Michigan State University
Michigan State University
English Language Center
MSU Speaking Test
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What is the MSU Speaking Test?

  • The MSU Speaking Test is 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.

What do MSU Speaking Test questions look like?

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.

How do I sign up?

Students may only take the 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 three weeks before the test date.

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

Upcoming Test Dates

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


  • August 15, 2018: 10 a.m., 11 a.m, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.
  • August 16, 2018: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • December 12, 2018: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • December 13, 2018: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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

Information for Departments