CEPT OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview)

For International Visiting Scholars, Student Interns, & Potential TAs

Important Note to CEPT OPI Test-Takers:

  • The Center for English as a Second Language will be closed from Thursday, December 23rd to Sunday, January 2nd for the end-of-the-year holidays.
  • CEPT Oral Proficiency Interviews successfully completed by Friday, December 17th, will have score reports issued before closure.
  • New applicants can apply at any time during closure. Testing will resume on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022.

The CEPT Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) test assesses only the oral proficiency of the test-taker and is designed to measure communicative competence. Through a series of questions, both general and academic in nature, the fluency, accuracy, and range of the test-taker's spoken English production is assessed.

A test-taker's assessed level of oral proficiency is based on the language scale developed by the world-standard Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). After completing the interview, test-takers are sent an Official Score Report specifying their level of oral proficiency (not overall language proficiency). This test does not assess competence in other skills (e.g., reading, writing). 

CEPT OPI for International Visiting Scholars, Student Interns, and Potential Teaching Assistants (TAs)

  • CEPT OPI test scores are accepted by the International Faculty and Scholars office at UArizona for the purposes of issuing J-1 visas or other short-term visas for potential visiting scholars and student interns. 
  • CEPT OPIs are also administered for UArizona departments wishing to screen the oral proficiency of potential TAs. 

Please note that all potential test-takers should have contacted University of Arizona departments and made arrangements for sponsorship prior to taking this test. No refunds are available once a test-taker has registered. Anybody wishing to re-take the test must wait at least three months to do so. OPI test scores are not admissable for UArizona or CESL coursework.



Total cost: $60.00 (US) 
All sales are final. The testing fee is not refundable, transferable, or deferrable.

Information about the Test 

  • One format for the test – Q&A  
  • Questions are related to topics that adult test-takers would know or have opinions about.  
  • Scoring of test-taker performance is based on the following components: fluency, accuracy (i.e., grammatical control), range of vocabulary, phonology, pronunciation, and interaction.  
  • Listening skills are also tested in this section, particularly any difficulties test-takers may have understanding questions posed, and how they negotiate meaning (e.g., asking for questions repetition) should any comprehension problems arise.  

Test Procedures and Policies

  • The online application for this test requires test-takers to upload a passport or another official government ID with a current, clear photo. The name and date of birth included in the ID must be readable by English speakers.
  • Typically, interviews are scheduled and conducted within one week of applying for the test.
  • The test is conducted online (via Skype or Zoom) and is a 15-minute interview with an assessment specialist from CESL.

Score Report

  • Within two business days of completing the CEPT OPI, the test-taker is sent an official score report via e-mail (and pdf attachment) with the proficiency score from the test.
  • The test is scored using a rubric from the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), the world-standard proficiency scale for language assessment.
  • In order to qualify for a J1 visa, test-takers must score a minimum B2 (i.e., highly independent) on the CEFR scale.
  • All CEPT OPI scores awarded are final and not open to appeal.
  • CEPT OPI test scores are not admissable for UArizona or CESL coursework. 
  • Test-takers who wish to re-take the CEPT OPI test must wait at least 3 months to do so from the date the test was completed. 





Any questions about CEPT testing can be directed to: cesl@email.arizona.edu