ELI Clearance

What does it mean to "clear" the ELI, and how do I do it?

All students who have English as their second language must clear the ELI. If you don't, we have to place a hold on your registration, which means you won't be able to register in future semesters.

There are two ways to get ELI clearance:

1) See if you meet any of the exemption criteria. If you do, you will be exempted from the ELI and you won't need to take the ELI Placement Test. Check with the ELI Office (Moore 570) to see if you can be exempted.

2) If you do not meet any exemption criteria, you must take the ELI Placement Test. There are no exceptions to this. The ELI Placement Test includes two tests of listening, two tests of reading, and one writing test (graduate students take the ELI's writing test, and undergraduate students take the Manoa Writing Placement Exam). Based on the scores of your test, you may be placed into intermediate or advanced courses, or you may be exempted in one or more of the three skill areas the test covers.

If you place into any ELI classes, the university requires that you complete those courses within your first year of study at UH-Manoa, following a specific schedule (see "Course Completion Policies")


Exemption Criteria

Any student who has English as a second language and has been admitted to the university is exempt from evaluation by the ELI if any of the following can be documented:

a. The student is a native speaker of English.

b. The student has received a score of 100 or better on the internet-based TOEFL, or a score of 600 or better on the paper-based TOEFL, or an overall score of 7.0 or better on the academic IELTS.

c. The student has received a score of 151 or better on the verbal section of the GRE.

d. The student has received a score of 540 or better on the verbal section of the SAT if taken before March 2005, or a score of 540 or better on the critical reading section if taken in March 2005 or thereafter.

e. The student has received a combined score of 48 on the reading and English sections of the ACT and neither subscore (reading or English sections) is lower than 21.

f. The student has an Associate of Arts degree from a community college within the University of Hawai’i system. 

g. The student has obtained the equivalent of 60 transferable semester credits with a GPA of 2.0 or better, all earned in classroom settings at regionally accredited colleges or universities in the United States, or from colleges or universities whose academic standing is recognized by the University of Hawai’i and where English is the primary language of instruction. (Note: back credits for native language, or other credits earned based on experience rather than in classroom situations, do not count as part of the 60 transferable credits.)

h. The student has completed 6 years of full-time schooling with English as the medium of instruction at a middle school, high school, college, or university in Australia, Canada (except Quebec ), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States.  Documentation of all six years is required.

If you are not sure whether you meet exemption criteria or not, come to the ELI Office (Moore 570) to check. If you try to register and are told you have a hold on your registration, placed by the ELI, please come to the ELI office to check your ELI status.

ELI Home


What if you do not meet exemption criteria? The ELI Placement Test

Students who do not meet any exemption criteria must take the ELI placement test before beginning their first semester at UH-Manoa. Placement into ELI courses or exemption from ELI courses will be based on the results of the ELI placement test. Test results will be available the day after the test.

Click here for more information about the ELI Placement Test, including testing dates and times. You can also find information about testing dates and times in the current Schedule of Courses. Registration for an ELI Placement Test must be done in person at Moore 570, prior to the testing date.

All photos: UH Relations