The ESOL Test is used for placement in the appropriate level of Academic English Writing for Speakers of Other Languages. The exam consists of a written essay related to an article you will read during your test time.  It is designed to demonstrate how clearly you express and organize your ideas in written English, and how much vocabulary you know. The time of the test is 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Results are available within 3-4 business days.

Scheduling Information

    • Location: Simplot-Micron Academic Success Hub, Room 217.
    • Scheduling: Currently Available on a walk-in basis, Tuesdays – Fridays at 2:30 PM.
    • Fees: $20.00 per attempt, 2 attempts permitted per semester.
    • Requirements: Students must present valid government ID or a Boise State Student ID card.

Placement Chart

ESOL uses a 4 point scoring system. Refer to the table below for placement information. Exams are graded by Boise State English instructors. If you have questions about placement, please contact the English Department.

ScoreCourse Placement:
1Adult Basic Education or Intensive English Program
2English 122 (3 credits)
3English 101M (6 credits)
4English 101 (3 credits) or 101P (4 credits) or 101M (6 credits)

Preparing for the ESOL

The exam has a time limit of 105 minutes. You will be provided with a topic to write about, take your time and think of what you would like to say.  You may use scratch paper to make notes or an outline. You should write a clear, detailed, and interesting essay with one main point. Do not worry about correcting all of your grammar. Your readers are English teachers at Boise State University, they will grade your writing based on the following criteria:

  • Your ability to express your ideas clearly
  • The amount of detail in your writing
  • How well your ideas are organized
  • How well your ideas connect with one another
  • How much English vocabulary you know
  • How much you’re able to write in the provided time

Sample Prompts

Select one of the prompts below and write a clear, detailed, and interesting essay with one main point.  Do not worry about correcting all of your grammar.

Prompt 1:

What person influenced you most in your life?  What did the person do to make a difference in your life, and how has your life changed by knowing this person?

Prompt 2:

Describe a difficult decision you had to make.  What were the choices?  What did you decide? Why?  Do you think you made the right decision?

Prompt 3:

Do you think a university education should be available to all students, or only those who get good grades in high school?  Explain by giving specific reasons.

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