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SPEAK test


All students for whom English is not their first language must take the SPEAK test and obtain a score of 50 in order to be appointed as a Teaching Assistant or Graduate Assistant with any of the following assignments: classroom or laboratory teaching, discussion leader or any other teaching activity requiring oral communication with students.

  • Students scoring a 45 may teach for ONE SEMESTER only while attending required remediation.
  • Students scoring below 40 will be re-assigned to other GA duties.

The SPEAK test (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is the institutional version of the TSE (Test of Spoken English) produced by Educational Testing Service. Scheduled test dates and contact information for the International Teaching Assistant Programs are shown below:

  • The GA contract must be completed and in the Graduate School by the 4th day of classes.
  • NOTE: When completing the contract, the date that the SPEAK test was passed should be entered on the Verification of Academic Credentials form. The CAE will notify the Graduate School of each student's score. Contracts for teaching will not be approved until the SPEAK test has been passed.
  • International students whose first language is English should contact the Graduate School for an Exemption to the SPEAK requirement.
  • Students who hope to obtain assistantships in the future are encouraged to take the SPEAK test as early in their graduate career as possible.

For scheduling the SPEAK test or for information about English Language remediation options or enrichments to improve English fluency and classroom teaching skills, please contact Lisa Goins or Anissa Dalle, Patterson Building (PT) 127, Phone: (901) 678-2107; E-mail:

Last revised on: September 18, 2008.

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Graduate School
Administration Bldg. 215
The University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: (901) 678-4212
Fax: (901) 678-0378

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Last Updated: 1/24/13