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Shaping English Language Assessments
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MELAB

The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) evaluates advanced-level English language competence of adult nonnative speakers of English. The MELAB is intended for

  • Students applying to United States, Canadian, British, and other educational institutions where the language of instruction is English
  • Professionals who need English for work or training purposes
  • Anyone interested in obtaining a general assessment of their English language proficiency for educational or employment opportunities

The MELAB is a secure test and is administered only by authorized official examiners. Many educational institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries accept the MELAB as an alternative to the TOEFL.

However, registration for the MELAB is different than for the other exams.

Registration

To register for the MELAB, complete the MELAB Official Identification Form. Print the form mail it or take it to your MELAB test center.

  • Your completed identification form, your passport photo, and the test fee must arrive at your selected test center by the registration deadline as specified by the center. An incomplete identification form without a passport photo and the accompanying test fee will not be processed.
  • The MELAB Speaking Test cannot be taken alone. Speaking test scores are reported only in conjunction with the most recent written MELAB examination scores.
  • Contact your nearest MELAB test center for the dates of upcoming MELAB administrations.

Format

The MELAB is designed to measure your proficiency in the four basic language skill areas: writing, listening, reading, and speaking.

Section Time Description Number of Items
Writing 30 minutes Test takers write an essay based on one of two topic choices. 1 task
Listening 35–40 minutes PART 1 (multiple choice)
A short recorded question or statement is accompanied by three printed responses. Test takers choose the statement that conveys a reasonable answer or response.
18
PART 2 (multiple choice)
A recorded conversation is accompanied by three printed statements. Test takers choose the statement that means about the same thing as what is heard.
22
PART 3 (multiple choice)
Four recorded interviews, such as those that might be heard on the radio, are each followed by recorded comprehension questions. The questions and answer choices are printed in the test booklet. Test takers choose the correct answer from the choices.
20
Grammar
Cloze
Vocabulary
Reading
80 minutes GRAMMAR (multiple choice)
An incomplete sentence is followed by a choice of four words or phrases to complete it. Only one choice is grammatically correct.
32
CLOZE (multiple choice)
Two passages with deletions are followed by choices of words and phrases to complete the text. Test takers must choose the word or phrase that best fills the blank in terms of grammar and meaning.
24
VOCABULARY(multiple choice)
An incomplete sentence is followed by a choice of four words or phrases to complete it. Test takers must choose the option that best completes the sentence in terms of meaning.
31
READING (multiple choice)
Four reading passages are followed by comprehension questions. Test takers choose the correct answer from the printed answer choices.
23
Speaking 15 minutes Test takers engage in a conversation with an examiner.

The entire MELAB lasts 2½ to 3½ hours (including check-in at the examination site) and consists of three required parts:

  • A written composition
  • A listening comprehension test
  • A multiple-choice test containing grammar, cloze reading, vocabulary, and reading comprehension problems

Optional Speaking Test

The speaking test is not automatically included in every MELAB administration.

  • The speaking test is not offered at every test center
  • The speaking test may not be taken separately; it may be taken only in conjunction with the written MELAB exam
  • If you are applying at the graduate level to a university in the United States and want to be considered for a teaching assistantship in order to receive financial aid, it is strongly recommended that you include the speaking test

MELAB Fees

Service Fee
MELAB (without the speaking test) contact your local center
MELAB (with the speaking test) contact your local center
Additional Score Reports $20 if requested at time of exam; $30 if requested after exam
Rush Score Reports $70 if requested at time of exam (up to two reports mailed to institutions)
$35 each for additional rush score reports at time of test; $65 each if requested after the scores have been released
MELAB Rescoring $60 per section (request must be made 30 days from receipt of test scores)

MELAB/TOEFL Concordance Table

The MELAB/TOEFL Concordance Table is intended to help those interested in establishing initial guidelines for using MELAB scores as an admission criterion. It matches MELAB and TOEFL CBT total scores based on the common percentile rank for the participants in a University of Michigan study.

An affordable and convenient college admissions credential with a short time period between registration and testing.

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