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TOEFL & SPEAK Exams

Announcements:

Students should contact their GPDs for the registration process. Once we receive the list of students via email from the department GPDs, students then need to contact the English Language Center by the given deadline to sign up for a time slot. Students should be prepared to take these tests remotely/online until further notice. Procedures and dates are subject to change. Please contact the ELC at ELC@odu.edu or 757-683-4424 for more information.

It is possible for students to satisfy English proficiency through an at-home testing alternative. Please see TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and IELTS Indicator to see if those options are right for you.

TOEFL EXAM

The institutional TOEFL (ITP) test is administered in January, April, August, and December. Students who take the institutional TOEFL test may use the score to demonstrate English proficiency for the purpose of admission into an ODU academic program.

Upcoming Test Information

  • Digital/Remote TOEFL ITP
  • Monday, August 22nd, 11am
  • Cost $65
  • Registration deadline: Thursday, August 18th, 5pm
  • Registration is now open - click on this link to register

SPEAK TEST

The SPEAK test is administered in January, April, July, August, and November/December. Students who take the July SPEAK Test cannot take the August SPEAK Test. Students who take the November SPEAK Test cannot take the January SPEAK Test.

Departments are contacted 30 days prior to the SPEAK test via email with instructions on how to register/nominate prospective international graduate teaching assistans (IGTAs) for the SPEAK test.

Because of space/personnel constraints, only graduate students who are being considered for a teaching assistantship during the current semester can be tested.

Upcoming Tests:

SPEAK Tests are administered in January, April, July, August, and November.

Testing Mode: SPEAK Tests are administered remotely via Zoom. Students need a reliable internet connection and an electronic device like a laptop/PC, tablet, or phone capable of making video calls through Zoom. All sessions will be recorded.

Test Format: In this modified SPEAK Test, each student will participate in one interview led by two SPEAK raters. The interview will consist of a series of questions with opportunities for both the student and raters to ask follow up questions. It will last approximately 10 minutes. At the start of the interview, we will verify the student's identity, his/her field of study, and ask a few basic warm up questions.

With remote assessment, there is a possibility for a number of challenges - poor connections, poor call quality, missed sessions, equipment malfunctions, etc. We are asking all involved to be as flexible and patient as possible.

SPEAK Test Registration Procedure:

  1. GPDs or Program Managers must send an email to ELC@odu.edu with a list of names, UINs, and ODU email addresses, of students they want to take the SPEAK. These students must be eligible to be TAs upon completing any necessary processes. On the email, please include the name and information of the person in your department who should receive the SPEAK scores.
  2. Students will need to sign up for a time slot using a link provided via email.

SPEAK Test Fee:

Effective January 2021, the ELC will reinstate the $100 per student fee for administration of the SPEAK test.

  • This fee will be paid via Interdepartmental Transfer (IDT) to the ELC.
  • After all SPEAK tests are complete, the ELC will send an IDT request to the contact person for the department or college contact who sent the list of SPEAK test nominees.
  • The fee will only be charged for students who took the SPEAK test.
  • There is no fee charged for the SPEAK Retake Presentation.

SPEAK Test Results:

The ELC will send students' SPEAK scores to the Graduate School and the department contact listed in the email no later than Wednesday, April 21st at 12pm. It is the department's responsibility to notify students of their SPEAK scores and any subsequent procedures. Please note that for January and August tests, notifying the students is time sensitive as the students who receive a 45 or higher will need time to prepare for the Retake Presentation and/or GTAI.

A passing SPEAK score is a minimum score of 50 out of 60.

A score of 45 out of 60 qualifies the student to participate in the Retake Presentation.

  • Please note that the Retake Presentation is different from the SPEAK Test.
  • Although an ELC representative may participate in scoring the Retake Presentation, the Retake Presentation is administered through the Graduate School.
  • The next Retake Presentation date is TBD.
  • Please contact Missy Barber (mbarber@odu.edu) at the Graduate School for additional information on the Retake Presentation.
  • Once students achieve a 45 on the SPEAK Test, they are always eligible to participate in any future Retake Presentation session until it is successfully passed. This includes participating in multiple Retake Presentation sessions over time regardless of whether students scored below 45 on subsequent SPEAK Tests. Students who have already passed the SPEAK Test with a 50 or passed the Retake Presentation are not eligible to take the SPEAK additional times.

A score of 40 out of 60 indicates that the student did not pass the SPEAK test and may retake the test at a later date. Please note that students who take the July SPEAK cannot take the August SPEAK, and students who take the November SPEAK cannot take the January SPEAK.

SPEAK Test FAQs:

  • What is the SPEAK Test? The SPEAK Test, administered by the ODU English Language Center, is used to assess the speaking ability of prospective graduate teaching assistants (TAs) who speak a native language other than English. These students can satisfy the English speaking proficiency requirement for TAs by passing the SPEAK Test or scoring a 26 or higher on the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT. Once the speaking proficiency requirement is met, these graduate students can teach in the classroom as TAs upon completing the next GTAI. Prospective TAs who speak English as their native language do not need to fulfill this requirement. The SPEAK Test is offered in January, April, July, August, and November.
  • What is the testing mode? Due to limited campus access and social distancing, we will conduct modified SPEAK Tests remotely and live via Zoom. Students need a reliable internet connection and an electronic device like a laptop/PC, tablet, or phone capable of making video calls through Zoom. All sessions will be recorded.
  • What is the format/content for the test? In this modified SPEAK Test, each student will participate in one live interview led by two SPEAK raters. At the start of the test, we will verify the student's identity and ask a few basic warm up questions before we move into the scored portion of the test. For the scored questions, students will be asked to respond to general questions about common academic/classroom situations and scenarios, general questions about their field of study, and some everyday situations. It will last approximately 15 minutes per student.