score required for certification as a teaching assistant, currently 27.

Cut-Off Scores for Graduate School Admission and Oral English Certification

Test Score Range Grad Admission (Percentile) ITA Certification
TOEFL iBT      
   Writing 0-30 18 (60%)  
   Speaking 0-30 18 (49%) 27 (90%)
   Listening 0-30 14 (29%)  
   Reading 0-30 19 (51%)  
   TOTAL 0-120 77 (62%)  
       
TOEFL CBT     Not accepted for certification
   Structure 0-30    
   Essay 0-6    
   Listening 0-30    
   Reading 0-30    
   TOTAL 0-300 213 (48%)  
       
TOEFL Paper-Based     Not accepted for certification
   Structure 31-68    
   Listening 31-68    
   Reading 31-67    
   TOTAL 310-677 550 (50%)  
       
Pearson Test of Spoken English   58 76 on the speaking section
       
Test of Spoken English (TSE) 10-60 Not Required 50 (76%)
       
Test of Written English (TWE) 106 Not Required Not accepted for certification
       
IELTS      
   Writing 1-9    
   Speaking 1-9   8 on the speaking section
   Listening 1-9    
   Reading 1-9    
   TOTAL1 1-9 Overall 6.5  
Purdue’s Oral English Proficiency Test 35-60 Not Required 50, 55 or 60

1Candidates receive a Test Report Form setting out their Overall Band Score and their scores on each of the four modules, Listening, Reading, Writingand Speaking. Each of the module scores is equally weighted. The Overall Band Score is calculated by taking the mean of the total of the four individual module scores.

Scores shown are for oral English certification only. Cut-off scores for admission have been established separately by the Graduate School and individual departments.