ESL Placement Exam Information

The 2-hour ESL Program placement exam is used to determine if you could benefit from ESL classes while studying at Binghamton University. You are tested in listening, reading, and writing. You cannot prepare for the exam, and it does not affect scholarships or TA positions. 

All courses are voluntary unless you are a conditionally admitted student.

If you are a conditionally admitted student, you may be required to take courses.

  • If the results of the exam show that you do not need an ESL class, your ESL conditional status will be removed.
  • If the results show that you are required to take a class, after you successfully complete it you will have satisfied the conditional requirement and will not need to take any additional ESL classes.

ESL Program courses can be taken alongside your other classes and do not cost extra. They are included in regular full time tuition.

Below, please find more information to guide you.

The ESL Program placement exam is offered each fall and spring semester. Specific dates and times for the exam will be given during new international student orientation each semester.

You must take the exam if:

  • You have a TOEFL score under 106 IBT (263 CBT, 625 PBT)
  • TOEFL score under 95 IBT (250 CBT, 600 PBT) and you were educated in an English- medium institution.
  • IELTS score under 8.0
  • You are ESL conditionally admitted

You may take only the writing part of the exam if:

You have transferred from a U.S. college or university and you feel confident in your listening and speaking skills.

You do not need to take the exam if you are one of the following:

  • Students who scored 625 or higher on the paper based test of the TOEFL (263 on the computer based test or 106 -108 on the internet based test)
  • Students schooled in an English-medium institution who scored 600 or higher on the paper based test of the TOEFL (250 on the computer based test or 95 on the internet based test)
  • Students with a minimum IELTS score of 8.0
  • Students whose native language is English
  • If you are a School of Management graduate student, you are exempt from the ESL Placement Exam unless you have been admitted conditionally.
  • Dual Diploma students unless they are conditionally admitted

If you have any further questions about the placement exam, please contact Jennifer Brondell, ESL Program Director at brondell@binghamton.edu

Last Updated: 2/25/15