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Faculty of Humanities and Education

Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature

English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT)

Guidelines for the ELPT


  • The test measures your ability to understand and use Standard English at a level appropriate for study at The UWI. For more details, click here.
  • You must take the test as an applicant to The UWI, not as a currently enrolled student
  • You must take the test unless you have one of the exemptions listed below (also available here).
  • If you fail the test, you must take and pass FOUN0100 Fundamentals of Written English before your other FOUN courses. For more information, click here.
  • If you pass the test or are exempted, you can proceed directly to the FOUN courses your Faculty requires. To find out more, click here.
  • The date of the next ELPT will be announced on the LLL Homepage and posted here as well.
  • You can go to this page to find out your results.

Key points for the ELPT

ALL applicants to the University are required to take a Proficiency Test in English, unless exempted (see who is exempted below). The application for the test may be obtained at the same time as the normal application form from the Student Affairs Section at Cave Hill, Mona or St. Augustine, or from Resident Tutors or University Representatives in Non-Campus Countries.
Who is exempted from the Test?

Possession of one of the following will exempt you from taking the test:
  • Grade 1 in CXC General Proficiency in English A
  • Grade 1 or 2 in CAPE Communications Studies Examination
  • Grade A in the Cambridge GCE 'O' Level examination
  • Grade A or B in the Alternative Ordinary (AO) General Paper
  • Graduates of the Barbados Community College who have completed the course CORE100 English and Communication with Grade B or higher.
  • Entrants to the Faculty of Law, who already hold a degree or a pass in English Literature at Advanced Level.
  • Grade B+ or above College English Skills I or II- College of Bahamas 
  • Grade B+ or above Advanced Communication or Business Communication - University of Technology (UTEC H) 
  • Grade B+ or above Freshman Composition I or II - Northern Caribbean University (NCU). 
  • Persons who are already holders of an undergraduate degree from The UWI or from an approved English-speaking university
  • Persons who passed The UWI English Language Proficiency Tests offered by any Campus within the past 5 years
What happens after I pass the test?

Those who pass, or are exempted from, the test are qualified to take the compulsory Level I Foundation Language courses*.  Students in the Faculty of Humanities and Education (FHE) must register for the following in their first year:
    • FOUN 1006: Exposition for Academic Purposes 
    • AND
    • Either FOUN1003: Introduction to Creative Non-Fiction
    • OR FOUN 1004: An Introduction to Argument
    • OR FOUN1008: An Introduction to Professional Writing

It is highly recommended that students do NOT take both Foundation courses in the same semester.

* Students in Faculties other than Humanities and Education, please check your Faculty Handbook for guidance on the Foundation courses you are required to take.

Accessing your test results
You can access your results on the ELPT test page (click here) approximately two (2) months after the test. Only the names of the students who have passed will be published. If your name is not on the list, then you have failed and should proceed to take the FOUN 0100 Fundamentals of Written English course.
What if I fail or did not take the English Language Proficiency Test?

Candidates who are not exempted and who did not take, or whot failed, the ELPT are required to pass the foundation writing course FOUN 0100: Fundamentals of Written English BEFORE registering for any of the required Level I Foundation Language Courses. FOUN 0100: Fundamentals of Written English is offered in both semesters for a fee of Bds $500 as well as in the Summer School at the same cost.
About the ELP Test

The ELPT is divided into two sections, each taking 90 minutes (1 ½ hour). One section is a multiple-choice test and the other is an essay writing test.
The multiple choice section covers the following areas:
  • Distinguishing between correct and incorrect usage and structures
  • Mechanics of writing and spelling
  • Identifying and/or correcting grammatical errors
  • Detecting differences in meaning and ambiguity
  • Identifying equivalency in meaning and structure
  • Demonstrating understanding of level-appropriate vocabulary
  • Critically analysing passages to summarise the main ideas and to answer comprehension-based questions.
The essay writing section requires candidates to write an essay (of at least 500 words) in which they demonstrate satisfactory performance in the following areas:

1. Structure and organisation
  • Clear coherent thesis
  • Clear introduction, body and conclusion
  • Good paragraphing skills
  • Adequate use of connective devices

2. Content
  • Adequate number of points to address the issue
  • Coverage of all parts of the question
  • Originality of ideas or treatment of the topic

3. Style
  • Fluency
  • Appropriate variety and level of formality
  • Good grammar (few errors)

Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature
Telephone: (246) 417-4402/4/5 Fax:(246) 424-0634 Email: