International Test of English Proficiency
The International Test of English Proficiency or iTEP is a language assessment tool that measures the English skills of non-native English speakers. The test is supported by more than 600 institutions  including the California State University system. The test is available in more than 40 countries, and is also used by businesses, and governments such as Saudi Arabia, Colombia, and Mexico for large-scale initiatives. In 2014, iTEP saw rapid growth in China, adding more than 100 test centers in the country.
iTEP is a trademark of Boston Educational Services, which was co-founded by former ELS Language Centers President Perry Akins and business partner Sharif Ossayran. The test was first launched in 2008 for colleges, universities, and international programs, with versions for secondary schools, businesses, and the hospitality industry launched thereafter.
There are four iTEP exams:
iTEP Academic is used by colleges, universities for admissions purposes. It also used on-site by intensive English programs (IEPs) for placement, progress, and exit evaluation.
iTEP SLATE evaluates high school, secondary school, and middle school students, and is used by boarding schools and academies. Between June 2012 and June 2013, the number of US institutions recognizing this test quadrupled. This growth is largely due to the retirement of ETS's SLEP exam and the limited availability of their TOEFL Junior test.
iTEP Business measures the English skills needed for a work environment. It is used by companies to screen new hires, make decisions about promotions and assignments, and evaluate English training programs.
iTEP Hospitality measures the English skills necessary to work at restaurants, hotels, resorts, and cruise lines that serve English speakers. The test lasts 30 minutes and evaluates speaking and listening. It is typically administered onsite by an employer for hiring and promotional decisions.
iTEP Academic, SLATE, and Business each have a "core" version and a "plus" version. The "core" versions are Internet-based, last 60 minutes, and test reading, grammar and listening. The "plus" versions last 90 minutes in total and also test writing and speaking, requiring the test taker to submit writing and speaking samples via computer. Results are available instantly on the multiple-choice "core" sections, and the speaking and writing results are graded in 5 business days. The "plus" exams retail for $99USD and can be scheduled within 3 days, making iTEP one of the most flexible and least expensive options among its competitors, which include TOEFL and IELTS. Institutions and businesses administering iTEP exams on-site receive discounted rates.
iTEP scores individuals on a scale of 1-6 (at 0.5 intervals) for each section of the test as well as an overall score. Each level translates to CEFR levels and an equivalent range of scores on other language proficiency exams.
In 2014, BES released the Official iTEP Preparation Guide. The Prep Guide consists of a 133-page printed book intended to familiarize test-takers with the format of the tests, and two practice tests, one to be taken before reading the book as a diagnostic, and another to be taken at the end as a comparison. The writing and speaking portions of the test are self-graded to help test-takers grasp the criteria that will be used to evaluate their work. The Prep Guide is sold online for about $27USD.
- BES Official iTEP site
- Official iTEP Preparation Guide on Amazon
- iTEP on Facebook
- iTEP on Twitter
- BES on LinkedIn
- iTEP on Sina Weibo
- Video about iTEP
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