English Proficiency Test


What is the EPT(English Proficiency Test)?

The EPT is a test of written English proficiency that all engineering students at Queen's University must complete and pass prior to graduation. It is a short exam that assesses students' ability to understand, analyze importance and summarize information.

The EPT is identified as a "milestone" in your SOLUS account and is ideally completed in first year. It is not linked in any way to the TOEFL, IELTS, CAEL, MELAB or any other test of proficiency in English. This is a test that ALL Queen's engineering students must take, as part of their graduation requirements.

Please refer to Regulation 15: Written English Proficiency.

When is the EPT?

First Year's ONLY : Monday October 5, 2015 7:00pm (multiple locations look for an email indicating which location for your section)

All students:     Tuesday December 8, 2015 9:00am Dupuis Hall Auditorium
                         Wednesday April 6, 2016 9:00am Dupuis Hall Auditorium

An opportunity to write the EPT again is available to all students during each exam period. No sign-up is necessary, please just arrive 15 minutes prior to start time with your student cards! Dates will be posted closer to exam time.

How does the EPT work?

In this test, a reader reads a situation aloud to the class. Both useful and irrelevant information is presented, so students need to take notes, identify their most important findings and then summarize them into a memo to a specific individual.

The memo must:

  • be written in proper Memo format
  • clearly present the information given
  • delete irrelevant information
  • place information in a suitable order
  • be written in clear, concise, technically precise well-formed sentences
  • use proper punctuation and spelling
  • include "Final Submission" at the top of the page of the final draft

How is the EPT Evaluated?

The test is primarily scored in two categories using the rubric below:

Fail (F)

Marginal Pass (M)

Pass (P)

1. Content

Critical information required to achieve purpose of memo missing; memo difficult to follow.

Some important content missed or extraneous information included; illogical order.

Memo provides required information in logical order to intended audience.

2. Correctness

Numerous grammar errors and frequent spelling errors; lack of paragraphs; not in Memo format; disorganized sentence structure.

Occasional punctuation/ grammar/ spelling errors (1-2 per paragraph), not so well organized paragraphs & sentences.

Well-formed sentences, organized paragraph/ sentence structure, very few minor grammar/ punctuation errors.

Students are assigned a Fail (F), Marginal Pass (M), or Pass (P) for each of the two categories.

Note: Students need to receive a pass (P) on both content AND correctness categories in order to pass the EPT.

What if I require special exam accommodations?

If you require special accommodations, that are documented with Health, Counselling and Disability Services please email well in advance to indicate your request. Email Program Co-ordinator.

What if I FAIL the EPT?

You can re-take the EPT as many times as needed until you pass. An EPT exam is offered every exam period, every year. Please check "When is the EPT?" above for the next upcoming EPT offering.

What can I do to help me PASS the EPT?

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science offers an English Support for Engineers (ESE) Program every fall and winter term. This is a voluntary drop-in workshop offered from week 6 to week 12 in both the fall and winter terms. All students, who failed to achieve a satisfactory standing on the EPT, can attend the workshops. You do not need to enrol in this program. Simply, show up at the scheduled room and time and attend the workshops.

The availability of workshops allows students to fulfil the EPT requirement easier and more efficiently. The workshops benefit students in many respects. During the workshops, students are dealing with discipline-specific language, methodology, and format. ESE program provides students with skills for writing properly. Students learn how to identify their most important findings (ability to understand spoken English) and how to structure their manuscripts (organize technical information) to ensure that they will produce an adequate technical document in English. Students have the chance to learn how to develop skills to organize technical information and how to summarize it in a memo. In addition, this program devotes considerable time to deconstructing students' own writing to help them improve their English language skills. The program provides additional feedback on the professionalism of students' writing.

Please check out the ESE page on Moodle. To find the ESE page:

  1. Login to Moodle.
  2. Scroll to the BOTTOM of the page where you can "search courses".
  3. In the "search courses" box, type in APSC 100.
  4. Find the course title, which is:

APSC100--Fall-Winter English Support for Engineers

  1. Click the link and you are in! This course is open to ALL students.

Note: Because the ESE Program is an open workshop, you will not be formally enrolled. Therefore it will not show up in your personal list of courses. To revisit the page you will have to follow the same steps above every time or you can bookmark the course.

What if I still have questions?

For additional information about the EPT, please feel free to contact the Program Co-ordinator at micheline.johnston@queensu.ca.