International Student Services



for Non-Native Speakers of English

(Click here for a printable copy)

The Michigan Test is designed to measure your ability in English. There are four different kinds of problems: listening comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. There are 100 problems: 20 listening, 30 grammar, 30 vocabulary, and 20 reading. You will have 65 minutes: 15 minutes for the listening and 50 minutes for all of the remaining sections: grammar, vocabulary and reading.

Do not spend too much time on any one problem or you will not have time to finish the test. If you do not know the answer to a problem, you should guess. Unanswered problems will be counted wrong. 

The sample questions below are a small sample of the questions which will be on the exam. These questions will help prepare you for the test and give you a better understanding of what to expect. The answers to each section are provided at the bottom.

The description and sample questions below do not cover the writing sample. Students who correctly answer 60 – 100 problems on the Michigan Test, must complete a writing sample. The Writing sample is a 60-minute writing test which is described in detail in a separate document titled the “Writing Test Guidelines for Non-native English Speakers.”

Here are the cut-off scores for each ESOL level. You may retake the test one time if you think you can do better. If your score is close to a cut-off, we recommend that you consider retesting. For example, if you score 58 on the Michigan and you feel you can do better, it is a good idea to ask to take the test again at a later time.


ESOL 052

ESOL 051

ESOL 047

ESOL 046






*Writing Sample Required* Students scoring 60-100 on the Michigan EPT must provide a writing sample. The writing sample along with the Michigan score will be used to determine placement in ESOL 042 and 052 and to recommend further testing for possible ENGL 101 placement.

No Writing Sample Required


There are four parts to the Michigan Test. Each part is described here along with two sample questions. The answers are at the end.

I. LISTENING: Problems 1-20 are designed to test your listening comprehension. You will hear 20 statements and questions. Each one will be spoken just one time and will not be written out for you. After you hear a statement, read the four sentences which are printed in the test book and decide which one is closest in meaning to what you have heard. After you hear a question, decide which answer is the best response. Find the number of the problem on your answer sheet, and choose either (A), (B), (C), or (D)-whichever goes with the answer you have chosen.

Example 1:  You will hear: "George has just returned home from his vacation."

 You will read:

  (A) George is spending his vacation at home.

  (B) George has just finished his vacation.

  (C) George is just about to begin his vacation.

  (D) George has decided not to take a vacation.

Example 2:  You will hear: "When are you going to New York?"

 You will read:

  (A) To visit my brother.

  (B) By plane.

  (C) Next Friday.

  (D) For three weeks.

II. GRAMMAR: Problems 21-50 are designed to measure your knowledge of proper grammar usage in English. In each grammar problem you will read a short conversation between two people. The conversation is not complete. You should look at the answer choices which follow the conversation and then choose the ONE answer that correctly completes the conversation.

Example 1:  "When did it begin raining?"

 "It started _______ the night."

  (A) during

  (B) by

  (C) from

  (D) at

Example 2:  "What is that thing?"

 "That _______ a spider."

  (A) to call

  (B) for calling

  (C) be called

  (D) is called

III. VOCABULARY: Problems 51-80 are designed to measure your knowledge of the meanings and uses of English words. In each vocabulary problem, there is a sentence with a word missing. From the answer choices following the sentence, you should choose ONE word that best fits the sentence and makes it meaningful.

Example 1:  I can’t _______ you his name, because I don’t know it.

  (A) talk

  (B) say

  (C) speak

  (D) tell

Example 2:  Because of the storm and rough waves, it would be foolish to go out sailing today in a small __________.

  (A) automobile

  (B) house

  (C) boat

  (D) beast

IV. READING COMPREHENSION: Problems 81-100 are designed to test your reading comprehension skills. You will read a sentence and then answer a question about it. Choose the ONE best answer to the question, using the information in the sentence you have just read.

Example 1:  John drove me to Eleanor’s house.

 Who drove?

  (A)  I did.

  (B)  John did.

  (C)  John and I did.

  (D)  Eleanor did.

Example 2: This morning as I was getting ready to go to town, my wife asked if I could buy some milk on the way home.

 The person telling this story is . .

  (A) a married woman

  (B) an unmarried woman

  (C) a married man

  (D) an unmarried man


Listening: Example 1 (b), Example 2 (c)

Grammar: Example 1 (a), Example 2 (d)

Vocabulary: Example 1 (d), Example 2 (c)

Reading Comprehension: Example 1 (b), Example 2 (c)

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