Exchange visitors who come to Brigham Young University with a J-1 Visa will be required to complete a new English proficiency interview beginning June 1.
After a routine visit by the State Department, BYU’s International Student Services was required to change its procedure to verify English proficiency. After investigating the available options, International Student Services decided to require potential exchange visitors to complete the E3J1 English Interview, provided by English3, a company out of Phoenix.
The $99 interview “is more consistent and uses better metrics” to assess competence with the English language, said International Student Services director Sam Brown.
As an online video interview, the E3J1 can be taken from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. It consists of a series of randomly-selected questions given by an interviewer and takes less than 25 minutes, according to English3.
Additionally, BYU’s office of Graduate Studies announced on April 4 it will now accept the English3 Proficiency Test (E3PT) in place of the TOEFL or IELTS tests for graduate international applicants.
According to Logan Gillette, the director of graduate admissions and recruitment at BYU, most international applicants take the TOEFL, in which they have to physically go to a testing center.
Like the E3J1, the E3PT is an online exam in which students must demonstrate competency in four areas: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Because the applicant is videotaped as they complete the four sections, “the incidence of cheating or misrepresenting English proficiency is a lot lower,” Gillette said.
The office of Graduate Studies felt offering an online English proficiency exam removed the barrier of entry that requires students have access to a proctored testing center. In doing so, Gillette said, it created options for potential students and allows for a more diverse pool of students to study at BYU at the graduate level.