SPEAK® Testing Schedule

SPEAK® Test Registration

Students can register for the SPEAK® by emailing Sara Tipton at s.tipton@wayne.edu

SPEAK® Test Schedule 2020

Date Day Time
August 25 Tuesday multiple times throughout the day (this test date is pending on University decisions for fall)
December 4 Friday 1:00 p.m.
  • Students register for the exam by contacting s.tipton@wayne.edu for an appointment.  If you have a group of students to be tested (especially on August 25th), please contact me for a time when they can be scheduled around your GTA orientation activities. Results will be reported as soon as possible.
  • Once students email me, they will be sent the registration form to complete as well as information about the test format, procedures and test practice materials.  Students should register with ample time to prepare. 
  • The $50.00 test fee is to be paid by the department if the student is being considered for an assistantship and has a signed letter of offer; if so, the department should send an email authorizing payment for the test to s.tipton@wayne.edu.  The department will then be billed via IRB once the student has taken the test.  The IRB is to be paid upon receipt. If the department is not paying the test fee, the student must pay the fee with a check or money order made out to Wayne State University.

University Policy

According to University Policy (02-1), following are SPEAK score interpretations:

  • A passing score is 50 (out of 60).
  • A score of 45 means the student may teach but must take ELI 0520* concurrently and pass the course to teach in the future.
  • A score of 40 means the student may take ELI 0520* but cannot officially teach with student contact until they pass the course or the SPEAK test.
  • A score below 40 means the student cannot teach or take ELI 0520 but must retake the SPEAK test again in hopes of getting a higher score.

Please find the complete University policy at the following link:


*The department must pay the course tuition if the student has a signed GTA contract. The course is offered fall and winter semesters.

SPEAK® Test Preparation

All prospective graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) whose native language is not English must pass the SPEAK® test with a score of at least 50 (out of 60) to be cleared for teaching. A score of 45 allows you to teach while enrolling in an international GTA course, ELI 0520. A score below that means you cannot teach, but you may retake the SPEAK® test at a later date.

About the test, test facility, test conditions:
The SPEAK® test is the institutional form of the original Test of Spoken English (TSE®); the format is the same, but SPEAK® test scores can only be used at Wayne State University. It is a 20-minute exam, with 12 questions asking you to do a series of tasks, such as giving directions, describing pictures or a graph, making an announcement and answering some general questions. The questions are not related to your academic discipline. The raters will evaluate how well you do these tasks and how clearly you speak English.

The test will be administered in a computer lab in Manoogian Hall. You will not need to click, scroll or write anything other than sign your name; you will wear headphones and speak into a microphone as you look at the test booklet and hear the test questions. Raters will then evaluate your oral skills by listening to what you have recorded.

Practice materials

  1. Note a practice test on the following website: http://cte.illinois.edu/testing/pdf/TSE_SampleTest060906.pdf
  2. There is one test prep book available: Toward Speaking Excellence, 2nd Edition. By Dean Papajohn, University of Michigan Press, 2005. ISBN 0472030868

Payment for the test
The department must pay the $50 test fee if you have signed a GTA contract, according to University Policy. Otherwise, you may pay by check or money order made out to Wayne State University.

Where to go/What to bring
Please arrive at least 5 minutes before your test time and wait outside room 367 Manoogian to be checked in. You must present one form of photo identification (passport, driving license, WSU One Card, etc.) to be admitted to the test.

If you have further questions, please contact Sara Tipton, Coordinator for ITA Testing and Training, by email at s.tipton@wayne.edu or by phone at 313-577-7706.