Michigan State University
Michigan State University
English Language Center
MSU Speaking Test
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The MSU Speaking Test and the SPEAK test are used to determine whether a graduate student has the speaking proficiency necessary to fulfill the duties of a teaching assistant at MSU.

The MSU Speaking Test is modeled on an older test, SPEAK, which is a nationally-recognized test of spoken English proficiency that was published by ETS, the Educational Testing Service.

The MSU Speaking Test and the SPEAK are not complicated tests. While the tests are nearly identical, most students will take the newer MSU Speaking Test. Both tests assess the ability to "speak" (as opposed to “comprehend” or read or write) English. Examinees will hear and respond to 12 questions. The questions are also printed in the test booklet. Depending on the question, examinees will have from 30 to 90 seconds to record an answer. The equipment is very simple and ELC staff members will be there to help the entire time. The test lasts less than half an hour, so fatigue will not be a problem. There is NO special preparation. The best thing to do on the day of the test is to relax and to say as much as possible about each of the 12 topics.

Policies and Procedures

For Departments: https://grad.msu.edu/tap/speak

Students may only take the SPEAK or MSU Speaking Test if they are requested to do so by their home department. Registration is required. Qualified students may
register for the MSU Speaking Test, starting 3 weeks before the test date, online at the MSU Speaking Test Online System

If you have any trouble registering for the test, please email at testing@elc.msu.edu

Sample Questions

A printable PDF booklet of MSU Speaking Test Sample Questions 

Note: For SPEAK, ITAOI, and the MSU Speaking Test results, the ELC also administers an appeal process in cooperation with the Graduate School. Please see the section Appeal Procedure by Review Board. 

The MSU Speaking Test will be administered to qualified candidates at MSU on the following dates:

  • December 13, 2017: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • December 14, 2017: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

For information about the SPEAK and the MSU Speaking Test, please contact the ELC.

All test-takers will be notified of the test locations when they sign up for the test.