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Students should contact their GPDs for the registration process. Once we receive the list of students via email from the department GPDs, students then need to contact the English Language Center by the given deadline to sign up for a time slot. Students should be prepared to take these tests remotely/online until further notice. Procedures and dates are subject to change. Please contact the ELC at ELC@odu.edu or 757-683-4424 for more information.

It is possible for students to satisfy English proficiency through an at-home testing alternative. Please see TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and IELTS Indicator to see if those options are right for you.


The institutional TOEFL (ITP) test is administered in January, April, August, and December. Students who take the institutional TOEFL test may use the score to demonstrate English proficiency for the purpose of admission into an ODU academic program.

Upcoming Test Information

  • Digital/Remote TOEFL ITP
  • Upcoming Test Dates:
    • Monday, August 19th, 11am
  • Cost $65

Please contact the English Language Center at ELC@odu.edu to register for the upcoming TOEFL test.

The ODU Institutional TOEFL scores are valid for ODU admission only. The ELC will submit your scores directly to International Admissions after administration of the test. You may also request unofficial scores via email from the ELC (ELC@odu.edu).


The SPEAK test is administered on a rolling basis throughout the fall, spring, and summer.

Only graduate students who are being considered for a teaching assistantship for the upcoming fall or spring semester can be tested. The testing deadline will be the Monday of the week in which the Graduate Teaching Assistant Institue (GTAI) is being offered. SPEAK Retake Presentations are offered the Wednesday before the GTAI begins.

Students are only permitted to attempt the SPEAK test once per semester (or with department permission).


  • What is the SPEAK Test? The SPEAK Test, administered by the ODU English Language Center, is used to assess the speaking ability of prospective graduate teaching assistants (TAs) who speak a native language other than English. These students can satisfy the English-speaking proficiency requirement for TAs by passing the SPEAK Test or scoring a 26 or higher on the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT or by scoring an 8.0 or higher on the speaking portion of the IELTS. Once the speaking proficiency requirement is met, these graduate students can teach in the classroom as TAs upon completing the next GTAI. Prospective TAs who speak English as their native language do not need to fulfill this requirement. The SPEAK Test is offered in January, April, July, August, and November.
  • What is the testing mode? Due to limited campus access and continued social distancing, we will conduct modified SPEAK Tests remotely and live via Zoom. You will need a reliable internet connection and an electronic device like a laptop/PC, tablet, or phone capable of making video calls through Zoom. All sessions will be recorded.
  • What is the format/content for the test? In this modified SPEAK Test, you will participate in one live interview. At the start of the test, we will verify your identity and ask a few basic warm up questions before we move into the scored portion of the test. For the scored questions, you will be asked to respond to general questions about common academic/classroom situations and scenarios, general questions about your field of study, and some everyday situations. It will last approximately 15 minutes per student. CLICK HERE FOR PRACTICE TEST SLIDES

  • How is the test scored or assessed? The SPEAK test raters will assess your answers holistically with one main question in mind: Will typical ODU undergraduate students be able to understand you if you are presenting a lesson in front of their class? Therefore, we are assessing overall fluency (rate of speech, pausing, hesitations), intonation and word stress, and range of vocabulary. Native-like grammar or pronunciation is not the goal. Instead, the goal is to be intelligible (did the listener understand your intended message) and comprehensible (did it require a lot of listener effort).

SPEAK Test Registration Procedure:

  1. GPDs or Program Managers must send an email to ELC@odu.edu with a list of names, UINs, and ODU email addresses, of students they want to take the SPEAK. These students must be eligible to be TAs upon completing any necessary processes. On the email, please include the name and information of the person in your department who should receive the SPEAK scores.
  2. Students will need to sign up for a time slot using a link provided via email.

SPEAK Test Fee:

Effective January 2021, the ELC will reinstate the $100 per student fee for administration of the SPEAK test.

  • This fee will be paid via Interdepartmental Transfer (IDT) to the ELC.
  • After all SPEAK tests are complete, the ELC will send an IDT request to the contact person for the department or college contact who sent the list of SPEAK test nominees.
  • The fee will only be charged for students who took the SPEAK test.
  • There is no fee charged for the SPEAK Retake Presentation.

SPEAK Test Results:

The ELC will send your SPEAK scores to the Graduate School and the department contact listed in the email within two weeks of the test date. It is the department's responsibility to notify you of your SPEAK scores and any subsequent procedures.

A passing SPEAK score is a minimum score of 50 out of 60.

A score of 45 out of 60 qualifies you to participate in the Retake Presentation.

  • Please note that the Retake Presentation is different from the SPEAK Test.
  • Although an ELC representative may participate in scoring the Retake Presentation, the Retake Presentation is administered through the Graduate School. The next Retake Presentation is Wednesday, August 21st at 1pm.Please contact Missy Barber (mbarber@odu.edu) at the Graduate School for additional information on the Retake Presentation.
  • Once you achieve a 45 on the SPEAK Test, you are always eligible to participate in any future Retake Presentation session until it is successfully passed. This includes participating in multiple Retake Presentation sessions over time regardless of whether you scored below 45 on subsequent SPEAK Tests. If you have already passed the SPEAK Test with a 50 or passed the Retake Presentation are not eligible to take the SPEAK additional times.
  • A score of 40 out of 60 indicates that you did not pass the SPEAK test and may retake the test at a later date.

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