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 as a degree requirement for graduation. It is a short exam that assesses students' ability to understand, analyze and summarize information in a report.

The EPT is identified as a "milestone" on your transcript and is mandatory to complete in your 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.

EPT DATES 2018-2019

First Year's ONLY:  Thursday, September 27th, 2018 at 7:00 pm (multiple locations look for an email indicating which location for your section)

All students:

Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 9:00 am Etherington Hall Auditorium

Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 9:00 am Etherington 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 email 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 the purpose of report missing; memo difficult to follow.

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

The report provides the required information in a logical order to the 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) or Marginal Pass(MP) on both content AND correctness categories in order to pass the EPT.

What if I require Exam Accommodations?

If you require academic accommodations, which are documented with an official letter of Accommodation through QSAS(Queen's Student Accessibility Services), then students must email the accommodation letter at least one week in advance of the date of the EPT. Please mail Program Advisor.  Lindsay Campbell.

What if I FAIL the EPT?

You must re-take the EPT during your first year 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 English Support for Engineers page in OnQ To find the ESE page:

  1. Login to OnQ.
  2. Choose the course from the drop-down menu.
  3. Find the course title, which is: APSC100--Fall-Winter English Support for Engineers

What if I still have questions?

For additional information about the EPT, please feel free to contact the Program Advisor at lindsay.campbell@queensu.ca.