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International Teaching Assistant Exams

All international teaching assistants (ITA) at Washington State University take an assessment that is designed to measure English Language proficiency and teaching ability to ensure proper teaching placement.

Testing Dates

All available time slots for ITA exams for the Fall 2018 semester have been filled. Requests for emergency tests must come through departmental liaisons. Please contact Sharon Fraser-Allen if an emergency ITA exam is required.

The process of arranging ITA tests for the spring semester will begin late January 2019. They will be scheduled in the order in which registration forms are received, based on evaluator availability. Spring semester tests will be scheduled between January 28 and March 29, 2019.

After you fill out the registration form, your testing date and time will be arranged via email. You will be contacted at your official WSU email address

Retaking the ITA Test

Only one ITA test may be taken in each academic session. (fall, spring, summer)
ITA tests may be retaken every 12 months. A different topic must be used for each subsequent ITA test.
Requests for retesting within the same 12-month period must be accompanied by the section of the registration form explaining work done, such as:

  • Courses taken (name and duration)
  • Tutors (topics covered and total hours of instruction)
  • Materials used (websites, books, audio/visual, etc.)
  • Hours/day of practice (details of what was done, log)
  • Other relevant factors

Sharon Fraser-Allen, ITA Exam Coordinator
Kruegel Hall 10A
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Office of International Programs
Intensive American Language Center
PO Box 643251
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-3251

About the Exams

The state of Washington requires international teaching assistants be evaluated before their teaching assignments can be approved.

The Intensive American Language Center provides these exams for the WSU Graduate School. Questions regarding exemptions from the exam should be directed to the WSU Graduate School.

You will be asked to prepare a 20 minute lecture. The lesson taught must be in your field, but not necessarily what you will be teaching as a TA. The lesson should be at the introductory level. It is fine to teach a short lesson on a basic special interest topic, such as: “Why is the sky blue?” or “Why are whales and bats classified as mammals?”

The candidates are rated on their:

  • Language (pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary)
  • Communication ability (use of white board, communication of information)
  • Question handling (comprehending idiomatic questions and responding appropriately)

You should expect to be interrupted with questions during your lecture. The questions are not used to gauge your knowledge of your field, but instead to determine English comprehension and how well you speak without a script.

Recommendations from the exams will not prevent you from receiving an assistantship. These recommendations are used to identify the kind of work you will be assigned to do in your ITA position.

Please note that your ITA exam will be video recorded. The video is used during the evaluation process.



Fill out the Registration Form

Registration form


Receive a Confirmation Email

Once you fill out a registration form with your preferred date and time, you will be contacted via email to confirm your selection or be offered an alternate choice.


Bring a Department Representative Who is an Expert in Your Field

Select an exam time that both of you can attend. The exam schedule fills up quickly, so it is a good idea to have at least two alternate selections. Your department representative will judge the content of your ITA exam.

Important Exam Details

  • Prepare a 20-minute lecture on a topic in your field. The material should be at an introductory level. Someone who has never taken a class for your major should be able to understand it. Discrete topics are the best choice.
  • Make sure your department representative knows the date and time of your exam.
  • The day of your exam, you and your department representative should come to the IALC main office, Kruegel Hall, Room 13, five minutes before the exam is scheduled to begin.
  • There will be a whiteboard and markers available in the classroom.
  • The ITA exam is designed to rate teaching ability in English without the use of PowerPoint or handouts, i.e., what could be taught to someone walking in to your office.
  • You may not use a handout (exception: if a single-page handout is necessary, it must be approved in the main office.
  • You may not use PowerPoint.
  • You will be evaluated on your ability to effectively teach and communicate with students in English.
  • Here are some teaching tips:
    • State the learning objectives
    • Explain the material clearly
    • Check for understanding
    • Plan to be interactive and answer questions


Students in Pullman must register and confirm their testing time at least one week prior to their exam date.

Students at the Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Spokane locations must register and confirm their testing time at least two weeks prior to their exam date.


If you have any questions about scheduling, registration, preparation, or your exam results, please contact us. We are ready to help.

Scheduling and Registration
Sharon Fraser-Allen
Kruegel Hall 204