Step 3: Complete an OPI in English

Once an application is submitted and considered complete, applicants can proceed to scheduling an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in English. Applicants cannot schedule an OPI until they have completed all components of the EHLS application, and it has been reviewed for completion. The link and step-by-step instructions on scheduling an OPI in English will be emailed to applicants upon a successful review of their application. OPIs will be administered through July 24, 2020.

Description of an OPI

OPIs are administered by Language Testing International (LTI). The OPI is a live 30-45 minute telephone conversation between a certified tester and the test-taker. Through a series of personalized questions regarding the test-taker’s academic, professional, and personal experience, a sample of speech is elicited and rated in accordance with the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale. Candidates can choose from two methods of OPI administration:

  • In-Person Proctoring at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, D.C. We recommend this method only for those located in the DC area. We ask that you arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled OPI time to go over instructions.
  • Remote Proctoring via webcam. In this case, the test-taker is responsible for providing the necessary technology, including a computer (laptop recommended), webcam, telephone, and internet access. Please review the technical requirements and download the necessary software well in advance of your scheduled OPI. You are required to log in 20 minutes before your scheduled OPI time so that the proctor can troubleshoot any technical difficulties and briefly take control of your computer to view any open windows or files, as well as ask to view the surroundings.

Take Note

At the time of your OPI, you will be asked to provide proof of identification via a government issued photo ID.

A missed OPI will not be rescheduled, and you cannot reschedule an OPI within 24 hours of the scheduled test time.  Applicants that do not complete an English OPI or do not meet the minimum standard of a Limited Working Proficiency (ILR 2) on the English OPI will be disqualified from consideration and notified of the decision.


If you have questions about the OPI process, please contact CAL at or 202-355-1523.

Go to Step 4.