Step 4: Skills Tests

If your application is provisionally selected to go forward, you will be notified in mid-September. You will then proceed with language and basic computer skills testing. If you are provisionally selected, you will be notified by email; please check your email daily.

Testing typically occurs in early October. If you are provisionally selected for the 2018 program year, you must be present at Georgetown University on Saturday, October 14, 2017 for tests of your listening, reading, and writing abilities in English. There will be no alternative date or location for these tests. You will need to pay for your own travel to Washington, DC.

Your speaking and basic computer skills tests will take place at Georgetown University or another location in Washington, DC during the week before or the week after the Saturday testing. The EHLS Program will schedule these for you and will make every effort to accommodate your needs if you are traveling from out of town to take them.

Description of the Tests

All provisionally selected applicants will take 5 language tests and a basic computer skills test.

  1. English listening: This test is multiple-choice and takes 65 minutes.
  2. English reading: This test is multiple-choice and takes 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  3. English writing: This is an essay test; it takes one hour.
  4. English speaking: This test (called an Oral Proficiency Interview, or OPI) is taken over the telephone and takes approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Native language speaking: This test (also an OPI, like the English speaking test) is taken over the telephone and takes approximately 30-45 minutes.
  6. Basic computer skills test: This is an assessment of file management skills and skills in using the Microsoft Office 2010 Word program.

To qualify for the EHLS Program, you must receive a score of at least 2 on the ILR scale on all four English language skills tests and receive a score of 3 on the native language test. You must also pass the basic computer skills test.

Preparing for the Tests

English and native language assessments: These tests evaluate your general proficiency in the language being tested. Test questions cover general interest topics and common social and professional situations. There are no sample test materials available for review. To prepare for the tests, we recommend reading the newspaper, listening to the news on the radio, and using English and your native language in discussions of current events and in professional contexts.

Basic computer skills test: This test is used to determine whether you are comfortable with standard office technology used in the EHLS Program. It is an assessment of file management, word processing (including accurate keyboarding), internet navigation, and emailing skills. To see what skills are required, take the Computer Skills Self-Assessment.


Go to Step 5.