English as a Second Language Students

Whether your English is at a lower level or more advanced, we’re here to help you learn the English you need to succeed in college-level classes and beyond. Our courses are designed to teach you the academic vocabulary and language skills required in college classes. Take the placement test and be on your way to a college degree. Apply today!

How to Apply

Take the next step with our simple admissions process. Reach out to us for help.
The first step is to apply to Nashville State. Whether you are a domestic or international student, find help with the application process by reaching out to us.

Take the English Language Placement Test

Next, take the English Language Placement Test. You should take the NSCC English Placement Test if: 

  • English isn’t your first language or the language you speak at home. 
  • You do not have a score of 19 or higher on the ACT Reading or English sections. 
  • You do not have transfer credit for ENGL 1010 from another U.S. college. 

This test is FREE and designed to measure how well you can speak English. This way, you can be in the right classes and set up to succeed.

Finally, enroll in classes. By attending orientation and speaking with an advisor, we can help you get started. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

Helping You Succeed

Nashville State Community College Profiles
Sebastian Opera
I can promise you, if I don’t go to school, if I don’t come to Nashville State Community College, and give me the confidence I can go forward at MTSU, I could not be where I am now.
Sebastian Oprea emigrated from Romania to the United States in 2005 with his wife and 9-month-old son. He started in Nashville State's ESL program and credits Nashville State with giving him the confidence to be successful in the engineering program at Middle Tennessee State University.

English Placement Test FAQs

Find answers and reach out to us if you have more questions.

Log into your application. Look at your list of requirements and click on "English Language Placement Test." This opens a form where you can register to take the test in person at a campus or online at home. 

Testing for fall classes ends on August 16. You will have time to complete the test, be advised, and register for classes. 

 All required documents for admission must be processed before you can take the test. 

It is 2 hours long. Be prepared to stay for the entire 2 hours.

There are five sections: 

  • Speaking – two short recorded messages
  • Listening – three listening sections with multiple choice
  • Grammar – 25 multiple-choice items
  • Reading & vocabulary – 10 multiple-choice items
  • Writing – two writing sections 

You can take a practice test. First, download the Lockdown Browser . Next, open your regular internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.) and enter this address: https://www.iteptest.com/preview_lockdown. The Lockdown Browser will automatically open and take you to the practice test.

You can take the test in-person or online.

Choose a location:

You can take the test one time per semester. You must choose in-person or online.

  • Reliable internet 
  • Computer or laptop with camera and microphone 
  • Take the practice test to be sure your internet and computer will work
  • You must be alone when you take the test. You cannot have another person in the room to help with technology. If you are not confident with technology, please schedule to take the test in person at one of our campus locations.
  • Photo ID (with your name and picture)
  • NSCC Student A# 

There is zero tolerance for cheating of any kind. Test scores will be invalidated with any dishonesty during testing. This will use your one test per semester and you will have to wait to take the test in the next semester.

  • A submitted NSCC application for admission 
  • Photo ID (with your name and picture) 
  • NSCC Student A#
  • Arrive 10 minutes early. 
  • Bring a photo ID and your student ID number. You get your student ID (A#) when you submit your application for admission.
  • Be prepared to stay in the testing room for 2 ½ hours. 
You will need to continue working on your English by taking classes locally (in the Nashville area).
After you take the test, you will be sent a link to log in and view your scores. This link will be sent to your official NSCC email address and your personal email account you listed on your application.

Contact the ESL Office

Feel free to call, email, or stop by our office. We're here for you!


Welcome Center
Southeast Campus


8 AM – 4:30 PM