You may receive credit for selected languages by earning satisfactory scores on the appropriate Language Testing International (LTI) subject examinations.

The LTI exams test your skills on speaking, listening, reading, and writing for the selected language. The exams are administered at the USD Testing Center located in McKusick Technology Center, room 201. LTI exams are offered only by appointment. Please email us at testingcenter@usd.edu for further information.

OPI - The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview, or OPI, is a live, 20 to 30-minute telephone conversation between a certified ACTFL tester and the candidate. It is a valid and reliable test that measures how well a person speaks a language. The procedure is standardized in order to assess global speaking ability, measuring language production holistically by determining patterns of strengths and weaknesses. Through a series of personalized questions a sample of speech is elicited and rated against the proficiency levels described in ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 – Speaking, Interagency Language Roundtable Language Skill Level Descriptors – Speaking, or the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), depending on the type of language proficiency certification that is needed.

The primary goal of the OPI is the efficient elicitation of a ratable sample. To be ratable, a speech sample must clearly demonstrate the highest sustained level of performance of the speaker (known as the "floor") and the level at which the speaker can no longer sustain the performance (known as the "ceiling"), over a variety of topics. The OPI resembles a conversation, but in fact, the tester follows a strictly controlled structure and protocol.

WPT - The ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) is a standardized test for the global assessment of functional writing ability in a language. The ACTFL writing proficiency test measures how well a person spontaneously writes in a language (without access to revisions and/or editing tools) by comparing his/her performance of specific writing tasks with the criteria stated in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines – Writing, Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) Skill Level Descriptors – Writing, or the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), depending on the type of language proficiency certification needed.

The ACTFL WPT is a carefully constructed assessment with four to five requests for written responses dealing with practical, social, and/or professional topics that are encountered in informal and formal contexts. The tasks and contexts presented represent the range of proficiency levels on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - Writing. The tasks and prompts are written in English with the expectation that the responses be written in the target language.

The ACTFL WPT assesses writing proficiency in terms of the ability of the candidate to write effectively and appropriately for real-life writing purposes. They do not address when, where, why, or the way in which an individual learned to write. The ACTFL WPT is not an achievement test assessing a writer's acquisition of specific aspects of course and curriculum content, nor is it tied to any specific method of instruction. The ACTFL WPT does not compare one individual's writing to that of another, but rather evaluates each individual's writing according to the assessment criteria of the rating framework.

*Students must receive adequate scores on both the OPI and WPT exams to earn USD credit

USD Policies Regarding LTI Examination:

  • You may take an LTI exam only if you have graduated from high school or successfully completed the GED examination.
  • USD credit will be given only to students who have adequate scores on “both” the OPI and the WPT exams in order to earn USD credit.
  • Payment must be made to USD on RegisterBlast when scheduling an appointment. The cost of this exam is $270 total for both the OPI ($170) & WPT ($100). Check/Cash will NOT be accepted. You must pay at time of signing up at RegisterBlast using a debit or credit card
  • You must provide a picture I.D. (driver's license, student I.D., etc.) at the time of testing.
  • For more information regarding LTI testing, you may visit: www.languagetesting.com

    *USD LTI policies, prices, and score requirements are subject to change.

If you have questions regarding LTI testing or wish to schedule an appointment, please contact the Testing Center at 605-658-6143 or by e-mail at testingcenter@usd.edu.