English Exam Overviews: The MELAB

MELAB_logoEven if its acronym does not reveal its roots, the MELAB’s name – the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery – is proof enough that the exam, like the ECCE and ECPE, originated at the University of Michigan. While the exam is aimed at a broader range of skill levels than either, it nevertheless offers several unique features to its target audience: students interested in English-language higher education.

What is the MELAB and what makes it unique?
Though now administered by Cambridge Michigan Language Assessment, the exam – like its brethren – maintains its connection to its American origins by emphasizing the American conventions of spelling, grammar, and pronunciation. Moreover, almost unique among language exams, the MELAB is comprised of three parts that are mandatory and one that is optional. That is to say that while the writing, listening, and “grammar, cloze, vocabulary and reading comprehension” (GCVR) sections are required of all test-takers, candidates sit for the optional speaking test only if they so desire. As a result, the MELAB attempts to meet the varying needs of academic students.

How is the MELAB scored?
While both the listening, and “grammar, close, vocabulary and reading comprehension” (GCVR) sections are graded by way of multiple-choice questions, both the writing and (optional) speaking section are evaluated by trained examiners according to a pre-determined set of criteria. Part of the speaking test’s score is determined by the interviewer who administered the one-on-one speaking component.

Where can I take the exam and how do I register?
The MELAB is administered under tightly controlled security procedures in order to prevent fraud and otherwise preserver the integrity of the exam. As a result, test-takers must complete and submit a MELAB Official Identification Form prior to their test date. Moreover, as the speaking test is not offered at every test center but may not be taken separately, if you need to take the speaking component of the exam be sure to check that your test center offers it before registering. For more information about these and other details, see our MELAB exam overview.


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