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The English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) is used to assess whether persons applying to pursue undergraduate degree programmes at the UWI Open Campus possess a satisfactory level of writing and reading proficiency in English for university academic purposes. The test is used as a diagnostic tool. Applicants who pass the test are allowed to register for the Foundation Language course. Applicants who fail the test are advised to use the English Language Self-Study Guide to prepare themselves to re-take the test. The results of applicants who pass the test will remain valid for five years.


DATE: Monday December 15, 2008
TIME (All times are local): 6:30 p.m.


Open Campus Country Sites regionally.


The ELPT will be administered as a paper test (not online as initially stated) and will last for two hours. It covers the following areas:


The focus is on the candidate’s ability to distinguish between correct and incorrect structures rather than on their knowledge of formal grammar. Candidates are required to answer alternative/multiple choice questions on any or all of the following:

  • Grammar of the simple sentence
  • Grammar of complex/compound sentences
  • Idiomatic usage
  • Writing mechanics and spelling


Candidates will be required to read several short passages and answer alternative/multiple choice questions concerning a summary of the main ideas of the passage.


Candidates are required to write a 500 word essay in which they provide information and ideas on a given topic.


  1. To register for the test, candidates are required to pay a fee of BDS$50 / BZ$50 / EC$70 / JA$2,000/ TT$160 / US$25
  2. Payments should be made as instructed by your Open Campus Country Site.
  3. Candidates must bring their receipt and identification bearing a photograph (i.e. driver’s license, passport, UWI student ID card etc.) to the test centre on the day of the test.
  4. Candidates must write their name and their application ID number or UWI student ID number on the answer booklet provided.
  5. Test results will be sent to the Open Campus Country Sites.


The following resources are suggested for applicants preparing for the ELPT:

Grammar Texts

Hodge, Merle (1997) The Knots in English: A Manual for Caribbean Users. Massachusetts: Calaloux Publications

Wilson, Paige & Glazier, Teresa (2008) The Least You Should Know About English. 10/E Wadsworth

Reading & Comprehension Texts

Milson-Whyte, Vivette (2003) English for Tertiary Level Study Guide. Mona, Kingston: Department of Language, Linguistics & Philosophy

Morgan, Paula (1998) Language Proficiency for Tertiary Level. St. Augustine, Trinidad: UWIDEC

Essay Writing Texts

Kirszner, Laurie and Stephen Mandell (2000) The Brief Holt Handbook 3rd ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.

Simmons-McDonald, H., Fields, L. Roberts, P. (1997) Writing in English: A Course book for Caribbean Students. Ian Randle Publishers

Online Support

Online Writing Lab (OWL) of Purdue University offers free resources on issues related to grammar, punctuation, general writing and practice exercises. http://owl.english.purdue.edu


Applicants in the following categories (a-f) are NOT required to sit the test:

  1. Persons with any ONE of the following English Language qualifications:
    1. Grade 1- CXC English A examination
    2. Grade A - GCE O Level English Language examination
    3. Grade A- GCE A/O Level General Paper examination
    4. Grades 1&2 CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) Communication Studies.
    5. Grade B+ or above College English Skills I or II- College of Bahamas
    6. Grade B+ or above Advanced Communication or Business Communication - University of Technology (UTECH)
    7. Grade B+ or above Freshman Composition I or II - Northern Caribbean University (NCU).
  2. Persons who are already holders of an undergraduate degree from the UWI or from an approved university, and persons with a Grade B+ or above in a college English course from an approved University.
  3. Persons holding a UWI Certificate in Advanced Nursing Education and Administration OR a UWI Licentiate of Theology.
  4. Persons holding a UWI Diploma in Mass Communications who have passed the course ‘Media & Language’ (MC52A)
  5. Persons who passed the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008 UWI English Language Proficiency Tests offered by any campus.
  6. Persons who successfully completed any ONE of the following UWI English Language courses within the last five years (i.e. 2004 onwards): UC010; UC10A; UC10B; UC10C; UC10D; UC10L; UC10H; UC120; FD10A; CM10A; CM10B; FD10C; FD10H.