OECT Frequently Asked Questions


Question about your OECT record in Workday? Click here for the OECT Workday FAQ.

For all other questions, continue reading.

Please read through the following FAQs and contact us at itas@iastate.edu if you have any other questions or if you need more information on OECT, GR ST 540, or other services of the ITA program.

- Note: Starting Fall 2023, ENGL 180 will be called GR ST 540 -


1.  I tried to register for the test, but the link is not working (or the page says it's expired).  What should I do?

The registration system is temporarily closed for one of the following reasons:

  • that the registration will begin on a date designated for each test date (or for a certain testing period), which is specified in the Test Dates and Registration page; or
  • that we should avoid overbooking. 

If you tried the registration after an indicated registration date and found that the registration page was closed, please try it on the next registration date.  If your department has made a special arrangement with us for your testing, please contact us at itas@iastate.edu.


2.  The registration page asks for a password. Can I get a password for it?

It is temporarily available only for a limited group of students whose testing has been pre-arranged with us through their departments or via our waiting list (in case of overbooking). Please try the regular registration on a registration date specified on Test Dates and Registration.

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3.  Can I take the test online?

No. The OECT is only offered in person and face-to-face on campus.

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4.  I am a new teaching assistant, but I can't register for the test because I arrived late to campus.  What should I do?

No more testing sessions are available.  Please contact us at itas@iastate.edu so that we can add you in our waiting list.  We will contact you when we have a seat available for you.  In case you can't take the test as we don't have any more seats available for you, please inform your department of the situation.  They might be able to re-assign you to a different teaching duty.  You may take the test in the next testing cycle. 

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5.  I have a schedule conflict with my OECT testing.  Can I reschedule my test?

Please contact us at itas@iastate.edu as soon as possible to request for a schedule change or cancel your test.  We may not be able to accommodate all of students' requests, especially when they ask for a schedule change 1-2 days before their test date.  We don't accept a rescheduling request made a day before the test date.  In that case, students should either attend the test (by missing the other appointment scheduled at the same time) or cancel the test (so that another student can take the test). Please contact us as soon as possible if you need to cancel the test. 

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6.  When will the next testing be held? 

We offer OECT testing four times a year as follows:

  • Summer: One or two days in the last week of July and throughout August before the Fall semester begins (and 1-2 days during the first week of the term for late-arrival students)
  • Fall/Winter (I):  During the Dead Week and the finals week (late November - early December)
  • Winter (II):  During the orientation week of the Spring semester)
  • Spring:  During the Dead Week and the finals week (late April - early May)

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7.  Can I take OECT earlier than the posted dates?

Unfornuately not. We can't accommodate individual students' testing requests due to limited resources.  If you need OECT scores for the application to the Preparation for Future Faculty (PFF) program, just indicate in your application that you will take the test on the earlier date possible.

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8.  I don't/can't see my OECT result online.  

Please login to the system with your NetID and password.  If you still don't find your result on the page, please contact us with your exam ID and NetID.  We will fix the problem as soon as possible.  

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9.  I got Level 2, 3, or 4, and the result says I have to take GR ST 540.  Is it mandatory?

We require students to take GR ST 540 if they don't acquire Level 1 in OECT in their initial test.  This requirement is necessary to meet the Board of Regents’ mandate that is implemented through the ISU faculty policies. However, if they have a schedule conflict with the assigned GR ST 540 course, they may take it in the following term.  Also, they may choose to delay the GR ST 540 course to the following term if their TA duties are just grading, proctoring, or setting up equipment for that initial semester.  

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10.  How many GR ST 540 courses must I take?

Students enroll in GR ST 540 and retest until they get the OECT Level that matches their teaching duties. Students who initially test at Level 2 usually only need to take one semester of GR ST 540 while students who test lower than Level 2 may need to take two to three GR ST courses depending on their results after they retake the OECT.

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11.  Do I have to retake the OECT?

Generally, students should retake the OECT until they are at a Level 2. In some instances, departments will require students to retest until they are Level 1. Students should check with their department to see if they will be teaching stand-alone courses or need to get Level 1 to meet specific departmental requirements. Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) applicants need to get a Level 1 to continue in the program.

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12.  When can I retake the OECT?

Students who are enrolled in GR ST 540 can retest at the end of the semester. Students who have previously enrolled in GR ST 540 can retest within one full year after their previous test date. Students who have initially taken the OECT but did not enroll in any GR ST 540 cannot retest until they have completed one semester of GR ST 540. 

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13.  I can't sign up for GR ST 540 on AccessPlus.  What should I do?

Students CANNOT sign up for GR ST 540 through AccessPlus, but they should see the OECT coordinator in person to get an add slip for the course. Follow the instructions from this page.

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