Test Structure

iTEP SLATE-Plus has five sections for different English language skills, which appear in the following order: grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each section contains questions targeting a variety of levels of English proficiency. The questions that appear on iTEP SLATE are written specifically for young learners of middle school or high school age.

Section Format Number and Type of Questions Time
2 Parts
Complete the sentences 12 Questions 10 Minutes
Identify incorrect phrase or word 13 Questions
3 Parts
4 short conversations 4 Multiple-Choice 20 Minutes
One 2-3 minute conversation 4 Multiple-Choice
One 4-minute lecture 6 Multiple-Choice
3 Parts
2 Short questions 2 Multiple-Choice 20 Minutes
250-word passage 4 Multiple-Choice
450-word passage 6 Multiple-Choice
Writing Listen and respond to instructions Write a response of 50-75 words 25 Minutes
Listen to a topic Write 175-225 words to express and support your opinion on the topic
2 Parts
Listen and read a short question Prepare and speak 5 Minutes
Listen to two (2) sides of a topic Prepare and speak your opinion
  • Grammar (Structure) – 10 minutes/1 part

    This section is comprised of twenty-five multiple-choice questions, each of which tests familiarity with a key feature of English structure. This section includes a range of structures from simple to more complex, as well as a range of vocabulary from beginning to advanced. There are two question types, each with on-screen examples.

  • Listening – 20 minutes

    • Part 1: Four conversations of 2-3 sentences ranging from high-beginning level to low-intermediate, each followed by 1 multiple-choice question.
    •  Part 2: One 2- to 3-minute intermediate-level conversation followed by 4 multiple-choice questions.
    • Part 3: One 4-minute lecture followed by 6 multiple-choice questions.
  • Reading – 20 minutes/3 parts

    • Part 1: Two low-intermediate-level passages of approximately 50 words in length followed by multiple choice questions.
    • Part 2: One intermediate-level passage of approximately 200 words in length followed by multiple-choice questions.
    • Part 3: One low advanced-level passage of approximately 500 words in length followed by multiple-choice questions.
  • Writing – 25 minutes/2 parts

    • Part 1: The test-taker is asked to write a short note, geared at the low-intermediate level, on a supplied topic in response to instructions (5 minutes / 50-75 words).
    • Part 2: The test taker is presented with a brief, low-advanced level written topic and is asked to express and support his/her opinion on the topic (20 minutes / 175-225 words).
  • Speaking – 5 minutes

    • Part 1: A short question geared at low-intermediate level is played. The test-taker has 30 seconds to prepare a spoken response, and 45 seconds to speak.
    • Part 2: A brief low-advanced-level clip is played presenting two sides of an issue. The test-taker is asked to express his or her thoughts on the topic, with 45 seconds to prepare, and 60 seconds to speak.

Test Length

Total actual test time per examinee is approximately 50 minutes for iTEP SLATE-Core and 80 minutes for iTEP SLATE-Plus. In addition, test administrators allocate an additional 10 minutes for pre-test instructions and test-taker questions.

Delivery Method

iTEP SLATE is delivered via the Internet at a Certified iTEP Test Center for admissions or an iTEP client’s location for their own internal purposes. During the reading, listening, and grammar sections the test-taker selects one of the four answer choices for each question.

Writing samples are typed directly into a text entry field during the writing section, and speaking samples are recorded with a headset microphone during the speaking section.