Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP)

Registration for TOP Adminstration III for 2017-2018 , which will be held Fridays, February 23rd and March 9th, is now open. 

TOP Objective:

The TOP is designed to examine the oral English ability of international students as they pertain to Teaching Assistant duties. These duties may include, but are not limited to, conducting discussion sections and/or labs, holding office hours, and interacting in English with undergraduate students in the course of normal TA duties. It is not designed to test teaching skills or knowledge of subject matter. 

TOP Requirement for International Graduate Students:

Students who plan to work as a teaching assistant (TA) at UCLA and are non-US citizens must pass the TOP before working as a TA in any department at UCLA. All non-citizens are considered international students. This includes permanent residents. However, international students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. university are exempt from taking the TOP. If you believe that you should receive an exemption from taking the TOP for any other reason (e.g., native speaker of English), please contact your home departmental Student Affairs Officer/Academic Advisor directly to request an exception from the Graduate Division.


  1. If you are a U.S. citizen or hold a bachelor's degree from a U.S. institution, you are automatically exempt from taking the test; you do not need to take any further action.
  2. Holding a master's degree from a U.S. institution does not qualify for an exemption. 
  3. No alternatives to TOP are accepted. Scores on any other language proficiency exams may not be used as a replacement for the TOP (e.g., SPEAK, TSE, TOEFL, ESLPE).
  4. If you do not plan to work as a TA at UCLA, you do not need to take the TOP. Other positions (e.g., special reader, GSR) do not require the TOP.

NEW TEST-TAKERS: Please take advantage of the collapsible boxes below that provide useful information on the format of the exam as well as useful tips for the exam. We do not encourage newly admitted students to take the TOP upon arrival, before they have had interaction with native speakers.

REPEAT TEST-TAKERS: It is highly recommended that test-takers seek counseling from the TOP coordinators to review their exam before registering for the exam again.

Departments and University Personnel: Please refer to this PDF file for exam information.

More detailed information about the exam is available in collapsible boxes below. Exam schedules and online registration can be found in the link on the sidebar to the right. Should you have further questions, please contact the TOP coordinators. Email is the preferred means of communication. Please be informed that the TOP coordinators do not hold open office hours. 

Franny Brogan and Iara Mantenuto
TOP Coordinators
(310) 825-3106 (campus extension 53106)

More Information: