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Testing & Placement

Initial Testing

The ELP offers two to three days of placement assessment during orientation. All new ELP or conditionally admitted students are placed into levels based on a variety of placement indicators.

These indicators may include: an oral interview, written responses, standardized tests and/or additional in-house testing. The test scores indicate which classes students will be placed in.  Each day of testing is different, allowing the students varied opportunities to show their true proficiency of the English language.

Testing Into Tier One

If students test and are placed into Tier One, they will be enrolled in “co-requisite” classes. This means the students that test into Tier One MUST take all three classes that are designed to go together during the same semester. Students are not allowed to take only two classes in Tier One during spring/summer semesters.

Testing Into Tier Two

If students test and are placed into Tier Two, they can be split between levels. For instance, if students’ writing ability in English is better than their reading ability, they may be in an advanced writing class but in a beginning or intermediate reading class.

Testing Into Tier Three

If students test and are placed into Tier Three, they may not need “regular” English Language Program courses. Their test results may, however, place them in “sheltered” courses. These courses are specifically designed to scaffold instruction and provide additional support to those English Language Learners who need it.



Students will be placed into ELP classes based on their SVSU ELP placement test scores. Near the end of orientation, they will be given their ELP placement on their class schedule and also a copy of the book list for that semester.


Alternates to IELTS or TOEFL

The following meet requirements for proof of English language:

  • Successful completion of minimum ELS 110 level
  • An English course from an accredited U.S. institution equivalent to SVSU English 111 with a grade of C or higher
  • Successful completion of 1 full year of academic study in a U.S. High School