Placement chart

Placement testing

Before classes begin each semester, new students will take three placement tests to determine their appropriate level of study: 1) English Placement Test (EPT), 2) CaMLA Speaking Test, and 3) CaMLA Writing Test. The combination of scores will determine placement in the ELI.

The Michigan English Placement Test (EPT) is a 60-minute assessment that evaluates a test taker's general language proficiency by measuring performance in listening comprehension, grammatical knowledge, vocabulary range, and reading comprehension. Scores range from 0-80.

The CaMLA Speaking Test is a 10-minutes assessment that evaluates the ability to produce comprehensible speech in response to a range of tasks and topics. Scores range from 5-25.

The CaMLA Writing Test is a 45-minute assessment that evaluates the test taker's general ability to write in English at the sentence, paragraph, and short essay levels by evaluating grammatical accuracy, vocabulary range, mechanics and spelling, cohesion and organization, and task completion and relevance. Scores range from 0-40.

English Language Institute Placement Chart for Intensive Program

Levels Score requirements Course offerings

Level 5


  • EPT: 58-70
  • Speaking: 17-21
  • Writing: 30-36 
  • Oral Integrated
  • Written Integrated
  • Research Skills
  • Media and Culture

Level 4


  • EPT: 50-57
  • Speaking: 14-27
  • Writing: 25-29
  • Oral Integrated
  • Written Integrated
  • Intensive Reading and Vocabulary
  • Extensive Reading

Level 3 


  • EPT: 40-49
  • Speaking: 11-14
  • Writing: 20-24
  • Oral Integrated
  • Written Integrated
  • Intensive Reading and Vocabulary
  • Extensive Reading

Level 2


  • EPT: 31-39
  • Speaking: 8-11
  • Writing: 14-19
  • Oral Integrated
  • Written Integrated
  • Intensive Reading and Vocabulary
  • Communicative Grammar

Level 1


  • EPT: 20-30
  • Speaking: 7-8
  • Writing: 9-13
  • Oral Integrated
  • Written Integrated
  • Reading and Vocabulary

In order to begin the program at a certain level for Oral Integrated classes, new students must have the EPT and Speaking score for the level.

In order to begin the program at a certain level for Written Integrated and afternoon classes, new students must have the EPT and Writing score for the level.

To advance to the next level, students must have a passing grade of C+ (78%) in each class.

To complete the Intensive English program and satisfy the general English proficiency requirement for university admission, students must receive a passing grade of C+ (78%) in all four Level 5 classes. 

Request for change in ELI placement

It is normal to feel concerned about your ELI placement. The first week of classes in the ELI may be very challenging for some students, especially if they are newcomers to the U.S.A. However, other students may think that the first week of classes is slow or repetitive. It is normal to feel concerned or even worried about your ELI placement. Your teachers are here for you, so express any concerns that you may have about the course to them. In addition, please keep in mind that you have been tested and placed in the ELI with valid and reliable testing instruments that are respected in the field of ESL teaching.  Moreover, the pace and complexity of the course content will increase in the second and third weeks of the course. If you still believe that your placement needs to be adjusted, follow the guidelines and procedures below to request a change in your ELI placement.

Guidelines for new students requesting a change in ELI placement

1. If you feel that any of the classes that you have been placed in are either too difficult or not challenging enough, you should first discuss your concerns with your teacher. When you express your concerns directly to your teacher, your teacher can monitor your proficiency and performance and make a recommendation for a change in ELI placement if she/he feels it is justified.

2. After speaking with your teacher, if you still believe that you have been inappropriately placed in a course, submit a Request for Change in ELI Placement FormPlease refer to the "Course Placement for New Students" and "Progression through the Program" sections of the ELI Student Handbook for ELI placement and promotion policies.  Refer to the "Appeal Procedure for Intital Placement" and "Appeal Procedure for Placement of Returning Students" sections for appeal information.

Appeal procedure for initial placement

At the start of the semester, all students are required to attend the classes in which they have been placed. Once a request for a change in placement has been submitted, the ELI Director will review the student's placement data and current performance with the Testing Coordinator and the teachers involved. When a final decision has been reached, the ELI Director will inform the student in writing.

Any changes to a new student's placement are made on the official WSU last day to add or drop classes, which is usually at the end of the 2nd week of ELI classes. Any changes to a returning student's placement are made before classes begin for the next semester.

Appeal procedure for placement of returning students

At the end of each semester, Student Evauation and Placement reports are available for student pickup in the ELI Main Office.  Students may appeal to skip the level on their Placement report if they have a minimum grade of A- (90%) for each course in which they are requesting a double promotion.  A Request for Change in ELI Placement Form must be submitted by the end of the semester as indicated on the ELI Calendar (on the same day that students receive their Student Evaluation and Placement reports).  Eligible students must take the ELI Placement Tests (CaMLA Speaking Test, CaMLA Writing Test, English Placement Test) at the beginning of the following semester.

To be eligible to skip a level in each class, the student must:

  • Have course grades of A- or higher
  • Take the ELI Placement Tests and have the score requirements for the level published on the ELI Placement Chart. 

Once a request for change in placement has been submitted, the Testing Coordinator will contact the student to confirm the testing date.  After the student has completed the ELI Placement Test, the ELI Director will inform the student of the decision in writing.