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MTELP Series, Level 3

The MTELP Series has been discontinued. MTELP pages are for reference only.

Level 3 Sample Items

The MTELP Series is designed to measure both learner achievement and progress. It is suitable for adult or young adult language learners and can be used appropriately in a range of institutions. The MTELP Series is available at three levels of proficiency: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Test forms at each level have different item types and unique content.

Listening, Part 1

Listening Comprehension, Part 1

In each form of the Level 3 test, 22 items assess listening comprehension. There are two types of listening comprehension items.

In the first type, test takers hear a conversation between two speakers. After the conversation, test takers must answer three or four questions about the conversation, selecting the correct answer from the three options provided.

The audio for Level 3, Part 1 sample questions 1–3 is provided below.

What the test taker hears:

Listen to a conversation in a post office.

W: Good morning, I’d like to mail a present to Florida. It needs to get there as soon as possible.

M: What are you sending?

W: It’s just a small package.

M: Because you’re in such a rush, I’d recommend Express Mail service. It delivers overnight, even on Sundays and holidays. The rates start at $12.50 and go up depending on weight.

W: That’s gonna end up being pricey! How much would it be for First Class mail? I was told it’s quick and inexpensive.

M: First Class Mail service is cheaper, but it’s a bit slower. Keep in mind that anything weighing more than 13 ounces can’t be sent First Class Mail.

W: It might not work then. This really is a rush, so I’ll just go ahead and pay the fee for the Express Mail.

What the test taker sees:

1. Why does the woman go to the post office?

a. to get a package
b. to send a gift
c. to mail a letter

2. Why does the man mention Sundays and holidays?

a. to tell the woman about his trip to Florida
b. to show an advantage of one mail service
c. to explain when a package must arrive

3. What does the woman mean when she says: (Audio only: “That’s gonna end up being pricey!”)

a. She thinks that the service is expensive.
b. She thinks that the service is slow.
c. She thinks that the man is rude.

Answers: 1 B, 2 B, 3 A

Listening, Part 2

Listening Comprehension, Part 2

In the second type, test takers hear an interview featuring several speakers. The interview is followed by a series of questions about it. The test taker must select the correct answer to each question from the three options provided.

The audio for Level 3, Part 2 sample questions 4–6 is provided below.

What the test taker hears:

M: Recently, an Ohio couple surprised the art world by auctioning off a special collection of antique art and furniture. The items were made by Shakers, people who came from rural communities in the United States called Shaker communities. The pieces were in excellent condition, and many were fine examples of art that Shakers created for everyday personal use. Personal items such as these are difficult to find outside of museums. Jennifer Wilson reports.

W: Shaker antiques and reproductions are commanding higher prices than ever before. Valued for their simple lines and good quality, many people consider Shaker furniture to be the perfect combination of form and function. The best examples of Shaker art can be found in museums—such as the National Gallery of Art—and in Shaker villages located mainly in the Northeastern United States. However, because only one Shaker village still has active community members, very few “new” pieces of authentic Shaker art and furniture are produced for public sale today. So who are the Shakers, and why are Shaker items so popular? Historian Dr. Ted Parker tells us more about this unique group of people.

M: Many people can identify certain styles of rocking chairs or candle stands as being Shaker, but few people are familiar with the origin of these classic designs. The Shakers originally came from Manchester, England, and settled in the United States in 1774. They shared goals similar to other religious groups who went to the U.S. seeking the freedom to form communities of like-minded people. Although only nine Shakers arrived in New York in 1774, their numbers grew to over five thousand by the mid-1800s.

W: This is surprising because Shakers didn’t marry or have children. People weren’t “born into” the Shaker community. Rather, the only ways a person could become a Shaker was by converting as an adult or through adoption as a child. Shakers often took in orphans and children whose parents could not take care of them. They provided the children with a good education and taught them skills that they would need as adults. Many children chose to remain in the community after they were grown. Nowadays, though, there are very few Shakers. However, some Shaker villages have been preserved.

M: Today there is only one active Shaker village, with just a few inhabitants. The others are like museums, where tourists can see how they once lived. In these villages, one can see how the Shakers’ belief in harmony and order is reflected in everything from the neat, practical design of their communities to simple objects like tables and chairs, baskets, and rugs. They focused on the functionality of each item, creating harmonious lines that revealed the natural beauty of the materials used. They also created more traditional art such as drawings and paintings, and various types of needlework and wood carvings. Although the Shakers avoided the use of ornate decorations, they expressed creativity in subtle ways through the skilled use of symbols such as birds and hearts.

W: The Shakers lived simple lives, yet they showed a deep appreciation for beauty, even in everyday personal objects like pincushions used for sewing. Unfortunately, there are few places where the public can see such items, so many people hope the pieces sold at auction end up in a museum rather than a collector’s home

What the test taker sees:

4. What are the speakers mainly talking about?

a. the establishment of an art museum
b. key features of Shaker art
c. an art exhibition

5. What was unusual about the Shaker art sold at this auction?

a. The pieces came from a Shaker museum.
b. It was not typical of other Shaker designs.
c. Some pieces were made for personal use.

6. What do people admire about Shaker art and furniture?

a. It is ornately designed and carved.
b. It is both beautiful and useful.
c. It is complex yet functional.

7. Where did the Shakers originally come from?

a. Manchester
b. New York
c. Ohio

8. What would one be likely to see in a Shaker village today?

a. examples of Shaker furniture
b. a community of artists
c. elaborate architecture

Answers: 4 B, 5 C, 6 B, 7 A, 8 A



Following the listening comprehension section are 7 grammar items. Each grammar item on Level 3 represents a printed statement or a short conversational exchange between two speakers. Part of the statement or exchange has been omitted and test takers must select, from the four answer choices, the word or phrase that correctly completes the statement or exchange.

9. I felt Andy _______ shoulder a few times during class for no apparent reason.

a. to tap on the
b. tap me on the
c. tapping me on
d. tapped on a

10. Fred may be smart, but he _______ charm.

a. lacks
b. lacks of
c. has a lack
d. has a lack for

11. _______ finally chosen my research topic, I can start gathering information.

a. I have
b. Having
c. I had to
d. To have

Answers:  9 B, 10 A, 11 B



Next are 8 vocabulary items. In each Level 3 vocabulary item, test takers must select the word, from four answer options, that correctly completes a sentence that has had one word removed. All words selected for inclusion in the vocabulary section have been carefully sourced from a range of corpora that provide detailed information on word frequencies. The word frequencies selected for the MTELP Series vocabulary section are representative of the proficiency levels at which the three levels are targeted.

12. All things being _______, Anthony would rather study chemistry than biology this semester.

a. efficient
b. suitable
c. equal
d. reasonable

13. People _______ the street to see the holiday parade.

a. piled
b. stuffed
c. lined
d. placed

 14. Stella tried to make her presentation to the panel as interesting as possible by relating _______ from her life.

a. anecdotes
b. chronicles
c. crossroads
d. criteria

Answers: 12 C, 13 C, 14 A



Next is a cloze passage with 8 items that assess a range of reading skills. The passage has had 8 words or phrases removed and the test taker must select the appropriate word, from four answer choices, to complete the intended meaning of the original passage.

This passage is about computer intelligence.

As computers become increasingly powerful, the question of whether a computer can possess true intelligence is likely to become more widely discussed. To create a truly intelligent computer, we   (15)   provide it with several characteristics that most computers currently   (16)  .

To be considered intelligent, a computer would have to have a   (17)   to sense its environment. It would not be necessary to equip a computer with a great number of different senses, because any basic sense can easily be extended. For instance, humans do not have an innate ability to perceive radio waves, but   (18)   the aid of a radio it is   (19)   to sense the signal. An   (20)   example is the sense of sight. Although we cannot directly detect individual cells in the human body, a microscope gives us this   (21)  . A microphone and a camera,   (22)   to a computer, would, therefore, achieve some progress towards intelligence.

Compared to other challenges though, giving a computer the ability to sense is a relatively easy problem. The tasks of providing built-in motivation and consciousness are far more difficult.


a. need
b. must
c. ought
d. would


a. lack
b. neglect
c. ignore
d. decline


a. fashion
b. style
c. way
d. path


a. by
b. for
c. to
d. with


a. necessary
b. able
c. possible
d. capable


a. absolute
b. additional
c. above
d. unaware


a. result
b. choice
c. ability
d. image


a. arranged
b. installed
c. fastened
d. linked

Answers: 15 B, 16 A, 17 C, 18 D, 19 C, 20 B, 21 C, 22 D


Reading Comprehension

Finally, there are 15 reading comprehension items. Test takers are presented with three reading passages. Each passage is followed by several items that tap a range of reading skills. Test takers must select the correct answer from four options.

This passage is about the study of film music.

People who study film music often complain about the lack of recognition their field receives. The study of film music is an interdisciplinary field, falling in between cinema studies and musicology. This is one of the reasons why it receives so little attention. For example, when film music scholars, who often do not have music-degree credentials on par with the pure musicologists, write about film soundtracks, their articles are often ignored by the musicologists. Conversely, when the work of film music scholars touches on the visual aspects of film, the cinema studies people often treat it as the work of amateurs. So with the members of the two fields most closely related to it ignoring it, it is easy to understand why members of the film music field feel a degree of frustration.

Adding to the problem is the way members of the fields of cinema studies and musicology see the “other side” of the film music discipline. Cinema studies scholars focus on the visuals and the dialogue of a film. The music is of secondary importance to them. In the same vein, pure musicologists spend their career analyzing music. They do not see the value of attempting to integrate other factors—such as the visuals of a film—into their analysis of music.

So members of the film music community face an uphill battle. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that film music is literally in the background for most films: it plays an auxiliary role and exists to support the visual or the dialogue. It often happens that filmgoers leave a film and are not able to recall anything about the film’s music. It is not given a central role in the movie, just as it struggles to create a distinct role for itself in academia.

23. What is the main purpose of the passage?

a. to compare two opposing perspectives on film music
b. to propose a solution to an academic controversy
c. to explain why film studies is an interdisciplinary field
d. to explain the situation with an academic field

24. In the first paragraph, why does the author mention visual aspects of film?

a. to emphasize what film music scholars do
b. to provide an example of a criticism
c. to introduce work that is often ignored
d. to make a link with the next paragraph

25. In the final sentence of the second paragraph, what does the word their refer to?

a. cinema studies scholars
b. film music scholars
c. musicologists
d. fields of cinema studies and musicology

26. What do paragraph 2 and paragraph 3 have in common?

a. They both discuss causes of a situation.
b. They both offer solutions to a problem.
c. They both oppose the point made in paragraph 1.
d. They both indicate a problem is difficult to solve.

27. According to the passage, how are visual action and spoken dialogue in a film similar?

a. They are more important than the music.
b. They are overlooked by filmgoers.
c. They determine the type of music on the soundtrack.
d. They compete to play the central role in the film.

Answers: 23 D, 24 B, 25 C, 26 A, 27 A