Indiana University

The Department of Second Language Studies

Test of English Proficiency for Associate Instructor Candidates (TEPAIC)

Graduate students who are non-native speakers of English wishing to take an Associate Instructor (AI) position at Indiana University are required to take The Indiana University TEPAIC.

Why do I need to take the TEPAIC?

The TEPAIC Oral Interview is administered in order to determine whether international candidates for AI positions at Indiana University have a minimally acceptable level of general oral proficiency in English to give lectures and to interact with students who may not be accustomed to different varieties of English. Although candidates are not expected to communicate in English exactly like native speakers, it is expected that their proficiency level of spoken English will not hinder undergraduate student comprehension of any given subject/lecture.

What do I need to do before the TEPAIC?

See Registration section

Minimun English Proficiency Test Scores for TEPAIC

In order to meet the English proficiency requirements, you should score above the minimum scores from one of the following English proficiency tests:

  • Internet-based TOEFL (TOEFL iBT) 79
  • Print-based TOEFL 550
  • IELTS 6.5
  • Pearson PTE 53
  • MELAB 79



TEPAIC Registration

For more information on the TEPAIC Registration click the link below that applies to you:

Information for Departments:
Regular Session TEPAIC (Current enrolled Graduate students)
Special TEPAIC (Emergent situations, 1-3 students)
Admissions-cycle TEPAIC (Exams for prospective students)

Information For Test-Takers (Students):
Sign-up protocols for testing

Exam Dates for 2022

The TEPAIC is given officially four times a year: January, April, August, and October.

Sign up is held remotely via the qualtrics link listed below.   

Departmental memos for student permission to sign-up need to be received one week before the sign up process begins.

Sign UpInterview Dates Appeal Sign Up Appeal ExamMemo Deadline
October 3-5      October 10 and October 11        October 12  Ocotber 13  September 30 (please do not send memos before August 20)  
 November 28-30     **December 5 and December 6    December 7  December 8  November 18 (please do not send memos before October 20)

**The December exam will only be for January AI’s. This is due to the way the semester ends, when students start classes, and the holidays. In an emergency, if possible, we will conduct a small exam for students the week of Jan 3 – 6.

Students with authorization from their department to take the TEPAIC exam will need to complete the FireForm found here

What will the TEPAIC interview be like?




Sample Questions


5 min.

Questions about contact information (i.e., address, email) and personal life (e.g., hobbies)

How do you like Bloomington so far?

Field of Study

5 min.

Questions about the interviewee’s research interests with follow-up questions

Tell us about your research interests.

Future Direction

5 min.

Questions about future and hypothetical situations

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Evaluation Criteria

Aural Proficiency

Question comprehension and appropriate response


Comprehensibility at the level of consonants, vowels, intonation, word stress, and enunciation


Grammar and vocabulary

Communicative and Organizational  Strategies

Arguments and explanations with appropriate examples and reasons at paragraph-level discourse, and awareness of listener


Appropriate speed, pauses, and intonation

I received a score after taking the TEPAIC. What does it mean?






Although not native-like, the speaker can handle any communicative situation which presents itself; intonation and pronunciation, although non-native, do not impede understanding; grammar and vocabulary are sophisticated, with only occasional errors; communication breakdowns are easily overcome through repair strategies.


Approved with reservations

The speaker, although non-native in intonation and pronunciation, is yet able to negotiate any topic with minimal difficulty; grammar and vocabulary are adequate, although less sophisticated than C2, the speaker uses a variety of communicative strategies to overcome deficiencies in other areas; the speaker may have occasional communication breakdowns, but can successfully employ appropriate repair strategies.


Review / Minor language training needed

Some or all of the criteria in the categories listed above are inadequate; intonation and pronunciation are impediments to comprehension; grammar and vocabulary are rudimentary; a halting presentation style shows difficulty in accessing aspects of language structure; a speeded up style indicates lack of awareness of prosodic elements (grammatical constructions, discourse features such as question and statement intonation, etc.); inappropriate response shows lack of comprehension on the speakers' part; the speaker lacks repair strategies to negotiate communication breakdowns.


Extensive language training required

Communication is difficult because of severe problems in some or all of the areas listed in NC4. Pronunciation, intonation, grammar, vocabulary and comprehension may all show problems significant enough to render understanding problematic; communication strategies, even if present, cannot compensate for severity of deficiencies. an interviewee who receives NC5 was probably not prepared for participation in this test and may need significant training time in order to successfully complete it.

Who are the TEPAIC interviewers?

The TEPAIC interviewers are trained graduate students from the Department of Second Language Studies. All have advanced degrees in linguistics and/or second language instruction as well as many years of experience in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and testing. Their training as interviewers, moreover, is on-going, with training and calibration sessions conducted quarterly.


Can I get feedback for my performance at the TEPAIC interview?

Please send an email to and we would be happy to forward you the comments provided by the raters.

Are there any resources to help me prepare for the exam?

You can enroll in SLST-T502: Communication Skills for International Associate Instructors. The primary objective of this course is to help international students become effective teachers in the U.S. classroom. This course addresses the communication, teaching, and cultural issues that international students are likely to confront as an associate instructor at Indiana University. Type “SLST T 502” on iGPS to find the course.

What is the Appeal Exam?

You may register for the Appeal Exam if you have received the rating of NC4 in the TEPAIC oral interview. The Appeal Exam provides NC4 candidates with a second opportunity to demonstrate their English skills with a 30-minute teaching performance exam. In addition to a short interview, candidates demonstrate their ability to teach at an undergraduate level, answer questions in an office hour role play, and respond to typical student questions.

What will the Appeal Exam be like?




Evaluation Criteria

Background Interview

5-10 min.

Questions about background and educational interest

  1. Clarity, fluency, and intelligibility of the speech
  2. Ability to understand the questions

Teaching Segment

10-15 min.

You will prepare a short lesson where you explain a problem or a concept at a level appropriate for an undergraduate audience in an introductory level course or a lab. You may use the board.

  1. Language skills
  2. Presentation skills
  3. Teaching strategies
  4. Ability to understand and respond to questions

Office-Hour Role Play

5 min.

One of the evaluators will play the role of an undergraduate student with a request or a question you may encounter as an AI.

  1. Clarity and fluency of speech
  2. Interactional communication skills
  3. Ability to understand the intent of the question and clarify misunderstandings