Somali LPE Test Content


Format: Timed - 50 minutes. Delivered on computer. Audio clips with pictures. Multiple choice questions.

The listening test is taken on the computer. You will listen to audio segments through headphones and answer 35 multiple-choice questions. You are able to control when the audio plays. You may listen to each audio segment up to two times.



Format: Timed - 50 minutes. Delivered on computer. Diverse reading material. Multiple choice questions.

The reading test is taken on a computer. You will read texts in Standard Somali and answer 35 multiple-choice questions. You may return to questions after answering them as long as there is time remaining on the test clock.  A student who has had two years of college-level Somali instruction should be able to read and comprehend the texts.



Format: Timed - 55 minutes. Typed responses on computer.

For the writing test you will compose responses in Standard Somali to 5 tasks. You will type your responses at a computer. The writing test is evaluated pass/fail. To pass, your writing skills should be at the level of a student who has had two years of college-level Somali instruction.



Format: Timed - 20 minutes. Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) on computer.

The speaking test is a Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI). You will not be speaking with a person.  Instead you will be speaking into a microphone and recording responses to 5 tasks. For the speaking test you will be seated at a computer with headphones. After reading each task, you will speak your response into the microphone, and your response will be recorded. For each task, you will be given a little time to think and prepare yourself before recording your response. The speaking test is evaluated pass/fail.


Additional Information

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Additional Information

Required Proficiency Level for the Somali LPE

The LPE is a proficiency test, meaning it is a test of your functional language ability or how well you can use the language. You will not be quizzed on specific grammar. The LPE measures how well you understand and can use Standard Somali across a range of topics. The tasks depict real-life situations, in which you will ask and answer questions, provide short descriptions, and give brief narrations.

The LPE tests for Intermediate language proficiency in Standard Somali. Intermediate writers/speakers are able to communicate about a variety of topics, mostly personal in nature, using vocabulary that is generally adequate to the task. They can create with the language and communicate simple facts and ideas in a series of loosely connected sentences on topics of personal interest and social needs, and can be understood by a sympathetic reader/listener (someone familiar with language at this level). They use a varied vocabulary and communicate in a variety of sentence patterns. Grammatical accuracy is not expected to be perfect, but there is evidence of control of basic structures necessary for comprehensibility, such as subject-verb agreement in the present tense, correct word order, and ability to ask questions.

Evaluation Criteria for writing/speaking

Your responses to each task will be evaluated according to the following checklist:

  • Comprehensibility: Did you get your point across in a way that your reader/listener could comprehend easily?
  • Task fulfillment: Meets task requirements as indicated, i.e., it is on topic and of the specified length.
  • Varied vocabulary: Shows a broad and non-repetitive vocabulary.
  • Accuracy: Shows ability to produce sentence-level discourse in present and past time with some variety of sentence patterns.

Strategies for success

If your reading and writing skills are weak, we recommend you consider formal instruction in writing and more practice in reading before attempting the LPE. You may attempt the LPE only one time before enrolling in language courses at University of Minnesota. If you do not pass the LPE on your first attempt, you must earn a C- or better in a fourth-semester language course to fulfill the CLA Second Language Requirement.

You should respond to every question on the speaking test. Read the situation and task carefully and give the most complete answer you can. Continue speaking even if you rephrase, re-word, or correct something you’ve already said. Try to use all the time allotted! For example, if you are prompted to talk about a picture shown on the screen, say as much as you can about the picture using all of the time allotted.

Note: The content of your actual responses or opinions will not in any way affect your rating on the writing and speaking tests. Only your ability to express yourself in the language is being evaluated. You need not respond truthfully to the tasks. Feel free to use your imagination to show what you can do with the language.