Preparing for the ITA Test
Commonly Asked Questions
Do I have to take a specific workshop before taking the ITA test?
No, you do not. There is no single workshop that is appropriate for all students. Focus on the language skills you most need to develop. For example, one student may need to improve grammar, while another student lacks teaching fluency. These two students would need different programs of study at ICC.
How do I know what ICC classes I should take?
Students should attend a Language Support Orientation when they begin their studies at CMU.
How long does it take to prepare for the ITA Test?
Some students can get a high score on the test their first week at CMU, while others need to attend language work for several semesters or even years.
Why do some students take the same workshop more than once?
Learning a language takes time and repeated practice. Students may need to attend a workshop or seminar more than once to improve a particular skill area.
I talk with my advisor everyday. Doesn't that mean I have enough English to serve as a TA?
No, not necessarily. First, one-on-one conversation with someone from your field can rely on technical language or jargon. Students, however, are often unfamiliar with technical terms and concepts, need simple and clear explanations, and expect examples that clearly illustrate theoretical concepts.
What skills are rated on the ITA Test?
Students are rated on pronunciation, grammar usage, academic fluency, listening and question handling, and overall comprehensibility. Students are not assessed on academic knowledge nor on teaching skills (although we give feedback on presentation skills and cultural knowledge to help candidates improve their communication skills).
Can students retake the ITA test?
Before asking to retest, students need to have attended a significant amount of language classes. Typically students require 25 - 35 hours of ICC work, sometimes for several semesters, to move to a higher score.