Columbia International College uses the SLEP (Secondary Level English Proficiency) Test to measure the English language proficiency for non-native speakers. This English diagnostic test is developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and assesses students’ listening and reading, comprehension ability, as well as vocabulary and grammar. Students will be placed in either ESL level or Academic English level classes based on the scores they achieve on the SLEP Test. The test is divided into two sections, each containing four types of questions.


Measures ability to understand spoken English and is 40 minutes long.

  • Students must match one of four recorded sentences with a picture in the test book. Sentences are spoken only once and are not printed in the test book.
  • Students must match a sentence printed in the test book with a sentence heard on the tape.
  • Questions in this part are based on conversations between students or announcements made by teachers. The questions are given before the talks begin. The questions and the answers are printed in the test book. For each question, students must choose one of four answers.
  • The questions in this part are based on conversations recorded by high school students. A question is asked after the conversation is heard. The question is recorded; it is not printed in the test book. For each recorded question, the student must choose one of four answers printed in the test book.


Is 40 minutes long and covers grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. It contains the following four types of questions:

  • Students must match the reaction of one of four characters in the cartoon with a printed sentence.
  • Students must match the printed sentence with one of four drawings. It focuses on the use of prepositions, pronouns, adverbs, and numbers.
  • This part contains two types of questions.
    1. In the first type of questions, students must complete the passages by selecting the appropriate words or phrases from a set of four choices printed at interval in the passage.
    2. In the second type of questions, the students must answer questions about the passage for which they supplied the missing words or phrases.
  • In this part of section two the students must read a short passage and answer questions about it.

Try the sample SLEP Test

Students should note that the above is a sample English/ESL diagnostic test and it should be used as a practice tool. Please DO NOT submit answers for marking.