Level Placement

Level and Proficiency Scale

Placement Test

New students take the ACCUPLACER test during orientation week. Students are placed into levels according to the results of this test. The test has three parts: 

  • Writing on a prompt (30 minutes) 
  • ESL listening skills (20 questions, untimed) 
  • Non-timed ESL Sentence Meaning (20 questions, untimed) 

During the first two days of class, instructors also check students' proficiency to ensure that new students are placed appropriately. Some students may move up or down with an instructors recommendation.

Level Descriptions

EPrep – True Beginner
This describes what a student will be able to do at the end of this level. 

In listening and speaking, students have the skills needed in daily life. Students can read and write simple sentences. They understand some sound and spelling connections and can write letters clearly.  Students can use basic grammar for questions and statements. Students know some of the most common English words. They can follow good in and out of class study practices.  

Level 1 – Low Beginner
This describes what a student will be able to do at the end of this level. 

Students have more developed everyday listening and speaking skills. They can have longer conversations about simple everyday topics. Students can give a short memorized presentation. They can read a variety of short texts and use a few reading strategies to help them understand. Students can use several sentence types in answering simple guided writing tasks. Students can identify basic parts of speech and sentence types. They know frequently used English words. 

Level 2 – High Beginner
This describes what a student will be able to do at the end of this level. 

Students can understand and explain short academic passages adapted for their level. Students can use basic discussion skills such as agreeing and disagreeing to speak about class topics. They can give short presentations about class topics.  Students can read and identify main ideas and important details in level-appropriate texts. They can write a basic descriptive or opinion paragraph and can revise it for content and simple errors. Students can identify parts of speech and understand how words are used in context. Students’ vocabulary includes everyday words and some academic words. 

Level 3 – Low Intermediate
This describes what a student will be able to do at the end of this level. 

Students can understand and discuss academic lectures that have been modified.  They can support their opinions, agree, disagree and use follow up questions in longer group discussions. Students can give an informative presentation that includes research. Students can read longer and more complex academic texts and think critically about the content. They can write compare, contrast and opinion paragraphs, using a variety of sentence types. Students have greater written fluency and the ability to revise their writing for content and grammar with greater accuracy. Students' vocabulary includes more academic vocabulary and they can use some of the vocabulary in their speaking. 

Level 4 – Intermediate
This describes what a student will be able to do at the end of this level. 

Students can listen to longer academic lectures which have been modified and summarize and respond to the content. Students can contribute to small group discussion by creating discussion questions, sharing and supporting opinions, and asking follow-up questions. They can give a short, analytical research-based presentation. Students can use a variety of strategies to read and understand the main ideas and important details in longer articles or essays. They can write a short summary of a reading and also use information from readings to support their ideas in short source-based paragraph, utilizing target grammar structures and more complex sentences. Students have a larger academic vocabulary that they can understand and use in speaking and writing.    

Level 5 – High Intermediate
This describes what a student will be able to do at the end of this level. 

Students’ academic listening, speaking, discussion, note-taking, vocabulary, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are more developed and sophisticated than in the previous level. Students can give a presentation in which Students explain graphs and charts to support their conclusions. Students can read, understand, summarize and respond to a variety of themes and topics found in academic readings, journalistic articles and/or longer works of fiction. Students can write an academic summary-response, paragraph, utilizing accurate paraphrasing and citation. Students use a variety of sentence structures and grammar in their writing and can edit with greater accuracy. Students have a larger academic vocabulary, which they can understand and use in speaking and writing. 

Level 6 – Low Advanced
This describes what a student will be able to do at the end of this level. 

Students' academic listening, speaking, discussion, note-taking, vocabulary, critical thinking and problem-solving skills help them navigate authentic listening and reading tasks. Students can lead discussions, conduct original research and give extemporaneous presentations. Students can read and understand authentic texts from a variety of academic disciplines and complete more sophisticated tasks. Students can write a clear and accurate academic summary. Under a time limit, they can write a well organized and supported argumentative essay that synthesizes information and appropriately cites sources. Students can utilize more sophisticated grammar and sentence structures. Students' vocabulary is more academic and they can understand and use targeted words in their writing and speaking.