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Exam Levels
MSU-CELC (Certificate of English Language Competency) B2

Short description of the Certificate

The examination for the Certificate of English Language Competency of Michigan State University is a four-section test designed to assess English language ability at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) in all four modalities (Writing, Listening, Reading, and Speaking).

Each of the 4 sections of the test carries the same weight of 25 points, for a total of 100 points. In order to pass the MSU-CELC a candidate needs to obtain an overall score of 60 points and above.

Below you will find a description of the test format:

Writing Section

This section comprises two parts: an Essay (20 points) and a Grammar part (5 points)

Think About it- Write About it!

Two prompts are read out to candidates. Candidates are required to write one opinion essay in 35 minutes answering the question to the best of their ability. Though there is no word count, a minimum of 3 paragraphs is expected. The candidate’s development of ideas, grammar, vocabulary and organization will be evaluated by 2 raters at MSU.

Grammar you can use!

This is a 25-minute section consisting of 40 questions on common grammatical phenomena including clause formation and complement structures. Each item tests only one phenomenon instead of a combination of two or more.

Listening Section - Listen to this!

This section lasts approximately 45 minutes and features a total of 40 multiple choice questions. There are 3 parts: short conversations (1 question per extract), longer conversations (3-4 questions per extract) and extended discourse. In this last section, there are two long extracts followed by 10 questions each. The extracts in part 3 are heard twice.

All questions are printed in the order in which the information needed to answer them is heard during the conversation. Standard North American accents are heard on the recordings with no noise interference.

Reading Section- Read about it!

This section lasts 60 minutes and comprises 4 extended texts (of up to 450 words) followed by approximately 10 questions each. The questions require reading for specific information or key concepts, guessing lexical meaning in context, understanding text organization and global comprehension. A candidate's ability to understand through inference is not tested at this level.

All questions are printed in the order in which the information needed to answer them is read in the passage.

Speaking Section- Talk about it!

The oral interview lasts 10-12 minutes and a candidate is examined by 2 independent raters. After a warm-up stage which is not rated, an examinee is given 6 prompts, usually not related thematically.

The format for the MSU-CELC requires that a candidate provide 2 Descriptions, 2 Narrations and 2 Supported Opinions. At this level, the Interlocutor will model a example response before the candidate is expected to provide the first description and the first narration. Each task is rated separately.

Who should take this exam?

The MSU-CELC is appropriate for candidates with a minimum of 6 years of English instruction in an English Language school or for those who have attained an upper-intermediate competency in the language. Candidates should be able to function in everyday situations without any problem.

Are you uncertain what your language ability is? Why not try doing an MSU-CELC test to check your level?

MSU-CELP (Certificate of English Language Proficiency) C2

Short description of the Certificate

The examination for the Certificate of English Language Proficiency Examination of Michigan State University is a four-section test designed to assess English language ability at Level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) in all four modalities (Writing, Listening, Reading, and Speaking). There is a focus on the everyday English used by an educated speaker of the language rather than on the specialized language used for academic purposes.

Each of the 4 sections of the test carries the same weight of 25 points, for a total of 100 points.
In order to pass the MSU-CELP candidates need to satisfy two criteria. The first requires that they obtain a total score for all 4 sections of at least 60 points; the second requires that they not score less than 12  points on any of the sections. However, if a candidate obtains a total score of 70 points and above, the candidate is automatically awarded a certificate and the second criterion does not need to be met.

A description of the test format follows:

Writing Section

This section comprises two parts: an Essay (20 points) and a Grammar part (5 points)

Think About it- Write About it!

Two prompts are read out to candidates. Candidates are required to write one opinion essay in 35 minutes answering the question to the best of their ability. Though there is no word count, a minimum of 3 paragraphs is expected. The candidate’s development of ideas, grammar, vocabulary and organization will be evaluated by 2 raters at MSU.

Grammar you can use!

This is a 25-minute section consisting of 40 questions on common grammatical phenomena including clause formation and complement structures. Each item tests only one phenomenon instead of a combination of two or more.

Listening Section - Listen to this!

This section lasts approximately 45 minutes and features a total of 40 multiple choice questions. There are 3 parts: short conversations (1 question per extract), longer conversations (3-6 questions per extract) and extended discourse. In this last section, there are two long extracts followed by 10 questions each. The extracts in part 3 are heard twice.

All questions are printed in the order in which the information needed to answer them is heard during the conversation. Standard North American accents are recorded with no noise interference.

Reading Section- Read about it!

This section lasts 60 minutes and comprises 4 extended texts (of up to 450 words) followed by approximately 10 questions each. The questions require reading for specific information or key concepts, guessing lexical meaning in context, understanding text organization, global comprehension and inference.

All questions are printed in the order in which the information needed to answer them is read in the passage.

Speaking Section- Talk about it!

The oral interview lasts 10-12 minutes and a candidate is examined by 2 independent raters. After a warm-up stage which is not rated, an examinee is asked 6 questions, usually not related thematically.

The format for MSU-CELC requires that a candidate provide 1 Description, 1 Narration and 4 Supported Opinions. At this level, there is no modelling of responses for the description or narration tasks. Each task is rated separately.

Who should take this exam?

The MSU-CELP is appropriate for candidates with a minimum of 8 years of English instruction in an average English Language school or for those who have attained an advanced level in the language. Candidates should be able to function in everyday as well as formal situations without any problem.

Are you uncertain what your language ability is? Why not try doing an MSU-CELP test to check your level?

The MSU Exams at a glance

Both the MSU-CELC and MSU-CELP have exactly the same format and timed sections. These exams are designed to test all 4 language skills and each of the 4 sections carries equal points, i.e. 25 for a total of 100 points:

  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Speaking