A smarter way to test language skills

What is Versant?

Versant is a standard test of speaking and listening skills. It consists of a 10 or 15-minute computerized telephone exam, with results reported immediately through the Internet.

Versant measures the user’s spoken English skills by asking the following sets of questions:

Test description Versant English Test
Time ~15 minutes
Total Number of Questions 63
Part A: Reading 8
Part B: Repeat Sentences 16
Part C: Answer Short Questions 24
Part D: Build Sentences 10
Part E: Story Retelling 3
Part F: Open Questions 2

The test presents six different tasks, including reading sentences, repeating sentences, answering short questions, building sentences, story retelling, and answering open questions.

The Versant English test can be used for the following situations:

  • Placing students into the correct language course
  • Qualifying international teaching assistants
  • Certification for evidence of language fluency for job applicants

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Scoring features

The Versant English Test provides a Score Report consisting of an overall score and four sub-scores. The overall score represents the ability to understand English and speak it intelligibly at a native conversational pace on everyday topics. Sub-scores measure performance in sentence mastery, vocabulary, fluency and pronunciation. All scores are reported on a scale of 20 to 80. (See a sample of Score Reports as PDF)

Administration features

The Versant English Test administration is easy. The test administrator provides the test-taker with a paper or electronic (PDF) version of the test and instructions.

The test-taker then calls the Ordinate Testing System, enters the Test Identification Number, and begins the tasks. Instructions are available in a variety of languages.

The Versant English Test also offers administrators the opportunity to listen to selected responses. The Open Question task requires test-takers to speak spontaneously in response to open questions. Administrators can listen to the Open Question responses to better understand a test-taker’s spontaneous fluency and rhetorical skill.

Score retrieval

Versant English Test results are available within minutes of test completion. Administrators can view and print out test results from ScoreKeeper, a password-protected website for test administrators.


Extensive validation information has been completed for the Versant English Test, including The Versant English Test Description and Validation Summary, and validity of the Versant English Test for use in Employee Selection. In addition, correlations with SPEAK, TOEFL®, TOEIC® and DLI-ILR have been calculated.

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