Placement Assessments

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Required Placement Assessments

All non-native speakers of English are required to take the following assessments before registering for classes. Assessment scores will be reviewed by UH Hilo faculty and recommendations for coursework will be provided during a follow-up session.

Placement Assessment Dates

Semester English Language Placement Assessment (Required) Date/Time/Location
Spring 2016

Listening, Grammar, Vocabulary
& Reading

(All parts of the test are required)

No registration is needed for the ELPA

Wednesday, January 6

1:30-4:30pm / UCB 100

Spring 2016

ELI Orientation

Mandatory information session for all new ELI students




What is the English Language Placement Assessment?

For students who are not native speakers of English.

The English Language Placement Assessment (ELPA) is a set of tests designed to measure the listening, grammar, and reading skills of people who are not native speakers of English. The listening test has two parts. Part one is a multiple-choice test in response to audio-taped questions. Part two is an 18-minute lecture followed by a series of questions. The grammar and reading tests are multiple-choice.

In addition, entering students must take the Writing Placement Assessment.

Who Takes the English Language Placement Assessment?

You should take the placement assessment if you are a non-native speaker of English entering UH Hilo for the first time.

What is the Purpose of the Placement Assessment?

The placement assessment is the University's way of placing you into the ESL courses that will best prepare you to succeed in university studies. On the basis of placement assessment results, you will be assigned to one or more courses taught by the UH Hilo English Language Institute (ELI).

  • ESL 061 Listening & Speaking, Intermediate
  • ESL 062 English Grammar, Intermediate
  • ESL 063 Academic Reading, Intermediate
  • ESL 071 Listening & Speaking, High-Intermediate
  • ESL 072 English Grammar, High-Intermediate
  • ESL 073 Academic Reading, High-Intermediate
  • ESL 081 Listening & Speaking, Advanced
  • ESL 082 English Grammar, Advanced
  • ESL 083 Academic Reading, Advanced

Students are placed in the writing courses ESL 064, ESL 074, ESL 084, or ESL 100 on the basis of their performance in the Writing Placement Assessment.

Who Does Not Take the English Language Placement Assessment?

Waivers will be granted to students who:

  • have received a score of 600 or better on the paper-based TOEFL,a score of 100 on the internet-based TOEFL, a score of 250 or better on the computer-based TOEFL or a score of 7.0 or better on the IELTS.
  • have received a score of 460 or better on the verbal section of the GRE
  • have received a score of 540 or better on the verbal section of the SAT if taken before March 2005, or a score of 540 or better on the critical reading section if taken in March 2005 or thereafter.
  • have an Associate of Arts degree from a community college within the University of Hawaiʻi system
  • have completed 6 years of full-time schooling with English as the medium of instruction at a middle school, high school, college, or university in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. Documentation of all six years is required.

On the Day of the English Language Placement Assessment:

  1. Make sure you arrive at the assessment location on time.
  2. Bring a photo ID and UH ID number.
  3. Do not bring any reference materials such as paper or electronic dictionaries.

Getting Your Results

Results of the English Language Placement Assessment will be available at the ELI office on Thursday, January 7th beginning at 1:00pm. Results will be passed out by last name (family name). Students may come by the office to pick up their results, talk to faculty and register for classes for most of the day. We look forward to meeting you!

Please see below to find your time to get your results:

1:00-2:00am: Last names beginning with A-K (example: Kim)
2:00-3:00am: Last names beginning with L-R (example: Miyazaki)
3:00-4:00pm: Last names beginning with S-Z (example: Sigrah)

Friday, January 8th
9:00-12:00 & 1:00-4:30pm: Open to everyone


If you have any questions about the English Language Placement Assessment, please contact:
Julie Mowrer, English Language Institute Director
Telephone: (808) 932-7015

Note: If you will need disability accommodations to take the test, please contact the ELI Director two weeks in advance of the test.