TOP Adminstration I (Fall 2020) will be held in September 2020.  Registration for Administration I is currently closed.

Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, this TOP administration will be held remotely via UCLA Zoom.  Once you have registered for the exam, you will receive an email with detailed instructions for signing into Zoom for the exam.  Please see the Exam Day Preparation tab on this website for further advice on how to prepare for the TOP via Zoom. 

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 sections in the menu bar to the left that provide useful information on the format of the exam as well as useful tips for preparation.

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 including exam schedules and links for online registration is available in the menu bar to the left. 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. 


190 Powell Library


Phone: 310-825-3106
Email: [email protected]


190 Powell Library Building
Box 951515 
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1515
Campus Mail Code 151504


By appointment