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ACTFL Oral Proficiency Certification Exam Registration & Instructions

All Spanish for Health Professions majors must take this exam to graduate and to receive an OPI certified score. Your score does NOT determine if you graduate, but the exam must be completed in order to earn the degree. The ACTFL OPI must be completed in your second-to-last semester to ensure processing for graduation. For example, if you wish to graduate in May, you need to have your score in hand to the Spanish for Health Professions advisor by December 31st, the last day of the preceding fall semester. Please allow 6-8 weeks to complete the process, so the earlier in the semester you schedule, the better. ACTFL OPI INFORMATION:

What is the ACTFL OPI?

The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview, or ACTFL OPI as it is often called, is a standardized procedure for the global assessment of functional speaking ability. The ACTFL OPI takes the form of a carefully structured conversation between a trained and certified interviewer and the person whose speaking proficiency is being assessed. It is a telephonic interview between a certified ACTFL tester and an examinee that determines how well a person speaks a language by comparing his or her performance of specific communication tasks with the criteria for each of ten proficiency levels described in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 – Speaking. - See more at:

The interview is interactive and continuously adapts to the speaking abilities of the individual being tested. The topics that are discussed during the interview are based on the interests and experiences of the test candidate. Through a series of personalized questions, the interviewer elicits from the test candidate examples of his or her ability to handle the communication tasks specified for each level of proficiency in order to establish a clear 'floor' and 'ceiling' of consistent functional ability. Often candidates are asked to take part in a role-play. This task provides the opportunity for linguistic functions not easily elicited through the conversational format. ACTFL OPIs are conducted and rated by ACTFL certified proficiency testers. Each interview is tape recorded and rated by one or more certified testers. Official ACTFL OPI ratings are assigned to those OPIs conducted under the supervision of the ACTFL Testing Office. Each Official OPI is blindly rated by a second certified tester. When a final rating is assigned, and ACTFL OPI Certificate is issued.

What does the OPI do for me?

The ACTFL OPI is currently used worldwide by academic institutions, government agencies, and private corporations for purposes such as: academic placement, student assessment, program evaluation, professional certification, hiring and promotional qualification. The ACTFL OPI is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE) for the awarding of college credit. The OPI ensures that future employers or admission boards understand how well you speak. All students who wish to graduate from the Spanish for Health Professions program must take the OPI and provide a copy of the score to his/her SHP advisor. For majors in SHP, a minimum score of Intermediate High means that you do not have to take SPAN 3300 Advanced Conversation. Your advisor will note in your file that the department accepts the OPI score in lieu of this course. It does not give you a grade, nor credits, but does save you time by allowing you to go more quickly through the required program elements program.

How and When Do I Register?

Start the process at least 6-8 weeks before you need the score. Ideally, if you wish to graduate in May, you should set up your OPI in the first weeks of the preceding semester (August or September). The exam currently costs $105.00 payable to LTI upon registration by credit card or Paypal.. ISU does not receive any part of the fee and has no control over LTI pricing. 

The ACTFL OPI Testing Program is administered by Language Testing International (LTI). Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the LTI page at (
  2. Select: Take a Test.
  3. Select: Test for a school, teaching license and/or any other licensure programs.
  4. Select: New User.
  5. Select: I can't find my institution or I'm an independent candidate.
  6. Select: language.
  7. Select: Spanish.
  8. Select: ACTFL OPIC (the "computer" exam)
  9. Complete your registration as directed
  10. Take the exam as directed.
  11. Send a copy of your score to your Spanish advisor and to Rachael Johnston in the department main office at