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The GSTEP (Georgia State Test of English Proficiency) is a test for future or current postsecondary students whose native language is not English. The purpose of the test, developed and administered by the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language at Georgia State University, is to evaluate the English language proficiency of current or prospective GSU students.

Who should take the GSTEP?

The GSTEP is an English language proficiency exam given for two purposes:

The Admissions GSTEP is offered to students applying to colleges and universities in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Students applying to a school other than GSU should contact that school’s admissions office to find out if they accept GSTEP scores.

The Orientation GSTEP is required for most new international graduate students at GSU. Students typically take this exam during International Student Orientation. GSTEP scores are used to place students in English as a Second Language courses. New international graduate students should contact their academic department to find out if they require Orientation GSTEP scores.

When can I take the GSTEP?

Click here to see the testing calendar. The Admissions GSTEP is given several times each academic semester. Students can register to take the Admissions GSTEP once per semester. The Orientation GSTEP is given at the beginning of each semester. 


The Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL is updating the Admissions GSTEP so that it better reflects the type of language that students need to use in university contexts. These changes will begin with the September 2011 exam.

In the first section, the essay will be replaced with an integrated reading and writing section. The second section, listening, remains the same. In the third section of the test, examinees will read passages and answer multiple-choice comprehension and vocabulary questions.

The below table provides an overview of the old and new formats of the test. 

GSTEP Comparison Chart  

 Skill tested   Former Admissions GSTEP (July 2011 and earlier)   Updated Admissions GSTEP (Beginning September, 2011) 
Writing



Essay: Examinees write an essay on a topic



Integrated Reading and Writing—Short Answer: Examinees read two passages about a single topic and then answer eight short answer questions about the passages

Integrated Reading and Writing—Essay: Examinees write an essay responding to a prompt about the reading passages

Reading

Multiple Choice Reading: Examinees read four passages and answer 10 multiple-choice comprehension and vocabulary questions about each passage
Multiple Choice Reading: Examinees read three passages and answer 10 multiple-choice comprehension and vocabulary questions about each passage
Listening Listening: Examinees listen to an academic mini-lecture and a conversation between two students and answer multiple-choice comprehension questions Listening: Examinees listen to an academic mini-lecture and a conversation between two students and answer multiple-choice comprehension questions NO CHANGES TO CURRENT LISTENING SECTION
Grammar Multiple Choice Grammar: Examinees respond to 40 multiple-choice grammar questions. The updated Admissions GSTEP does not contain a separate grammar section. Grammar is assessed as part of the short answer and essay sections of the exam.
Total time to complete the exam  135 minutes 145 minutes
Score reporting Examinees receive a band score for each section of the test (Writing, Applied Grammar, Multiple Choice Reading, Multiple Choice Grammar and Listening) and an overall band score. Examinees will receive separate scores for Reading, Writing and Listening and a composite score.

 


 

Testing Coordinator: 404-413-5200