Accuplacer ESL Listening Test

When students visit the testing center they are asked whether they speak US English as their first language and if they have graduated from a US high school. If students answer “No” to one or both of these questions, they are given the Accuplacer ESL test (see pages 14-18 for specific ESL test preparation material).

In addition, any students who desire to enroll in a health technology program and who do not speak US English as their first language must meet minimum listening and speaking scores regardless of past coursework in the US or abroad. More information can be found under the Health Technology English Language Requirement section.

  • All students who take the Accuplacer ESL test meet with the Director of Academic EFL who evaluates their placement test scores.

  • In addition to the test scores, the director bases placement on an interview, and students may be asked for a writing sample in order to accurately determine skill level.

  • If students meet the skill level criteria, then they will be directed to take the NCDAP test in reading, writing, and math.

  • If students pass the NCDAP test, they will place into ENG 111.

  • If students do not pass the NCDAP test, then they would be placed into the appropriate EFL course(s) based on the interview and the test scores on NCDAP (typically Level 3 or Level 4 EFL).

The Durham Tech Testing Center offers the Accuplacer ESL Listening Test for non-native US English-speaking Health Technologies students who must fulfill the English language admission requirement. The Accuplacer ESL Listening Test is offered daily at the Main Campus in the Phail Wynn, Jr. Student Services Center (Building 10), room 1305, on the third floor. Check the Placement Test schedule for the times.

No appointment is necessary. There is no fee for the Accuplacer ESL Listening Test.

Please bring the following required items with you on testing day:

  • Photo identification card (ID)

  • Durham Tech student ID number

The Accuplacer ESL Listening test is an untimed, computerized, multiple-choice test that helps Durham Tech faculty and staff evaluate your English listening comprehension skills and places you into appropriate classes.

More about the Accuplacer ESL Test

Students will be asked to read short passages, answer questions based on visual prompts, and answer personal-response and opinion-based questions. They will be assessed on their speed, intonation, pronunciation, and correct syntactical structure of the responses.

Students should allow 30 minutes for the appointment, which includes time for questions before and results after the actual assessment, which lasts approximately 20 minutes.

Appointments must be made in advance by emailing the EFL coordinator at or signing up on her office door in the White Building (Building 1), room 59. Walk-ins are not accepted.

Preparing for the Accuplacer ESL Test

Accuplacer ESL listening test doesn't have online practices, but the TOEFL prep links are comparable to the types of questions that are used for Accuplacer.

Helpful Hints while taking the Accuplacer ESL Test

  • Refrain from re-listening to the recordings if at all possible. Points seem to be deducted from students’ answers when they re-listen even though there is a choice to do so. The test is a placement test, so the testing mechanism are set up to assess a person's listening ability. Therefore, if someone re-listens to a section, then the testing measurements would indicate that the person didn't fully understand the recording the first time.

  • Take notes so that you don’t have to rely solely on your memory even though not all of the questions pertain to comprehension. Some questions pertain to what a certain intonation or tone of voice means, but it helps to have the notes to prompt your memory.