EAP Placement Test

By University policy, most international students - undergraduate or graduate - must take the EAP Placement Test prior to registering for classes, before the start of their first semester on campus, even if they completed the TOEFL test. Students’ letter of admission from the Office of International Affairs will indicate if they are required to take this test.

Some students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents but are not proficient (or native-like) users of English may also need EAP courses.Undergraduate students in this category should follow the recommendations in this material on Guided-Self Placement (link here). Graduatestudents in this category should speak to their advisor or the EAP Program about enrolling into an EAP course. Both undergraduate and graduate students may elect to take EAP courses even if they are not required to.

Because the EAP Placement Test is a placement test used to accurately determine English language skill level, students do not need to "prepare" for it. The scores are used to assign EAP classes that best meet students’ academic needs that will provide favorable English experiences necessary for a successful career at IUPUI and beyond.

The courses prescribed based on the students’ results on the EAP Placement Test are required. Not completing the EAP requirement may result in delays in graduation.

NOTE for graduate students and advisers: Graduate students who are being considered for a teaching role (tutor, lab assistant, teaching assistant, course instructor) are also required by university policy to take the SPEAK test and complete any required supplemental EAP courses recommended based on that test. The Graduate Office monitors compliance with the campus policy. More details about the SPEAK test can be found here.

Test Information

The EAP Program uses the ACT/Compass ESL Placement Test, which is a computer-adaptive test, along with an essay, to confirm your English language proficiency. The ACT/Compass ESL Placement Test consists of three parts: (1) grammar/usage (2) reading and (3) listening. This test is a placement test; there are no texts that can be studied to improve your score.

  1. ACT /Compass ESL Grammar/Usage test - This test assesses your ability to recognize and manipulate the grammatical structures and elements of Standard American English.
  2. ACT /Compass ESL Reading test - This test assesses your ability to read a variety of reading passages and understand both explicitly stated and inferred ideas.
  3. ACT /Compass ESL Listening test - This test assesses your ability to understand spoken English, including short academic-style lectures. 
  4. A written essay - This test assesses your ability to write on a specific topic in a limited period. The topic allows you to use your personal experience and observations to complete the essay; no outside source information or specific knowledge in a certain area is required. 

There is no time limit on the ACT/Compass ESL sections of the test, but most people take about 2 to 2 ½ hours to complete the test. You can get information, including sample questions, about the EAP Placement Test at

The scores you receive on the different parts of the placement test are used to place you into, or exempt you from, IUPUI EAP classes. The EAP classes at IUPUI are designed to provide non-native speakers of English with the academic language support needed to be successful at an American university.

Test Dates, Registration, and Fees

Test Dates and Sign-up

The EAP Placement Test is always given during the fall (August) and spring (January) orientation weeks sponsored by the Office of International Affairs. Students who have not already taken the EAP Placement Test will be registered for a specific test time during the orientation activities.

Students who do not take the test during the August or January orientation week can schedule themselves for the EAP Placement Test at the IUPUI Testing Center using the instructions at this link.

What to Bring

On the actual day of testing you should bring a picture ID (e.g., your passport) when you go to the Testing Center.

Also, bring your University ID Number (UID #). Without this, your test results cannot be reported via the IU Student Information System. Your testing fee cannot be processed without this number.

You cannot take the test if you do not present a picture ID and a UID #.

For more information about the testing fee, refer to the Testing Center website.

Pay your testing fees.


Test Results and Retesting

Results of the placement test will be available from your university advisor or the EAP Program Office within 10 working days from when you took the test. Scores are not given over the phone. Students admitted to IUPUI should follow the instructions in the letter for obtaining orientation and academic advising information. Undergraduate students who have been admitted may retest once, but should wait at least one month before retesting. Your test score will be valid for one year from the test date.

Beginning Spring 2016 incoming non-native English speaking graduate students will have the ability to take the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) examination twice within the first two weeks of classes with a solid justification from their advisor, and without written approval from the IUPUI Graduate Office. It is now the program’s responsibility to provide written approval directly to the EAP Program for this second exam.

If a student, with guidance from their graduate program director, decides to retake the EAP examination they must understand that the results of the second exam stand. A third examination will not be an option.

The English courses that students could potentially place into will begin the third week of classes to allow students to receive the scores for their examination(s) and register in any required English courses.

Testing Center Location and Hours

The EAP Placement Test location is shown below. The Center is open Monday-Friday 8:30am to 8:00pm, and Saturday 8:30am to 5:00pm.

IUPUI Testing Center
801 W. Michigan Street
BS 3003
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-274-2620