Taking the Speak Test

Does every international teaching assistant have to take the SPEAK test?

You may be exempt if:

1. You are not a designated international teaching assistant but would like to benefit from GLEC1239, you do not need to sit for the test.

2. You have received a score of 28 or higher on the speaking section of the TOEFL ibt.

3. You are a graduate of a university in a native-English speaking country. You must present a copy of your diploma or official transcript for this exemption.

If these situations do not describe you, you must take the SPEAK test.

What is the SPEAK test format?

The SPEAK test

  • takes approximately 20 minutes and is delivered via audio equipment and a test book. All responses for the test are spoken and recorded; you do not write at any time during the test.

  • consists of 12 items, each of which requires you to perform a language function. The time allotted for each response ranges from 30 to 90 seconds.  

Is there a way to study for the SPEAK test?

You may schedule a practice test, which take approximately 20 minutes to complete. This is not required, but it is recommended. It will also help you familiarize yourself with the format and the types of questions in the test.

When and where do I take the SPEAK test?

Testing for the SPEAK test is available all year. 

Click here to register for the SPEAK test or to submit exemption documents.

How many times can I take the SPEAK test?

The SPEAK Practice Test and the SPEAK Test can be taken only once.

Will I be graded on the SPEAK Practice Test?

The SPEAK Practice Test is a preview of the test, its format and style of questions. It is not recorded and it is not scored; therefore, the test takers do not receive any feedback. The SPEAK Practice Test is not required.

Can I take the SPEAK Practice Test and Test on the same day?

Yes, the Practice and Test can be taken on the same day.

How do I read my SPEAK test scores?

Each SPEAK test is scored independently by two raters. The minimum score is 20; the maximum score is 60. Scores are reported to both you and your department, via e­mail, within two weeks of the date you take the test.

SPEAK Test Score Outcome Approved International Teaching Assistant Activities
> 50 Unrestricted Pass You may assume instructional duties without restrictions.
45–49 Restricted Pass You may assume instructional duties for one semester, but you must also be simultaneously enrolled in the GLEC1239 course. You also must pass GLEC1239 to be certified.
< 45 Insufficient

You must complete and pass the GLEC1239 course before you assume instructional duties. You may assume restricted duties that do not require interaction with students; for example, grading course work.