Most high schools enrolling international students require a thorough understanding of an applicant’s English proficiency before making an admission decision. Even with a strong ESL program, schools must determine what level of ESL a student should be enrolled in and what other courses the student can successfully complete during her first semester.

For many years, high school’s favored the Secondary Language English Proficiency (SLEP) test offered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). However, this test, which was discontinued in the summer of 2011, had several disadvantages. SLEP was a paper-based test measuring only English reading comprehension, grammar and listening. It was often graded by agents, the same ones who had a financial interest in students being successfully admitted to schools.

Today, the primary instrument for assessing English proficiency of high school applicants is quickly becoming the International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP) Secondary Language Assessment Test of English (SLATE) offered by Boston Educational Services. The iTEP SLATE “Plus” measures 5 components of English proficiency:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Grammar

The SLATE Plus is graded entirely by iTEP, and the agency offering the test has no influence whatsoever over the scores.

Schools should become familiar with the iTEP SLATE exam and decide their minimum iTEP scores required for admission to the various middle and secondary school grade levels.

The “Ability Guide” for the iTEP SLATE provides guidance for schools who want to understand what iTEP scores mean.

The iTEP SLATE Score Equivalency Chart compares iTEP scores with other assessment instruments such at SLEP and TOEFL, JR.

Many other resources for understanding and interpreting iTEP SLATE scores are available on the iTEP Website.

Score results are sent directly to the school(s) designated by the test taker, provide the school is listed as a “Partner School.” Schools that accept the iTEP Slate for admission purposes should notify iTEP in order to be listed on their website as a Partner School.