International Teaching Assistant Test

It is the policy of Oklahoma State University that all persons employed as members of the faculty, as graduate teaching assistants or graduate teaching associates, or for any other assignments involving oral instruction be proficient in spoken English

The ITA test is generally given prior to the beginning of and at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters. Before registering for the ITA test, please verify eligibility for the ITA test - see the ITA policy.

The next ITA exam will be held on June 7, 2017. Registration will open March 20, 2017.

Preparing for your ITA Test - watch an introductory video on how to prepare.

About the test

The ITA test is a five minute (timed) teaching presentation given to an audience of test raters and other students who are taking the test.  After the presentation is finished, there is a 3-5 minute period for questions from the audience.

The raters consist of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. If your graduate program sends a faculty representative, that person may also ask questions about your presentation.

The cost of the ITA is $45 and will be billed to your Bursar account. ITA exams are grouped by graduate program and the scheduled time may vary depending upon the number of students registered from each graduate program. The final schedule is usually released the day of the exam. Registration is online (see the Registration tab).

ITA Test Presentation

  • The student teaches a short academic lesson in a chosen field of study.
  • The lesson should be a key point drawn from introductory chapters in a freshman textbook.
  • The test judges how well you can teach, not content knowledge. This includes explaining information and answering questions from the audience.
  • Questions from the audience are the typical kinds of questions that students ask.
  • Questions may come from undergraduates, faculty, or your graduate program representative.
  • Plan (and practice) your presentation to last about four and a half minutes. Practice is the only way to be sure of meeting the time requirement.
  • If you are in mid-sentence when the timer rings, you may finish your sentence, but you will not be allowed to continue beyond just a few seconds after the timer rings.

Registration for the Thursday January 12, 2017 test will open Thursday October 10, 2016.

Registration will be open until 11:45 AM on Monday January 9, 2017.

The cost of the ITA is $45.  All people registered at the time of registration closing will have their Bursar account billed for this amount. 

Late registrations will not be accepted.

No refunds for cancelations will be made after ITA test registration closes.

For registration click the link: https://gradcollege.okstate.edu/content/register-international-teaching-assistant-ita-test-2016-2017

 

 

 

  • An individual scoring 250 or above on the ITA test is allowed to engage in instructional activities.

  • An individual scoring from 240 to 249 on the ITA test is required to enroll concurrently in GRAD 5092 in order to engage in instructional activities.  Continuous enrollment in GRAD 5092 is required until the individual both earns a grade of “B” in this course and passes the ITA test with a score of 250 or above, or the individual ceases to be employed in an instructional capacity.

  • An individual scoring 239 or lower cannot be engaged in instructional activities and must enroll in GRAD 5082 and receive a grade of “B” to qualify to re-take the ITA test at its next regular administration.

Definitions
ITA
- International Teaching Assistant
iBT – Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
IELTS –  International English Language Testing System
Native English speaking graduate students – for the purposes of this policy, graduate students who completed their primary education (i.e., graduated from high school) from the following countries are considered to be native English speaking and are exempted from this policy:

  • Australia
  • Canada (except for Quebec)
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States (U.S.)

Non-native English speaking graduate students – for the purposes of this policy, graduate students who completed secondary education (i.e., graduated from high school) in any country not listed in the “Native English speaking graduate students” section.

Policy Summary
The requirements for non-native English speaking graduate students appointed to serve in an instructional capacity (e.g., employed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant involving oral presentations to students) are as follows:

An individual scoring 26 or higher on the speaking section of the iBT, or who scores 8.5 or higher on the speaking portion of the IELTS: The ITA test is not required, and the individual is allowed to engage in instructional activities.

An individual scoring 22, 23, or 24 on the speaking section of the iBT,* or who scores 7.0, 7.5, or 8.0 on the speaking portion of the IELTS: The ITA test is required, but the individual can register to take the ITA test without additional qualifications.

  • An individual scoring 250 or above on the ITA test is allowed to engage in instructional activities.
  • An individual scoring from 240 to 249 on the ITA test is required to enroll concurrently in GRAD 5092 in order to engage in instructional activities.  Continuous enrollment in GRAD 5092 is required until the individual both earns a grade of “B” in this course and passes the ITA test with a score of 250 or above, or the individual ceases to be employed in an instructional capacity.
  • An individual scoring 239 or lower cannot be engaged in instructional activities and must enroll in GRAD 5082 and receive a grade of “B” to qualify to re-take the ITA test at its next regular administration.

An individual scoring 21 or below on the speaking section of the iBT, or 6.5 or below on the speaking portion of the IELTS or who does not have access to the iBT or the IELTS prior to arrival at OSU: The ITA test is required, but to take the ITA test the individual must qualify by one of the two options specified below:

  1. Seek additional English proficiency qualifications prior to registering for the ITA test by enrolling in GRAD 5082 and receive a grade of “B” or (re)taking the iBT or IELTS exam (as permitted by iBT and IELTS policy) and earning a qualifying score as stated above. Either of these options qualifies the student to take the ITA test at its next regular administration. 
  2. The employing unit head submits an affidavit stating that the unit head has firsthand knowledge that the individual possess sufficient English skills to warrant access to ITA testing despite not meeting the iBT or IELTS score requirements.
  • An individual scoring 250 or above on the ITA test is allowed to engage in instructional activities.
  • An individual scoring from 240 to 249 on the ITA test is required to enroll concurrently in GRAD 5092 in order to engage in instructional activities.  Continuous enrollment in GRAD 5092 is required until the individual both earns a grade of “B” in this course and passes the ITA test with a score of 250 or above, or the individual ceases to be employed in an instructional capacity.
  • An individual scoring 239 or lower cannot be engaged in instructional activities and must enroll in GRAD 5082 and receive a grade of “B” to qualify to re-take the ITA test at its next regular administration.

Individuals who were enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning and completed a baccalaureate or higher degree at that institution prior to matriculating at OSU or who have been enrolled at OSU and completed a baccalaureate or higher degree, and whose iBT or IELTS scores have expired may receive authorization to take the ITA test if the head of their employing unit submits an affidavit that the unit head has firsthand knowledge that the individual possess sufficient English skills to warrant access to ITA testing despite not meeting the iBT or IELTS score requirements because of expired iBT or IELTS tests.

Click here for the ITA Unit Head Affidavit for Student to Take the ITA Test Add affidavit webform.

 

Per the test provider’s guidelines, iBT and IELTS scores are valid for two years past the date of the test administration.

Policy Guidance
The requirements for International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) are dictated in part by Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education policy (see Policy and Procedure Manual: Chapter 3: Academic Affairs §3.25) and Oklahoma State Law (Oklahoma Statute 70 O.S. §3224 and §3225 (2001)).

*There is no score of 25 on the speaking section of the iBT.

Policy approved by the Graduate Council and Instruction Council in May/June of 2012.
Updated policy approved by the Graduate Council August 22, 2014.

Individuals scoring 21 or below on the speaking section of the iBT, or 6.5 or below on the speaking portion of the IELTS can consider enrolling in GRAD 5082* to prepare for the ITA examination.  GRAD 5082* is a two credit hour, letter graded course.

GRAD 5082* ITA Training - Oral Proficiency. Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing. Communication strategies and oral skills necessary for international teaching assistants. This course focuses on academic spoken language.  By focusing on the language of academic interactions both in and out of the classroom, the course helps non-native speakers of English to acquire the communication skills they will need to participate successfully in university interactions with instructors and fellow students.

Students who earn a "B" grade are eligible to take the ITA exam. This course can be listed on a student’s plan of study but is not eligible to fulfill minimum degree requirements. This course is eligible for the graduate assistantship tuition waiver program.

 

Individuals who are assigned to instructional duties and who receive a provisional pass on the ITA examination must enroll in GRAD 5092*.  The two credit hour, letter graded course emphasizes language and teaching skills specifically related to classroom management, such as asking and answering questions appropriately, preparing and using visuals, appropriate levels of language, and techniques to improve total comprehensibility. As part of the class work for this course, students prepare various types of presentations which they give to the class and which may be video-taped. The instructor and the student view the tapes together in individual tutorials.

GRAD 5092* ITA Training - Presentation Skills. Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing. Prepares students for the ITA test. Topics include communication strategies, organization of topic, presentation skills. Students will practice making presentations in class.

Students who earn a "B" grade are eligible to take the ITA exam. This course can be listed on a student’s plan of study but is not eligible to fulfill minimum degree requirements. This course is eligible for the graduate assistantship tuition waiver program.

 

If you have questions, please contact:

itaexam@okstate.edu