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 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 2019 program year, you must be present at the Georgetown University downtown campus on Saturday, October 13, 2018 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 tests will take place at the Georgetown University downtown campus or at 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.

Description of the Tests

All provisionally selected applicants will take 5 language tests.

  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 1 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.

Basic computer skills: You will type and email your English writing test on the computer, which will test your technology skills.

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.

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: Because you will type and email your English writing test, you should be comfortable with standard office technology skills: file management, word processing (including accurate keyboarding), internet navigation, and emailing. To learn more about what skills are required, review the Computer Skills Self-Assessment.


Go to Step 5.