The UFV ESL Department uses the online Accuplacer diagnostic  tool to assess English language proficiency. This tool assesses your English skills if you have learned English as an additional language to your native or first language. It is divided into 3 units: reading, writing, and listening. Your placement in the ESL program is determined by both the scores and sub-scores you receive on the assessment units and by other factors such as previous post-secondary study experience or study experience in Canada.


The Reading Skills unit evaluates comprehension of short passages. There are 20 questions in this section. The passage content is varied and deals with a variety of subjects including the arts, human relationships, physical science, history, social sciences, and practical situations.

Half of the Reading Skills unit contains direct comprehension items (paraphrasing, locating information, vocabulary on a phrase level, and pronoun reference).

The other half assesses inference skills (main idea, fact vs. opinion, cause/effect logic, identifying irrelevant information, author's point of view, and applying the author's logic to another situation).


This unit assesses your ability to write clearly and effectively, which is critical to academic success. You will be given a selected topic. You will have up to an hour  to complete your response.

The writing sample will be scored on the basis of how effectively it communicates the response to the stated topic including the ability to express, organize, and support opinions and ideas. The following five writing features will be considered:

Organization: The ability to use  clear and logical sequence to present both main and supporting ideas.
Focus: The ability to maintain focus on the given topic and to support main ideas with relevant and coherent explanation and details.
Vocabulary: The ability to use vocabulary exactly and effectively to express meaning clearly and establish and maintain tone.
Sentence Structure: The ability to create sentences that are varied, well constructed, free of grammatical errors, and clearly expressive.
Mechanical Conventions: The ability to use English language conventions for spelling, punctuation, and  paragraph and essay form.


The Listening unit is a true listening assessment-allowing you to listen to all parts of the unit, including the answers. You will be assessed on your ability to understand one or more people speaking English - not on your ability to read English. Pictures and photographs of a speaking situation are shown while the conversation is spoken. After the conversation, a question is heard along with 4 possible answers. There are 22 questions in this unit.

The conversations reflect a variety of settings, such as a computer lab, library, shopping centre, restaurant, and workplace.

The following links give additional information concerning Accuplacer:

Accuplacer sample questions for students
Accuplacer preparation information
Accuplacer test - online course
Accuplacer ESL LOEP

To book your appointment for an assessment  with Accuplacer, please contact Balraj sumra or Alicia Friesen in the ESL office at 604-854-4581.

updated: 2014.01.15 / created: 2007

Twitter Facebook Linkedin Flikr UFV on Google+ YouTube goUFV