Who Needs to Take OECT?

If you are unsure whether you or someone else needs to take the OECT tests, please contact itas@iastate.edu.

International graduate students who fall in one of the following categories need to have their oral English language proficiency certified through OECT:

  • Has been appointed or is considered for a teaching assistantship
  • Will have some instructional responsibilities even if not a assigned a teaching assistantship
  • Is currently applying for the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) or Graduate Student Teaching Certificate (GSTC) Programs

Exemptions:

  • Students from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom whose first language is English are exempted from both OPI and TEACH.
  • Students who present the following valid official scores are exempted from the OPI but are required to take the TEACH:
    • TOEFL iBT listening and* speaking scores of 25-26
    • IELTS listening and* speaking modules of 7-8
    • PTE-Academic listening and speaking scores of 85
  • Students who present the following valid official scores are exempted from both OPI and TEACH:
    • TOEFL iBT listening and* speaking scores of 27-30
    • IELTS listening and* speaking scores of 9

*The exemption policy stated in an admission letter ("listening or speaking scores") is outdated. We require both listening and speaking scores to be 27 or higher for a full exemption from OECT.

Note that TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid only for two years and then will no longer be officially reported since a candidate's language proficiency is likely to significantly change since the date of the test.

Students who qualify for a full exemption from OECT should send us a copy of their TOEFL/IELTS record at itas@iastate.edu for verification to obtain an official certificate, with the following information: Full name (last name, first name), ISU ID number, NetID, department, home country, native language, and gender. Their name should be clearly shown in the copy of their TOEFL/IELTS record. If the TOEFL/IELTS scores expired by the time of OECT but had been filed with the university when they were still valid, students can request institutional verifcation and provide their ISU ID number. 


The following criteria do NOT qualify as an exemption from OECT:

  • Having completed one or more semesters of graduate work at ISU or another U.S. institution of higher education
  • Having received a bachelor's or master's degree from a U.S. institution of higher education OR having been educated in a school where English was the official language
  • Coming from a country where English is one of the official languages (e.g. India)
  • Having U.S. permanent residency or citizenship