Essex English Language Assessment

If you are an international student then you probably already have an English language certificate of proficiency such as IELTS or TOEFL. However, like most other British universities we require all newly registered students whose first language is not English at our Colchester and Southend Campuses to sit a short English Language Assessment of our own.

This provides us with a single, consistent measure of English language proficiency across the whole of our international student body. The assessment is short and informal. It's not a pass/fail test and the results do not affect entry to study.

2019-20 assessment information

The autumn term assessment sessions are now closed.

If you have missed the assessment in the autumn term, you can request to be included in the spring term assessment sessions by emailing

Students who are joining us in January and are required to take the assessment will be automatically invited to the assessments.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to take the assessment?

The Essex English Language Assessment is compulsory for all international students whose first language is not English. This includes students from the EU and students who already have English certificate e.g. TEOFL.

What happens if I don't take the assessment?

Not taking the assessment means that you are declaring that your competency with the English language is at the same level as a native speaker and you are relinquishing your right to any additional English language support throughout your studies. 

What if I fail the assessment?

It is impossible to fail the assessment because there is no pass or fail. Everyone who takes the assessment will instead be provided with scores for each section which help us to recommend support tailored to what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Do I get a score from the assessment?

Yes, the assessment consists of 4 sections (speaking, writing, listening, and language and style), and you will be provided with a score for each section.

How long is the assessment?

The assessment is 75 minutes long which consists of the following sections: speaking (10 mins), writing (25 mins), listening (20 mins), language and style (20 mins).

How should I prepare for the assessment?

There is no need to prepare for the assessment because the aim of the assessment is not to test you but to show which areas are your strengths and weaknesses so that you may be offered appropriate support.

Need help?
Need help?
Colchester Campus Student Services Hub
Telephone:  01206 874000
Southend Campus Student Services Hub
Telephone: 01702 328444