MTELP Michigan Test for English Proficiency: Complete Guide

There are a few English language assessment tests that will prove your proficiency level, and one of them is the MTELP or the Michigan Test English Language Proficiency. 

Many test-takers use the MTELP exam for career purposes and language proficiency proof for university and college admissions. 

Also, the MTELP exam is considered one of the standardized measures of English language proficiency for non-native English speakers. To know more about the MTELP exam, we have provided an extensive article for you. 

What is the MTELP Test?

One of the English language proficiency tests you can take is the MTELP Test or the Michigan Test English Language Proficiency. It is an English language assessment test that provides certification for those non-native English speakers or those individuals using English as a second language. 

Also, the MTELP determines the individual’s progress in terms of the English language. It was developed by CaMLA, which stands for the Cambridge — Michigan Language Assessment is a collaboration between the University of Michigan and the University of Cambridge

It was formerly known as the English Language Institute Testing and Certification Division at the University of Michigan. The CaMLA is a non-profit organization that provides English language assessments, learning resources, teacher development, consultancy, and language research. 

The CaMLA range of language assessment tests, commonly known as the Michigan Tests, is widely used for school and university admissions, individualized educational (IEP) programs, K-12 programs, professional licensing, and employment requirements. 

The MTELP primary is intended to assess the non-native speaker’s English language skills, including listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and grammar and vocabulary. In addition, it determines one’s English proficiency level, either a beginner or advanced proficiency level. 

How Much Does the MTELP Test Cost?

The Michigan Test English Langauge Proficiency or MTELP costs USD 35. You can take the test in their official testing centers or any designated admissions.


Why Take the MTELP Test?

The MTELP is appropriate for all learners, ranging from beginner to advanced levels. Also, the MTELP is primarily used for a general English language proficiency test for adults and young adults non-native English speakers. 

Most test takers of the MTELP use it for academic and employment purposes. In addition, many choose the MTELP to prove their language proficiency because the test is backed up by both Univerisity of Michigan and Cambridge Assessment English, which are well-known language testing institutions. Plus, the MTELP provides a respected international certification for English language proficiency. 

Where are the MTELP Test Scores Accepted?

Educational institutions, government agencies, and even private businesses and organizations widely accept the Michigan Tests that assess and provide legit proof of the English language proficiency of individuals. 

The MTELP is also used as a progress test and an exit assessment exam by various institutions worldwide. It includes institutions such as ESL and EFL schools, intensive English programs offered by colleges and universities. 

In addition to that, it is also used by universities, such as Cambridge College, New America College, Andrews University, and more. We recommend that you always check with the respective educational institution to confirm if a particular test like the MTELP is officially accepted. Universities and colleges often change their eligibility and enrollment requirements.

However, few educational institutions and private organizations still accept and use this test to assess their candidates’ English language proficiency. Therefore, it is best to contact your desired institution or company to check if they accept the MTELP before you take it. 

Here are a few countries that accept the Michigan Language Assessment:  

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. Italy
  4. Japan
  5. Germany
  6. Mexico
  7. Korea
  8. Brazil
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Argentina
  11. Spain
  12. Peru
  13. Paraguay
  14. Indonesia
  15. Bangladesh
  16. India

MTELP Test Structure and Exam Format

The MTELP or Michigan Test English Langauge Proficiency is designed to assess one’s English language skills, including writing, grammar, vocabulary, reading, listening, and speaking. 

The duration of the MTELP test is approximately six hours. In addition, the MTELP test can be taken on either paper or computer-based format, and both still have the same content and duration. 

There are three MTELP test levels:

  • Level 1 beginner.
  • Level 2 intermediate.
  • Level 3 advanced.

There are four sections for this test:

  • The first section is the written composition.
  • The second section is composed of grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.
  • The third section is listening comprehension, and the last section of the test is speaking. 

All three MTELP test levels use the same test format and structure. The duration of the MTELP exam is approximately 50 minutes and contains 60 questions. Each section across the three levels has unique content and questions, meaning there are no shared or the same questions for each test type. 

In addition, the MTELP is a paper-based test, and it also has a computer-based version. 

Here are the three MTELP Test levels with their corresponding test sections and the number of questions per section. 

MTELP Test LevelTest Section & Number of Questions Number of Questions
Level 1 – BeginnerListening Comprehension
Grammar
Vocabulary
Reading Comprehension

25
15
11
9
Level 2 – IntermediateListening Comprehension
Grammar
Vocabulary
Reading Comprehension  
25
10
10
15
Level 3 – Advanced Listening Comprehension
Grammar
Vocabulary
Cloze
Reading Comprehension 
22
7
8
8
15

MTELP Listening Comprehension

The MTELP exam assesses the individual’s basic English language skills, including reading, grammar, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. There are three MTELP levels for beginner, intermediate and advanced:

  • MTELP Level 1: Listening Comprehension
  • MTELP Level 3: Listening Comprehension
  • MTELP Level 3: Listening Comprehension

MTELP Level 1 — Listening Comprehension

The listening comprehension section of the test is composed of 25 questions with audio clips. The duration of these audio clips will last around forty seconds to a minute. 

There are two types of questions used in this section, and the first one is wherein a short conversation between two speakers will be presented. Your task is to choose the best and appropriate answers to the questions that follow. All the questions are multiple-choice type, and it is related to the conversations that you have heard. 

The second question type for level 1 listening comprehension is a question or statement presented in the audio clip that requires a response. Your task here is to select the best answer for the questions or opinions in the given audio. There are also three choices given. 

Sample Questions for Listening Comprehension Section – Level 1:

Instructions: Click on each of the audio clips given below. Then choose the best response to the questions or statements you hear in the conversation. You can also pause and replay the audio. 

Choices for Number 1: 

a. I’d be glad to.

b. Only if you are away.

c. Yes, I’ll take off.

Choices for Number 2: 

a. No, I wouldn’t hide anything from you.

b. Yes, nothing.

c. No, it’s down.

Choices for Number 3: 

a. They went downtown.

b. They were throwing things out again. 

c. They were making too much noise.

Choices for Number 4: 

a. It’s a red-letter day.

b. She enjoys it. 

c. She’s better off than she used to be. 

MTELP Level 2 — Listening Comprehension

In the first part of this section, you will hear a short recorded conversation between two speakers. Your task for this type of question is to select the most appropriate response regarding the conversation you have heard. There are three options provided. 

Another audio clip presented at this level is a short talk from a single speaker, and some questions follow regarding the short talk presented. You need to select the most appropriate answer to each of the questions from the three options provided. 

Sample Questions for Listening Comprehension Section – Level 2:

Instructions: Listen to the audio clip. You may pause and replay the audio if you have not heard the question for each number. Then, choose the best response to the questions or statements you have listened to, and three choices are also given. 

Choices for Number 1: 

a.  Yeah, it was pretty tough, but I managed.

b. Yes, there was parking. 

c. No, not nearly enough.

Choices for Number 3. 

a.  Yes, before then.

b. Only once. 

c. No, not just me.

Choices for Number 4: 

a. The elevation was unbearable.

b. She will have to take the stairs.

c. It’s never happened before. 

MTELP Level 3 — Listening Comprehension

In this MTELP Level 3, question type number 1 for the listening comprehension involves a conversation between two speakers, this type of question is still the same with levels 1 and 2. And also, there are still three choices provided for this question type. 

In the second question type for the listening comprehension, you are tasked to select the best answer for each question or the most fitting response to the audio you have heard. 

For example, the following audio clip will be about an interview scenario wherein you will hear several speakers talking, and a series of questions follow it. And you also need to answer the questions and choose the most appropriate response from the options given. 

Sample Questions for Listening Comprehension Section – Level 3:

Choices for Number 1: 

a. Not at the cafeteria.

b. Not behind it. 

c. Not for a meal.

Choices for Number 2: 

a. Not my sister.

b. I’m certain I told you. 

c. Not her brother.

Choices for Number 3:

a. Not on a Tuesday.

b. But not the homework. 

c. I remember it.

MTELP Grammar Section 

This section, which includes grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension, is the MTELP exam’s primary test.  All three levels of the MTELP contain the same test sections and test structure. 

However, they differ in questions because the MTELP does not repeat the same questions for each level. And also, each MTELP level varies in the number of questions. In this grammar test section of the MTELP, you are given a short conversation of two speakers or statements that are provided for you to read. 

However, some parts of the context or statement are missing, and your task is to give or choose the correct missing piece of the conversation. And also, there are four choices given containing the selected words or phrases that might fit the missing part of the statement from the context given. 

MTELP Vocabulary Section

In the vocabulary section of the MTELP, you are tasked to complete the sentence given. Unfortunately, the sentence lacks one word, so you need to choose the correct word from the four options to complete the whole sentence. 

The vocabulary section is the same for all three levels of the MTELP. However, the questions given differ per level. 

Here are a few sample questions for the Grammar and Vocabulary Section:

1. Jack’s parents _____________ and so I am sure they would love to go to the exhibition.

  1. like Picasso’s paintings very much
  2. much Picasso’s paintings like
  3. much like Picasso’s paintings
  4. like very much Picasso’s paintings

2. Celine is very angry ___________ her boss’s decision to sack several members of staff.

  1. about
  2. against
  3. for
  4. by 

3. You _________ to ring Aunt Rose to thank her for her present. 

  1. ought 
  2. should 
  3. must
  4. could 

4. I didn’t like that writer’s first book, but his second one is much more _________. 

  1. easy 
  2. excellent 
  3. expensive
  4. interesting

5. When Albert was a small child, he ________ spent hours every day playing with sticks and stones in his Grandma’s garden. 

  1. would
  2. was 
  3. used 
  4. should

6. Eliza and John are planning to get married this year and ________ a lot of children.

  1. have 
  2. bring 
  3. make 
  4. get 

7. The police are __________ an investigation into the robbery of the jewelry store last night. 

  1. carrying out
  2. working out
  3. searching out
  4. making out

8. This steak is beautifully _________ – what recipe did you use?

  1. tender 
  2. mild 
  3. soft 
  4. gentle 

9. Many people in our neighborhood have noticed that the portly Mrs. Robles is _______ while her husband is silent. 

  1. tranquil
  2. reticent
  3. voluble 
  4. droll 

10. For any writing to be easily read and understood, all the ideas in it must be _________. 

  1. concise 
  2. coherent 
  3. legible 
  4. discernible 

MTELP Reading Comprehension Section

In this section, there are four short reading passages that you need to read. It is then followed by two to three questions that will help in assessing your reading skills. 

Your task in this test is to select the correct answer to each of the questions related to the passages presented, and there are four choices provided. 

Here are is an example question for the Reading Comprehension Section:

Instructions: Read the selection, then answer the questions after it. Choose the best answer from the given choices. 

Instructions: Read the selection, then answer the questions after it. Choose the best answer from the given choices. 

Unlike divers who go underwater in submersible vehicles or pressure-resistant suits, ambient divers are exposed to the pressure and temperature of the surroundings (ambient) water. Of all types of diving, the oldest and simplest is free diving. Freedivers may use no equipment at all, but most use face masks, foot fins, and snorkels. 

Under the surface, freedivers must hold their breath. Most freedivers can only descend 30 to 40 feet, but some skilled divers can go as deep as 100 feet. Scuba diving provides a greater range than freediving. The word “scuba” stands for “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.  

Scuba divers wear metal tanks with compressed air or other breathing gases. A scuba diver simply breathes air from the tank through a hose and releases the exhaled air into the water when using open-circuit equipment.  A closed-circuit breathing device, also called a rebreather, filters out carbon dioxide and other harmful gases and automatically adds oxygen. It enables the diver to breathe the same air over and over.  

In surface-supplied diving, divers wear helmets and waterproof canvas suits. Today, sophisticated plastic helmets have replaced the heavy copper helmets used in the past. These divers get their air from a hose connected to compressors on a boat. As a result, surface-supplied divers can go deeper than any other type of ambient diver can. 

1. What is the main idea of the selection presented above?

  1. Freediving is the oldest and simplest kind of diving.
  2. There are many different kinds of ambient divers.
  3. Divers use different kinds of tools or equipment in diving.
  4. Ambient divers differ significantly from those who dive with submersible vehicles or pressure-resistant suits. 

2. Which interpretation would the author most likely agree with?

  1. Freedivers can go deeper underwater than scuba divers. 
  2. Plastic ones replaced copper helmets because the former was too expensive.
  3. Carbon dioxide is harmful to divers. 
  4. Ambient divers need pressure-resistant suits. 

MTELP Cloze Section (Level 3 Advanced)

This section of the MTELP uses a cloze question type wherein you are tasked to fill in the missing parts or test of a sentence. The Cloze test type is only given at MTELP level 3.

A cloze test is a type of test that contains missing words in the whole paragraph or context, and you have to provide the missing words that have been removed intentionally.  It aims to measure your comprehension ability. 

For example, in the MTELP exam, a passage is given to read with eight missing words. You must complete the passage and fill in the missing gap. There are also four choices provided. 


How Does the Scoring Work for the MTELP Test?

The MTELP uses a scoring of 0 to 100 of each level of the test. A test score of 0 indicates that the test level is difficult for the individual taking the test. And for scores ranging from 2 to 100, it suggests that the test level is appropriate or too easy for the test taker. 

There are different levels for test scores in MTELP. You can check the table below for complete detail of the MTELP test scores. 

MTELP Series LevelTest Scores showing the test is too difficult Test Score indicating the test is appropriateTest Score indicating the test is too easy
Level 12 – 4950 – 100
Level 26 – 2525 – 7475 – 100
Level 315 – 5051 – 100

How does the MTELP Paper-based Grading Work?

If you have taken the MTELP paper-based test, this is the grading for it. For the total score of the MTELP, your score in writing, listening, speaking are all added up, plus the equated score for grammar, vocabulary, and reading. 

As for the overall score, the total raw score will be divided by two to get the final overall score. The MTELP paper-based test used paper and pen to answer the exam and still contain the exam sections and structure. 

MTELP Test SectionsScore
Writing/50
Grammar/40
Vocabulary/40
Reading/20
Raw Score/100
Listening/45
Speaking/5

How does the MTELP Computer-Based Grading Work?

As for the MTELP computer-based, this is the grading for the scores. The total score of your listening plus GVCR (grammar, vocabulary, comprehension reading) sections is added up with a total of 100. 

Plus, the scores in writing and speaking are also included for a total of 165 for the overall score. The computer-based MTELP is a computerized version of the paper-based test, and it also consists of the same sections and structure.  

MTELP Test SectionsScore
Listening + Grammar + Vocabulary + Reading Comprehension/100
Writing/40
Speaking/25
Total/165

MTELP Exam Dates and Locations

The MTELP exam is available by appointment and is to be taken at their official testing centers and those designated institutions that use the exam for admissions. You will receive your MTELP score one week after taking the test, and it is valid for two years. You can find a list of the MTELP Test Center locations directly on their website.

To register for the MTELP exam, you must complete a test application form. You can acquire the application form directly from the testing center or via email for request. 

As for the MTELP exam payment, you can pay directly at their official testing centers and designated institutions. Some testing centers also offer payment through checks, credit cards, money orders, and bank transfers. Note that the test fee for the MTELP is non-refundable. 

Suppose you have failed to attend your test schedules due to unavoidable circumstances, sickness, and other reasons. Then, you can make arrangements to make up for your test schedules in the testing center, which is still subject to approval. The rescheduling fee for the MTELP is around USD 50. 

You need to bring the fully accomplished application form, your payment receipt, and one government-issued ID to register for the MTELP exam in your nearest testing center. Take note that those non-native English speakers who are green card holders or those individuals with U.S. citizenship are not required to take the complete MTELP exam. 


How to Prepare for the MTELP?

There are many available Michigan test practices that you can access quickly and help you prepare for the MTELP if ever you plan to take it. In connection to that, you can visit their official website to check the various Michigan English exam practice that they offer.

You can also start preparing for the MTELP by doing a self-review. It is not that hard to start doing a self-review for any English language assessment test. 

Keep in mind that you already have the skills needed for the exam. You only need to refresh your knowledge on specific English language skills or those you might find difficult. For starters, you find some difficulties in your reading comprehension skills, and you can improve this area by reading essays, articles, and short paragraphs. 

Also, do follow-up questions about the context that you have read, or you can also try to summarize it freely. What the context is about. What is the message of the topic? In addition, you can also try remembering other essential details.  It will help you with your comprehension. 

Another preparation you can do is to answer practice tests that are available online, or you may also purchase a test review book for the test if you have some spare money, but it is not necessary. 

It does not mean precisely that you need only to take the MTELP practice tests offered. Instead, you can try other English language assessment test practices that you can get your hands into. In this way, you can be flexible and be more exposed to different test structures and formats. 

Taking many practice tests will also hone your English language skills and improve your language exam speed. Note that these language exams have a time limit, so it is also good to use a time limit while taking your practice test. In addition, these English practice tests will build your confidence in taking any language proficiency exams in the future. 


FAQs on the MTELP

What is a Good MTELP Score?

The MTELP scores range from 0 to 100. A good MTELP score is between 23 to 100, which indicates that you have an average to excellent proficiency level in the English language. For more details on the MTELP scoring works, check out the information in this section of the article.

Is the MTELP Exam Valid?

Yes, the MTELP is a valid exam. It is a standardized language assessment designed to evaluate your proficiency. It is backed up by prestigious universities and institutions like the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan. However, that does not mean every country (for immigration), every educational institution, or employer accepts the MTELP exam scores and certificates. We recommend that you check directly with the respective organization if they currently accept the MTELP exam, and if not, which English exams they currently accept.

Is the MTELP Exam Easy? 

Yes, the MTELP is easy, and it is an adaptive language assessment test, meaning the difficulty level depends on the performance of the test takers. Based on our study of the various English language proficiency tests, the MTELP isn’t as hard or comprehensive as the IETLS exam or the TOEFL test, or any other Cambridge English Assessment test. We also recommend that you don’t choose a test strictly based on how easy it is. It is always wise to check if the particular English exam is currently accepted by the educational institution or the employer you are applying for.

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