I want to be appointed as a GSI. Do I need to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement first?
How can I demonstrate English language proficiency?
I did take the TOEFL iBT. Does that test satisfy the language proficiency requirement?
What is the Oral Proficiency Test?
What happens if I don’t pass a test?

I want to be appointed as a GSI. Do I need to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement first?
If you do not speak English as a native language, then yes, you need to demonstrate language proficiency before you can be appointed as a GSIs. If you have not already done so, fill out the Language Proficiency Questionnaire to find out whether you have already satisfied the language proficiency requirement or need to take a test.

How can I demonstrate English language proficiency?
In countries where the TOEFL Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) is administered, the speaking section score of the TOEFL iBT can determine proficiency. A passing score of 26 or above on the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT satisfies the oral English proficiency screening requirement for GSI appointments. Alternatively, a passing speaking score of 8 or above on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test satisfies this requirement. If the TOEFL iBT is not available, students can demonstrate their proficiency by passing the Oral Proficiency Test (OPT) offered on the UC Berkeley campus. The passing scores on the OPT which satisfy the proficiency testing requirement for GSI appointments are scores of 3- or above in each of the following categories: Pronunciation, Question Handling, and the Final Score. An overall score of 76 or above on the Versant English Test when it was offered at UC Berkeley also fulfills the language proficiency testing requirement.

I did take the TOEFL iBT. Does that test satisfy the language proficiency requirement?
It might. The speaking section score of the internet-based TOEFL (TOEFL iBT), taken within the last two years, is used to determine whether you have already passed the oral proficiency screening requirement. If your score indicates that you need to take another test on campus, Language Proficiency Program staff will contact you to sign up for the Oral Proficiency Test (OPT). Your responses on the Questionnaire will enable us to guide you.

What is the Oral Proficiency Test?
The Oral Proficiency Test or OPT is a brief teaching demonstration in which you interact with UC Berkeley undergraduates. We can help you prepare for this test so you are ready to perform at your best. Please see the information pages for the OPT.

What happens if I don’t pass a test?
If you want to become a GSI, but do not pass the TOEFL iBT Speaking section, or the OPT, you should plan to take our Language Proficiency Program course (LAN PRO 380) for at least one semester. The course is described on the Oral English Language Proficiency Courses page.

For additional information, please contact:
Language Proficiency Program
langpro@berkeley.edu