Step 3: Complete an OPI in English – old

Once an application is submitted and considered complete (with at least one recommendation letter), 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 22, 2022.

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. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can only offer remote proctoring of an OPI.

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

Take Note

You must schedule your OPI at least one week in advance of the desired test date. You cannot reschedule an OPI within 24 hours of the scheduled test time, and if you miss your OPI it will not be rescheduled.

If you have taken an English OPI with EHLS or another federal government tester since January 2021 and can provide proof of your scores (via a certificate or a signed letter on company letterhead), you may be able to waive this OPI. Please reach out to us at ehls@cal.org for further instruction if this applies to you.

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 ehls@cal.org or 202-355-1523.

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