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Progression through the AEC Program

AEC students progress from one level to the next by earning a good grade in class.  Please read the information below carefully.

Basic English and Levels 1-4

  • If you earn an “A” or “B” in a core class in Basic English or levels 1-4 and take the final exam (the institutional TOEFL):
    • You will move up to the next level in that skill area. 
    • If you do poorly on the final exam, you will still be moved up to the next level in that skill area. 
    • If you do extremely well on the final exam, you may “jump” to a higher level or even pass that skill.
  • If you earn a “C” in a core class and take the final exam (the institutional TOEFL):
    • You will be placed according to your results on the final exam.
  • If you earn a “D” or “F” in a core class and take the final exam (the institutional TOEFL):
    • You will be required to repeat the class even if you do well on the final exam.

Level 5

  • If you earn an “A” or “B” in a level 5 core class, you will have passed that skill area. You may still need to take the final exam (the institutional TOEFL) if you have not passed in the other skill area.
  • If you earn a “C,” “D,” or “F” in a level 5 core class, you will be required to take the final exam (the institutional TOEFL) and will be placed according to the results of the final exam.

We want you to study hard and do well in your AEC classes so that you can make faster progress learning English.  We want students who do well in their AEC classes to be able to move up a level regardless of their performance on the final exam.  If you earn an “A” or “B” in your class, you are demonstrating that you have met all or most of the student learning outcomes for that level.

If you have questions or concerns about any information in this message, please make an appointment to meet with an AEC Cross-cultural Advisor.


Founded in 1964 as part of a Ford Foundation campus internationalization grant
One of the first 12 intensive English programs in the United States
The AEC comprises three units: the Intensive English Program, Short-term Programs, and KU Outreach Programs.
Each semester, the AEC enrolls about 550 students representing more than 35 countries on six continents
The Applied English Center offers field trips and conversation groups to our students
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