1. What is the English placement test at VIU?
Our placement test is a general proficiency test that includes three parts:
- an essay (30 minutes)
- a computer-based multiple-choice test of grammar, vocabulary, and reading skills (60 mins)
- a short interview (10 - 15 minutes)
The test takes about two hours and is given by appointment only. To schedule an appointment please check in with the Admissions Team at Virginia International University located at the following address:
Virginia International University
11200 Waples Mill Road #360
Fairfax, VA 22030
For more information on scheduling a placement test, please contact the Admissions Office. We are happy to assist you with your questions!
Tel: (703) 591-7042
Fax: (703) 591-7048
2. Who must take the placement test?
If you came to VIU to study English, you must take our English placement test. The test will determine which level of our intensive ESL program is the right fit for them. Each of our four levels takes one semester of full-time study to complete (=300 hours). Successful completion of our fourth (college-preparatory) ESL level serves as evidence of sufficient English proficiency for admission to our academic programs.
If you came to VIU to study computer science, TESOL, business administration, or any other academic subject, you must either take our placement test and pass it with an academic-level score or provide other evidence of sufficient English proficiency (see below).
If you do not pass our English placement test with an academic score but rather with a high advanced score but want to study in our academic program, you have the option to take combination classes; in brief, you may take one or two academic classes and also some ESL classes. That way you can improve your English and still start your degree at the same time. Please note that TESOL students are excluded from this policy. In order to start your TESOL degree, your English placement result must be academic.
VIU accepts the following standardized test scores as evidence of sufficient English proficiency (see below).
- TOEFL iBT: 80
- TOEFL pBT: 550 (TESOL students must also complete a placement interview)
- IELTS Academic: Overall band 6
- PTE Academic: 54
- ITEP Academic Plus: 5, with no individual scores lower than 4
- MELAB with Speaking: 77
Sufficient English language proficiency may also be demonstrated through the following means:
- A high school diploma (or its equivalent) or an undergraduate degree (or its equivalent) from a high school or university where the language of instruction was English.
- Completion of a minimum of 12 credits from an accredited US post-secondary institution at which the language of instruction was English, including at least one course in English composition, academic writing, or a similar subject. The GPA for the 12 credits must be no lower than C. The grade for the writing course must be no lower than C.
- Relevant course work completed at an institution with which VIU holds an articulation agreement.
Students who do not meet any of the conditions listed above are required to take our placement test prior to enrollment. Based on the results of the test, students may be required to attend our ESL program for one or more semesters before taking academic classes. Successful completion of the college prep ESL level and the exit test serves as evidence of sufficient English proficiency for admission to our academic programs.
VIU reserves the right to require a student to take our placement test when there are reasonable doubts in the authenticity of the submitted standardized test scores or in the degree of English proficiency evidenced by other documentation. Based on the results of the English placement test, the student may be placed in our intensive ESL program for one or more semesters before beginning his/her academic program.
*Please note that this test can be taken only once per semester.