Placement Test

iTEP logoEffective from July 2020, the English Language Institute will use the iTEP Academic Test for placement into the program. Please email the ELI Director for more details. It is possible to take the test remotely and before arriving to campus. 

For more information, visit the iTEP Academic Test website. Please contact the ELI Director BEFORE signing up to take the test.

ELI Test Date

NOTE: The next test date has not yet be scheduled.

English proficiency test scores must be submitted to CMU by the date of the ELI placement test. If students don’t have a proficiency test score at that time, the ELI will use the iTEP Academic placement test score. The last day to drop and add classes is CMU’s official drop/add deadline.

Students are not required to have an international English proficiency test before they apply to CMU. However, if students do have a proficiency test score less than two years old, that score may be used to determine how much English instruction they will need.

Proficiency Test Requirements

CMU English proficiency test score requirements (by test score): 


ELI-Only: 60 or lower
Dual Classes: 61-78
No English Required: 79+



ELI-Only: 5.0 or lower
Dual Classes: 5.5-6.0
No English Required: 6.5+

PTE Academic

ELI-Only: 43 or lower
Dual Classes: 44-52
No English Required: 53+


ELI-Only: 68 or lower
Dual Classes: 69-76
No English Required: 77+

The ELI uses the Michigan State University English Language Test (MSUELT) for its placement instrument. If a student has no international English-proficiency score or an international English proficiency score that places them into ELI-only classes, he/she will be required to take the MSUELT upon arrival to CMU. If a student has no international English-proficiency score or an international English-proficiency score that places him/her into the Dual Program, he/she should take the MSUELT, but is not required to.

The MSUELT tests students on writing, reading, and listening. The test results determine which ELI courses students take. Students who place into Basic, Level I, Level II, or Level III on the MSUELT are enrolled in ELI-only courses in the Intensive Program. They cannot take university courses until they reach Level IV, which is the Dual Program (English for Academic Purposes). Each level in the Intensive Program is a full course load and takes one semester to complete. Therefore, if a student starts taking courses in the Basic Level, it will take four semesters to complete the Intensive Program and enter the Dual Program. At this point, the student may re-apply to CMU for admission as either a graduate or undergraduate student. Students should contact an International Admissions Officer in the Office of International Affairs in Ronan Hall 330 for admission to CMU.

Students who place into Level IV on the MSUELT are enrolled in the Dual Program. The number of courses Dual Program students need to take depends on their sub-test scores on the MSUELT. The maximum number of Dual-level ELI courses students are required to complete is four courses. Students having two or more ELI courses to complete must take at least two Dual ELI courses per semester. It takes most students 1-2 semesters to complete the Dual Program. No further ELI courses or language tests will be required after a student successfully passes all ELI classes needed in the Dual Program.

If students take the MSUELT and get high enough scores, they may not have to take certain (or any) classes in the Dual Program. When a student has an international English-proficiency test score that places him/her into the Dual Program but that student doesn’t take the MSUELT, he/she must take all required Dual courses.