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MELAB

The MELAB is no longer being offered by Michigan Language Assessment. This page is available for reference.


The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) evaluates advanced-level English language competence of adult nonnative speakers of English. The MELAB is intended for

  • Students applying to United States, Canadian, British, and other educational institutions where the language of instruction is English
  • Professionals who need English for work or training purposes
  • Anyone interested in obtaining a general assessment of their English language proficiency for educational or employment opportunities

The MELAB is a secure test and is administered only by authorized official examiners. Many educational institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries accept the MELAB as an alternative to the TOEFL.

However, registration for the MELAB is different than for the other exams.

Registration

To register for the MELAB, complete the MELAB Identification Form. Print the form and mail it or take it to your MELAB test center.

  • Your completed identification form, your passport photo, and the test fee must arrive at your selected test center by the registration deadline as specified by the center. An incomplete identification form without a passport photo and the accompanying test fee will not be processed.
  • The MELAB Speaking Test cannot be taken alone. Speaking test scores are reported only in conjunction with the most recent written MELAB examination scores.
  • Contact your nearest MELAB test center for the dates of upcoming MELAB administrations.

Format

The MELAB is designed to measure your proficiency in the four basic language skill areas: writing, listening, reading, and speaking.

Section Time Description Number of Items
Writing 30 minutes Test takers write an essay based on one of two topic choices. 1 task
Listening 35–40 minutes PART 1 (multiple choice)
A short recorded question or statement is accompanied by three printed responses. Test takers choose the statement that conveys a reasonable answer or response.
18
PART 2 (multiple choice)
A short recorded conversation is accompanied by three printed statements. Test takers choose the statement that conveys the same meaning as what was heard, or that is true based upon the conversation.
22
PART 3 (multiple choice)
Four recorded interviews, such as those that might be heard on the radio, are each followed by recorded comprehension questions. The questions and answer choices are printed in the test booklet. Test takers choose the correct answer from the choices.
20
Grammar
Cloze
Vocabulary
Reading
80 minutes GRAMMAR (multiple choice)
An incomplete sentence is followed by a choice of four words or phrases to complete it. Only one choice is grammatically correct.
32
CLOZE (multiple choice)
Two passages with deletions are followed by choices of words and phrases to complete the text. Test takers must choose the word or phrase that best fills the blank in terms of grammar and meaning.
24
VOCABULARY (multiple choice)
An incomplete sentence is followed by a choice of four words or phrases to complete it. Test takers must choose the option that best completes the sentence in terms of meaning.
31
READING (multiple choice)
Four reading passages are followed by comprehension questions. Test takers choose the correct answer from the printed answer choices.
23
Speaking 15 minutes Test takers engage in a semi-structured interview with an examiner.

The entire MELAB lasts 2½ to 3½ hours (including check-in at the examination site) and consists of three required parts:

  • A written composition
  • A listening comprehension test
  • A multiple-choice test containing grammar, cloze reading, vocabulary, and reading comprehension problems

Optional Speaking Test

The speaking test is not automatically included in every MELAB administration.

  • The speaking test is not offered at every test center
  • The speaking test may not be taken separately; it may be taken only in conjunction with the written MELAB exam
  • If you are applying at the graduate level to a university in the United States and want to be considered for a teaching assistantship in order to receive financial aid, it is strongly recommended that you include the speaking test

MELAB Fees

Service Fee
MELAB (without the speaking test) contact your local center
MELAB (with the speaking test) contact your local center
Additional Score Reports $26 if requested at time of exam; $32 if requested after exam
Rush Score Reports $70 if requested at time of exam (up to two reports mailed to institutions)
$36 each for additional rush score reports at time of test; $67 each if requested after the scores have been released
MELAB Rescoring $60 per section (request must be made 30 days from receipt of test scores)

MELAB/TOEFL Concordance Table

The MELAB/TOEFL Concordance Table is intended to help those interested in establishing initial guidelines for using MELAB scores as an admission criterion. It matches MELAB and TOEFL CBT total scores based on the common percentile rank for the participants in a University of Michigan study.

MELAB Scores

The MELAB is no longer being offered by Michigan Language Assessment. Institutions may want to consider instead the MET, an exam with a similar test construct and features. Information about comparable scores on the two tests are provided below.

If you represent an institution and would like Michigan Language Assessment to verify MELAB test results that have been presented to you, please fill out and submit a test result verification request.

  • Scores over two years old cannot be validated or sent to a school or institution.
  • Michigan Language Assessment will discontinue accepting score report requests and results verification in July 2020.

The listening and grammar, cloze, vocabulary, and reading (GCVR) sections of the MELAB are computer-scored. Each correct answer contributes to the final score for each section and there are no points deducted for wrong answers. A scaled score is calculated using an advanced mathematical model based on Item Response Theory that ensures the ability required to receive a particular score remains the same from year to year. The speaking and writing sections are graded by Michigan Language Assessment certified examiners according to scales established by Michigan Language Assessment. All essays are scored by at least two raters.

MELAB scores are reported on an official score report form. The score report provides the following information:

  • A score for each of the sections
  • The final MELAB score, which is the truncated average of the scores for the writing, listening, and GCVR sections
  • Speaking test score for test takers who opted for this part of the test
  • Additional comments about the test performance (where this is relevant)

The score ranges for each MELAB section are:

Section Range Notes
Writing 0-97
Listening 0-100
GCVR 0-100
Speaking 1-4 May include + or –
Final MELAB 0-99 Average of writing, listening, and GCVR scores

There is no official passing score on the MELAB. However, different institutions and organizations that accept MELAB scores may require certain minimum scores for their purposes. For example:

  • One undergraduate program at a state university requires a minimum final MELAB score of between 80 and 85, with no part score below 80 (the final MELAB score is a truncated average of parts 1, 2, and 3)
  • Another undergraduate program at a community college requires a minimum final MELAB score of 75

Comparable overall scores on MELAB and MET, based on standard setting studies relating each test to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), are given below. Note that overall MET scores are based on however many skills a test taker chose to take.

CEFR Level MELAB MET
C1 91-up 64-up
B2 79-90 53-63
B1 62-78 40-52

Score Reporting

Once scoring is complete, you will automatically receive one unofficial copy of your MELAB score report, issued by the test center where your MELAB was administered. Official MELAB score reports will be sent to up to two universities or institutions that you listed at the bottom of the Official Identification Form before taking the test. These two reports and your copy of the score report are included in the test fee.

Sending Your MELAB Scores to Universities or Institutions

Michigan Language Assessment sends all official MELAB score reports directly to the universities/institutions. Your student copy of your score report is not considered official and valid. To ensure your scores reach your requested locations:

  • List the universities or institutions at the bottom of the identification form before the test (two score reports are free, but only if you list them on the form before the test)
  • If after the exam you want more than two score reports sent, you can purchase additional score reports online. (See pricing)
  • List the name and the complete address of the school to which you want to have scores sent (if you do not know the admissions office’s complete address, contact the university you are applying to and get the information from them)

Remember

  • Do not send the score report to the institution yourself
  • Make sure that the school(s) you are applying to accept MELAB scores as evidence of English language proficiency
  • Additional score reports ordered after the test cost extra (view pricing)
  • If you have taken the test more than once, only the most recent score will be sent
  • Speaking test scores cannot be carried over to subsequent test scores
  • Scores over two years old cannot be sent

You can order extra score reports by fax or mail, but you must include a copy of your score report. If you have any problems with your scores being accepted, contact us and we will send the institution further information on the MELAB and help the admissions officers interpret the MELAB scores.

An affordable and convenient college admissions credential with a short time period between registration and testing.