Seneca College English Language Institute
places students quickly and accurately with iTEP
The Seneca College English Language Institute (ELI) is a major Canadian ESL program with between 400 and 500 students depending on the time of year. The ELI prepares students from more than 65 countries to enroll in the Toronto college’s academic programs, which range from fashion management to engineering technology.
The ELI has eight levels, from beginner to advanced. In order to place students in the appropriate level, Director Martine Allard needs a test that is easy to administer, flexible and valid in the eyes of the students.
Since early 2019, she has relied on the iTEP Academic (International Test of English Proficiency) to assess her students’ English abilities for placement into the ELI levels.
“We wanted a computer-based academic test that would be appropriate for a program like ours since we prepare students to study at the college,” she says. “It was important that it assess speaking and writing – in addition to listening, reading and vocabulary.”
Keeping Students in Mind
Allard wanted to consider the students’ view of the assessment tool. “We sought a test that they thought was fair and accurately measured their English-language skills,” Allard says.
The ELI runs seven-week sessions and has six start dates per year. Each session features five testing days – a main placement test and four additional dates for latecomers who may have been delayed receiving a visa or missed their flights.
In addition, students who want to enroll in the program and are already in Toronto can take the test anytime, instead of having to wait for the next testing session. “While group testing is more efficient, we love the flexibility of being able to test a single student if necessary,” Allard says.
Once students have taken the iTEP, Seneca instantly receives the results for listening, reading and vocabulary. Seneca has chosen to administer the speaking and writing sections of the test, but to save time and money by choosing the unscored option. While iTEP expert raters score speaking and writing within 24 hours, Allard prefers to be able to immediately review the student responses.
The iTEP system is easy to use, allowing test administrators to easily email teachers to share results and gather feedback.
“We wanted a computer-based academic test that would be appropriate for a program like ours”
The International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP) was introduced in 2008 to modernize English language assessment with on-demand scheduling, 24 hour grading, and accurate test data. iTEP provides a convenient and cost-effective testing option delivered in a highly secure environment.
iTEP offers a variety of assessment tools for university and secondary school admissions and ESL placement, hiring and employee assessment (including tests for specific industries), and iTEP Conversation, which assesses conversation skills in 30 minutes. All iTEP exams are graded by certified and trained native English speakers.
More than 800 colleges, universities, middle/high schools, and boarding schools in the USA and Canada accept iTEP results for admissions. Applicants can take iTEP at more than 500 test centers in 61 countries. iTEP International is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.