TOEP Test Dates for 2021-2022


August 30 - September 2, 2021
(Registration: August 16, 2021)

December 7-10, 2021
(Registration: November 22, 2021)

March 15-18, 2022
(Registration: February 28, 2022)

June 7-10, 2022
(Registration: May 23, 2022)
 

Register to take the TOEP:

TOEP Registration Form

Registration opens at 8:30 am on the day of registration. Seats are limited, so sign up as early as possible.

 

Test of Oral English Proficiency (TOEP)

The Test of Oral English Proficiency (TOEP) is a speaking exam administered by the Program in Global Languages & Communication at UCI. TOEP is a video-recorded exam designed specifically for the purpose of assessing graduate students' communication skills in English in order to determine their eligibility for teaching assistant (TA) appointments.

Click on the following sections to learn more about the TOEP exam.

Who Needs To Take Oral English Proficiency Exams?

In line with the policies set by UCI Graduate Division, all graduate students, except those who have earned an undergraduate degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction according to the World Higher Education Database, are required to demonstrate oral English proficiency before they are appointed to Teaching Assistant or Teaching Associate titles. The aforementioned exception will apply only when the undergraduate degree has been earned within five years prior to admission to a graduate program at UCI.

Oral proficiency in English is demonstrated by meeting one of the following requirements:

  • Achieving a minimum score of 26 on the Speaking section of the TOEFL iBT (*scores are valid for two years after the test date)
  • Achieving a minimum score of 8 on the Speaking section of the IELTS (*scores are valid for two years after the test date)
  • Achieving a minimum score of 50 on the SPEAK (scores are valid for the duration of the time a student is enrolled at UCI)
  • Achieving a minimum score of 5 on the TOEP (scores are valid for the duration of the time a student is enrolled at UCI)
The Graduate Division must receive official score reports from the testing centers and validate that minimum scores have been achieved before units may extend offers of Teaching Assistant or Teaching Associate appointments.

*For those graduate students required to demonstrate English proficiency at the time of admission and who have an official TOEFL iBT or IELTS score report on file, a passing score in the Speaking section will remain valid for Teaching Assistant or Teaching Associate appointments for the duration of the time a student is enrolled at UCI.

Exception to the Policy

A student earned an undergraduate degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction according to the World Higher Education Database within five years prior to admission to a graduate program at UCI.

Exemptions
  • Students who have received an undergraduate degree in an institution with English as its sole language of instruction and who are more than five years beyond degree may request an exemption to policy; such exemption requests will be considered by the Program in Global Languages & Communication.
  • Students appointed to Teaching Assistant or Teaching Associate positions for advanced language courses where the entire course is conducted in a language of instruction other than English are exempt from the English language proficiency requirement in this policy.
Procedure for Requesting an Exemption: Oral Screening
The graduate program requesting an exemption for an international graduate student should email TOEP@uci.edu with the following information: (1) the student's information (name, UCI ID number, email address) and (2) confirmation that the student has have received an undergraduate degree in an institution with English as its sole language of instruction and is more than five years beyond degree. The staff in the Program in Global Languages and Communication will then contact the student directly to set up an appointment for an Oral Screening, which will be assessed by instructors or academic coordinators in the Program in Global Languages and Communication. The outcome of the Oral Screening will be sent to the Graduate Division within 5-7 business days of the assessment. The Graduate Division will update the score to the student's profile and notify the student's department.

Eligibility For First-Time TOEP Test-Takers

All UCI graduate students are eligible to take the TOEP for the first time.

For information about a student’s eligibility to retake the TOEP exam, click the “Retaking TOEP” section below.

Test Format

Remote Exams (All TOEP exams will be conducted remotely until on-campus activities resume)

Task 1: Introduction (untimed)
Student briefly introduces himself/herself.
 
Task 2: TA Situation (about 3 minutes)
Student explains how she/he will respond to two hypothetical TA situations.

Task 3: Mini-lecture (5 minutes)
Student gives a 5-minute lecture on a topic from his or her major. The topic must be chosen by the student at the time of registration, and it must be a topic that is taught in an introductory-level undergraduate course in the student's discipline. If the topic is not appropriate for the TOEP, the student may be asked to change the topic.

Task 4: Question and answer session based on mini-lecture (3 minutes)
Student answers several questions related to the lecture.

In-Person Exams

Task 1: Introduction, read-aloud, and dictation (untimed)
Student briefly introduces himself/herself, reads aloud a paragraph (provided on the test day), and completes a dictation exercise (provided on the test day).
  
Task 2: Syllabus or course assignment explanation (about 5 minutes) 
Student explains a syllabus or course assignment sheet (provided on the test day) pretending to address a class of undergraduate students. Then, the student answers questions related to the syllabus or course assignment.

Task 3: Mini-lecture (5 minutes)
Student gives a 5-minute lecture on a topic from his or her major. The topic must be chosen by the student at the time of registration, and it must be a topic that is taught in an introductory-level undergraduate course in the student's discipline. If the topic is not appropriate for the TOEP, the student may be asked to change the topic.

Task 4: Question and answer session based on mini-lecture (3 minutes)
Student answers several questions related to the lecture.

Test Day Procedures

Remote Exams

The student opens the Zoom link they are sent by the TOEP Coordinators. He/she enters a Zoom waiting room and is then admitted into the Zoom meeting room. The test administrators ask the student to show a picture ID and say aloud his/her UCI ID number. The student is interviewed for approximately 15-20 minutes.

In-Person Exams

The student arrives at a designated check-in room. The student shows the test administrator his or her picture ID. The student is asked to leave any personal belongings and materials with the administrator before proceeding. The student receives instructions and test materials and prepares to be interviewed (about 20 minutes of preparation time). The student is escorted to a separate room to be interviewed for approximately 18-20 minutes.

Test Preparation

As the TOEP test is designed to assess students’ current oral English proficiency and communication skills, there is no official “practice test” for the exam. Students are encouraged to speak English regularly and as much as possible in their daily lives in order to hone their oral communication skills and prepare for Teaching Assistant appointments.

Ways to Practice and Improve Oral English Proficiency:

  • Enrolling in an ESL oral communications course offered by the Program in Global Languages & Communication (Academic English 23A, 23B, 23C, or 24) is an excellent way for graduate students to review pronunciation rules, practice speaking skills, and receive individualized feedback through one-on-one tutoring. The Program in Global Languages & Communication's "Graduate Courses and Information" page has more information about these courses.
  • The computers in the Humanities Studio has a program called American SpeechSounds for Academics which provides pronunciation exercises in academic vocabulary.
  • The Program in Global Languages & Communication's "Student Resources" page has more information about resources on writing, grammar, pronunciation, and listening.

Test Scores

The TOEP exam is rated on a scale from 1 to 6. Two raters view and grade each exam. If the two raters disagree on the score, a third rater may be asked to view and grade the exam.

The final score for each student is submitted to the Graduate Division within one week of the TOEP test. The Graduate Division enters the scores on the students’ StudentAccess files and sends the scores to the students’ departments.

Students with scores of 5 and 6 on TOEP receive a PASS and are eligible to work as Teaching Assistants. 

Students with scores of 1, 2, 3, or 4 on TOEP receive a NO PASS and will not be able to work as Teaching Assistants until they receive a passing score on one of the oral English proficiency exams: TOEP, SPEAK, TOEFL iBT, or IELTS.

Meaning of Scores

  • 6: Delivery enhances effective communication.
  • 5: Delivery ensures effective communication.
  • 4: Delivery could potentially interfere with communication, even with a reasonably tolerant listener.
  • 3: Delivery will likely interfere with communication, even with a reasonably tolerant listener.
  • 1 - 2: Delivery will definitely interfere with communication, even with a reasonably tolerant listener.
NOTE: All TOEP test scores are final and cannot be changed.

Retaking TOEP

Students who receive a score of 4 on TOEP are eligible to retake it the next time the TOEP test is offered.

Students who receive a score of 1, 2, or 3 on the TOEP must first pass an ESL oral communications course (Academic English 23A, 23B, 23C, or 24) BEFORE they are eligible to retake the TOEP.

NOTE: We strongly recommend that all graduate students who wish to improve their oral English skills enroll in an ESL oral communications class (Academic English 23A, 23B, 23C, or 24) before retaking any English language proficiency exam.

NOTE: Students can only take TOEP 5 times. After the 4th test, students must contact the TOEP Coordinator to discuss when the last and final test should be taken.

Test Dates And Registration

The TOEP exam takes place four times per year in the following months:

  • September (at least two weeks before the beginning of Fall quarter)
  • December (at the end of Fall quarter)
  • March (at the end of the Winter quarter)
  • June (at the end of Spring quarter)
Check the sidebar on the left side of this webpage to see the specific dates for the academic year and to register for the exam.

In addition to the prescheduled exams, emergency TOEP exams are offered throughout the year on a rolling basis and are dependent on staff and grader availability. See the next drop-down menu for more information about how to request an emergency TOEP exam. 

Requesting Emergency TOEP Exams

Requesting Emergency TOEP Exams for Matriculated UCI Graduate Students

In the case that UCI students are not able to take the TOEP exam on the testing dates set for the academic year (please see the TOEP Test Dates for the current academic year on the left-hand sidebar of this webpage), students or their hiring departments may request an emergency exam by emailing TOEP@uci.edu with the following information:

  1. Student name
  2. Student's UCI ID number
  3. Student's email address
  4. Reason that the student is unable to take the exam on the testing dates set for the academic year
  5. Date by which the TOEP exam results are needed
  • Requests for an emergency exam are contingent on staff and grader availability, and the Program cannot guarantee that all requests will be accepted.
  • Once a request has been accepted, students will be sent instructions for how to pay the testing fee ($70).
  • Please also note that students can only take the emergency TOEP exam up to two times within each academic quarter.
Requesting Emergency TOEP Exams for Prospective Graduate Students
Hiring departments can request emergency TOEP exams for prospective graduate students (i.e., graduate student applicants) by emailing TOEP@uci.edu with the following information:
  1. Student name
  2. Student's contact information (email)
  3. Departmental contact (email) to whom the TOEP score should be sent
  4. Date by which the TOEP score is needed.
  • Requests for an emergency exam are contingent on staff and grader availability, and the Program cannot guarantee that all requests will be accepted. 
  • Once a request has been accepted, the hiring department will be sent instructions for how to pay the testing fee ($70) through a KFS transfer of funds.
  • The Program will only be communicating the prospective student's TOEP score with the departmental contact specified in the email request to TOEP@uci.edu. Therefore, the hiring department is responsible for keeping record of the TOEP score, communicating the score with the Graduate Division directly, and confirming beforehand with the Graduate Division that the prospective student's TOEP score would be accepted at the time of admission.

Terms of Agreement

Confidentiality Agreement
All registered students must promise to keep the contents of the TOEP test confidential and to abide by the UCI policies on academic integrity and student conduct. Students who break this agreement by sharing the contents of the TOEP test with others or using another student's information from a previous TOEP test will be reported to the Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct.

Agreement to be Video-Recorded
All TOEP exams are video-recorded. Video-recordings of tests are the property of the Program in Global Languages & Communication at UCI and may be used for the norming and training of TOEP graders and/or educational and research purposes. All registered students will be asked to indicate that they understand that their tests will be video-recorded and may be used by the Program in Global Languages & Communication for academic purposes.

Contacts

Main Contacts:
For questions, please contact TOEP@uci.edu
For urgent questions in need of a reply within 24 hours, please contact:

Other Contacts:
Jerry Won Lee, Director of the Program in Global Languages & Communication, AEDirector@uci.edu

Test Fees

  • The TOEP exam fee is covered by the University for all graduate students taking the TOEP for the first time.
  • For students retaking the exam (students can take the TOEP exam up to a total of 5 times), a testing fee of $70 must be paid to the Program in Global Languages & Communication. Students will be sent instructions for how to pay the testing fee shortly after they successfully register for the exam using the TOEP Registration Form and their eligibility and status have been confirmed.
  • For students requesting an emergency exam (an exam outside the testing dates set for the academic year; please see the TOEP Test Dates for the current academic year on the left-hand sidebar of this webpage), regardless of whether or not they are taking the exam for the first time, a testing fee of $70 must be paid to the Program in Global Languages & Communication after the request has been accepted and before the exam can take place. Please note that requests for an emergency exam are contingent on staff and grader availability, and that the Program cannot guarantee that all requests will be accepted. Once a request has been accepted, students will be sent instructions for how to pay the testing fee.