Non-Native Speakers of English

Onondaga offers English and reading courses designed to meet the unique needs and abilities of students for whom English is not their native language. In order to determine course placements in English/ESL, reading and math, these students are required to complete the LOEP (Levels of English Proficiency) Reading Skills, writing sample (Writeplacer) and math tests. LOEP Testing is on a walk-in basis during posted hours. Please see our Testing Schedule for available times. LOEP testing must be completed prior to completing the speaking interview. Beginning January 2013 through May 15th 2015, ESL students will also be required to complete a Speaking Interview to determine English speaking skill level in addition to the reading, writing and math tests. Effective May 18th 2015, the Speaking Interview will be replaced by the LOEP Language Usage test which is given online along with the other portions of the LOEP test. 


You must complete the LOEP test prior to the speaking interview.

Please note: You are required to bring photo identification to the interview.

The ten-minute Speaking Interview simultaneously evaluates your listening comprehension. You will meet 1-1 with a professor who will conduct the interview, which will involve a format similar to the following:

Introduction (three minutes): you discuss familiar topics (family, hobbies, interests, etc.) with the interviewer.

Independent Speech (three minutes): the interviewer hands you a slip of paper with a topic. You have one minute to prepare and you may make notes. Then, you will speak for two minutes without stopping about the topic.

Discussion (three minutes): the interviewer asks more in-depth and related questions about the topic you have just spoken about.

Every Speaking Interview will be recorded to ensure accuracy, validity and reliability.

Your ability to communicate and comprehend during the Speaking Interview will be assessed in combination with your LOEP exam results to determine your admission and placement.

There are walk-in hours scheduled for the Speaking Interview, or you may call the English/Reading/Communication Department secretaries to schedule an appointment during the time slots below at 315-498-2266 or email at

January 5th - May 15yh

Day / time Name Location
Mon 12:15 - 3:15 Valdes M310Q
Wed 12:30 – 3:30 Blankenship M350A
Wed 6:00 – 9:00 Hollands M310G

Please Note: No Speaking Interviews on: January 19th - 23rd, March 16th - 22nd

Skype speaking interviews are available upon request. Email Prof. Richard Blankenship at to make arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the test affect my admission status for OCC?

Satisfactory English proficiency is required by all non-native speakers of English and it is critical to your college success. Please note that test results and speaking interview results may affect your admission to the college.

What tests are included in the LOEP battery?

Your first step in the testing process is to complete LOEP. LOEP testing consists of multiple choice tests in Reading Skills, math and a writing sample (essay). A separate speaking interview is also required.  Starting May 18th 2015, the Speaking Interview will be replaced with a Listening Skills multiple choice test.  

What is the Writing Sample?

You will be provided with a topic and asked to type an essay (approximately 300 words) on the computer. The writing sample is timed, and you will have a maximum of 60 minutes to complete your essay.

Where can I obtain review sheets/sample tests?

You can download printable versions of the review sheets or get printed copies from the Student Central.

Should I study for the test?

To make sure that your test scores accurately represent your skill levels, you may wish to review basic concepts in grammar, composition, reading, algebra and arithmetic.

How do I schedule an appointment for the testing?

LOEP Testing is on a walk-in basis during posted hours. Please see our Testing Schedule for available times.

Beginning January 2013, please contact Professor Stephen Pierson, Professor Richard Blankenship, or the English/Reading/Communication Department, if you would like to schedule an appointment in advance for the Speaking Test. See above for contact information and availability.

What if I'm not comfortable with computers?

ACCUPLACER is very easy to use, even for prospective students with little computer experience. Since ACCUPLACER is an online test, however, you must have very basic computer skills in order to complete it (using a mouse, keyboard, scrolling through a webpage, etc). Take time to become comfortable with the internet, mouse and keyboard prior to testing.

How long does the LOEP battery take to complete?

The battery of tests takes approximately 2 hours to complete. The Reading Skills and math tests are un-timed and the writing sample is 1 hour. Some students may be able to complete testing in multiple sessions. Check with the Test Administrator for eligibility.

May I use a calculator?

Yes, but you must use calculators provided by Testing Services.

May I use a dictionary?

No dictionaries are allowed.

What should I bring with me to the test?

A photo I.D. is required.

What if I have a learning disability or other type of disability and need special assistance?

If you need accommodation because of a documented disability, you must contact the Disability Services Office (DSO) prior to testing.

After I have taken the test, when will I get my results?

Students will receive their scores when all components of testing are complete.

Can I be re-tested?

Please discuss re-test options with the Test Administrator.