CAEL CE (Computer Edition) will be continuing while CAEL (Paper Edition) will be retiring as of August 31, 2018. Read more.

How do students use the English language in a college or university classroom?

  • Students take notes during lectures.
  • Students read topics introduced by teachers and professors.
  • Students discuss what they have learned and are learning with their peers, teachers, and professors.
  • Students write short answers and essays on topics taught in lectures.

All of these activities are things that students normally do in a classroom. Test takers will need to do all of these things on CAEL (Paper Edition) as well. Test takers will find that preparing for CAEL (Paper Edition) is a good investment of their time.

To prepare for CAEL (Paper Edition), the following steps are recommended:

1.  Review CAEL (Paper Edition) Study Materials

To best prepare for the test, study materials can be purchased from our online store. The CAEL Test Takers’ Preparation Guide, Volumes I, II, and III, include key information about test format, scoring, skills, and strategies, together with numerous practice tests. Every volume also includes transcripts, answer keys, and reading booklets.

2.  Join our Free Online Information Sessions

Our free online information sessions and workshops provide test takers with valuable information about CAEL (Paper Edition), useful test preparation tips and strategies, as well as an informal question and answer session. A live information session is held every month, and recorded versions of our information sessions and workshops are available to watch as well.

3.  Complete the Written Assessment Sample Test

Sample Test #1: Rainforest


  • Total time allowed for the test is approximately 2 hours.
  • Download the Questions Booklet (PDF) for the Reading component and the Listening component of the test. Read the questions before reading the articles.
  • Read the questions for the Listening Section in the Question Booklet before beginning this section, and then click the play button below to listen to the lecture. Download and read the two articles in the Reading Booklet (PDF) on the topic of Rainforest. Use the information to answer the questions on Reading 1 and Reading 2 in the Question Booklet (Note: Use Reading 1 to answer the questions for Reading 1; use Reading 2 to answer the questions for Reading 2).
  • Read the questions for the Listening Section in the Question Booklet before beginning this section, and then click the play button below to listen to the lecture.

(MP3 format, file-size 4.4 MB) (Note: The lecture is played only once in the test so be sure to practice writing while listening.)

  • Use the information from the Reading component and the Listening component to write the essay in the Writing Booklet (PDF) (Note: The essay prompt is given at the beginning of the test so that test takers can think about the issues while they read the articles and listen to the lecture. When writing the essay, test takers must take a position and support their answers with information from the readings and the lecture).
  • Once the practice test is completed, download and use the Answer Key (PDF) to find the answers.

4.  Complete the Sample Oral Language Test (OLT)

Time allowed for the test is approximately 25 minutes.

The OLT is a recorded oral language test of spoken English in use for academic purposes. It consists of five tasks:

  • Task 1 (1 minute) to make a short oral presentation
  • Task 2 (5 minutes) to relay information obtained from a lecture
  • Task 3 (5 minutes) to relay information obtained from an academic document
  • Task 4 (5 minutes) to relay information from an academic text
  • Task 5 (8 minutes) to explain a choice for participation in a group project

Become familiar with the format of the OLT by doing the Oral Language Sample Test (PDF).

Oral Language Test Sound Files:
Task 1 (MP3 Format)
Task 2 (MP3 Format)
Task 3 (MP3 Format)
Task 4 (MP3 Format)
Task 5 (MP3 Format)

Please note: The number and type of tasks may vary. Video may also be included.

5.  Register for the CAEL CE (Computer Edition) Pretest

The CAEL CE (Computer Edition) Pretest is a FREE opportunity for test takers to practice taking academic listening, speaking, reading, and writing questions in a real test environment. The CAEL CE Pretest provides test takers with experience taking a computer delivered test, and after completing the CAEL CE Pretest, test takers receive detailed Listening and Reading scores that are broken down into four categories: overall, understanding general meaning, understanding specific details, and making inferences.

For a limited time, test takers that complete the pretest will receive 50% off a future official CAEL Test.