Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some answers to questions that many international students have about the ESOL Program at BGSU.
- Who is exempt from English Proficiency Testing?
- Some other universities don’t make their students take extra ESOL classes. Why does BGSU do so?
- When will I learn the results from my proficiency test(s)?
- Is it possible to retake the test to get a better score?
- I am a graduate student. If I place into ESOL courses, who will pay for them?
- If I am required to take ESOL courses, will they count toward my degree?
- How many ESOL courses will I be required to take?
- I am exempt from taking ESOL courses/I have completed all my ESOL course requirements. May I still take ESOL courses?
1. Who is exempt from English Proficiency Testing?
Students who are native speakers of English from the following countries or regions are exempt from both the Written and Oral Proficiency Tests: Australia, Canada (except Quebec), the Commonwealth Caribbean (Antigua, Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Trinidad, and Tobago), Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. If you are an undergraduate native English-speaking student from one of these countries, you will take the General Studies Writing placement exam instead.
Students who were exempt from submitting TOEFL/IELTS/MELAB scores to BGSU are exempt from the Oral Proficiency Test; however, graduate students with instructional duties may still be required to take BGSU’s Spoken English Test.
2. Some other universities don’t make their students take extra ESOL classes. Why does BGSU do so?
In many universities, if it is determined that your English is not at a high enough level, you will not be allowed to enroll in any of your department classes. You may be placed in an Intensive English Program (IEP) and have to do only ESOL courses until your English improves. At BGSU, once accepted to the university, you will begin your studies in your given department immediately. The ESOL courses at BGSU are supplementary courses that you are allowed to take at the same time as your department core courses instead of having to do only English first.
3. When will I learn the results from my proficiency test(s)?
English Proficiency Test results will be sent to your undergraduate advisor or your graduate coordinator for degree-seeking students or to International Student Services for guest students. The placement results are sent as soon as possible, usually one day after the test is taken. You should meet with your advisor or graduate coordinator to receive your results before you register for classes.
4. Is it possible to retake the test to get a better score?
No part of the ESOL Proficiency test can be retaken to get a better score. However, once you register for the required ESOL class, you will be reassessed (retested) during the first week of the semester. If the results of your reassessment show a placement score above the level of the class, you will be exempted from the class and either moved up to the next level or exempted from ESOL courses.
5. I am a graduate student. If I place into ESOL courses, who will pay for them?
If you are a funded student, check with your graduate coordinator. Some departments will pay for the ESOL classes.
If you are a non-funded graduate student, you will need to pay for the classes yourself.
6. If I am required to take ESOL courses, will they count toward my degree?
The required ESOL courses will not count towards your degree, but they do count towards the number of credit hours you take in a given semester. However, if you place into any ESOL classes, they become graduation requirements from the university. In other words, you will not be allowed to graduate from BGSU without completing the ESOL classes you were placed into.
7. How many ESOL courses will I be required to take?
The number of ESOL courses you must take depends on your English proficiency level. About 30% of students who take BGSU’s English Proficiency Exam are exempted from everything. Some students take only one class (in either speaking or writing), while others are placed into every class available.
If you are an undergraduate student, you might take up to four ESOL classes—two speaking/listening classes and two writing classes.
If you are a graduate student, you might take up to three ESOL writing classes and two speaking/listening classes.
8. I am exempt from taking ESOL courses/I have completed all my ESOL course requirements. May I still take ESOL courses?
Yes! The goal of BGSU's ESOL program is to help you succeed in your academic and professional future by supporting your English growth and development and to maintain the academic excellence BGSU demands of its students. All students are welcome to take ESOL courses if they would like to continue developing their English proficiency, whether they are required to take those courses or not.