Senior Walk


The SLPT is a test that measures speaking skills of international students applying for an assistantship during a 15-minute interaction. Examinees prepare a 10-minute oral presentation as if they were teaching a freshman class or lab. A topic approved by the department will be sent to the examinee’s email address the day before the scheduled exam. Initially, examinees spend a few minutes informally talking with the evaluators about their background, field of study, and home country. This informal discussion will be general in nature and no prior preparation will be necessary. Next, students will be asked to deliver the 10-minute presentation as if they were teaching.

The SLPT evaluators will assess the examinee's overall comprehensibility by indicating "pass" or "not pass". The focus is on an ability to communicate effectively and to be easily understood by their intended audience. All SLPT tests are recorded. The evaluators will prepare a report that will be given to the candidate approximately two weeks after the test. This report will contain both praise and suggestions that the candidate can use for further improvement of language skills.

Examinee's oral English proficiency will be rated in the following areas:

  • Ability to speak clearly in English including articulation of vowel and consonant sounds, stress of syllables and main words, and reasonably correct intonation or pitch.
    • Key question: Can the audience understand the speaker’s words?
  • Ability to communicate ideas in a coherent manner using appropriate vocabulary and correct grammar; communicability or how the examinee connects with the audience will be assessed.
    • Key question: Can the audience understand the speaker’s sentences?
  • Ability to deliver a mini-lecture including fluency, or the flow of words, and phrasing, or correct pausing for emphasis. The speaker is able to paraphrase, understand questions, and answer easily and readily.
    • Key question: Can the audience understand the speaker’s main points?
  • Ability to appropriately address the intended audience with a clear, instructive lesson presented in the allotted time frame.
    • Key question: Is the speaker organized?
  • Overall comprehensibility of the speaker. The speaker is easy to understand throughout and the accent has minimal effect on intelligibility.
    • Key question: Is the audience engaged by the speaker?

Registration, Test Dates and Availability

Registration may fill up quickly so register early to get your preferred date and time. The deadline to register for the SLPT is 30 days. Space may still be available after the deadline has passed. When available, late registrations are assessed a late fee of $20.

Identification Requirements

A valid passport is the only acceptable form of identification. If you come on the test day without your passport, you will not be tested and your test fee will not be transferred or refunded.

Score Reporting

Score letters are mailed to you approximately two weeks after your test date. Scores from the SLPT are also forwarded to Graduate and International Admissions.