MELAB - Michigan English Language Assessment Battery

Register for MELAB

What is the MELAB?

The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery is an advanced-level English language proficiency test managed by Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments. The test measures competency in the four fundamental language skill areas: writing, listening, reading and speaking. It is intended for adult non-native speakers of English who will need to use English for academic purposes at the post-secondary level.

Who takes the test?

The MELAB is mainly for students who are applying to universities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, where the language of instruction is English. It is accepted as evidence of English language proficiency as an alternative to the TOEFL. The MELAB is also administered to professionals who will need to use English in their work: for example, to nurses who earned their credentials abroad, or to those applying for ICCRC membership.

What does the test entail?

The entire MELAB lasts 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours (including check-in) and consists of:

  • Part 1: Written composition
  • Part 2: Listening comprehension
  • Part 3: Multiple-choice test containing grammar, cloze, vocabulary and reading problems
  • OPTIONAL: Speaking test**

**The speaking test is not automatically included in every MELAB administration. It is required for applicants to some professional certification programs and universities. The speaking test may not be taken separately from the rest of the MELAB.

How can I register for the MELAB?

To register for the MELAB, complete the MELAB Official Identification Form. Print the form mail it or take it to your MELAB test center. at:

Vancouver Island University
Assessment Services
900 5th Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5

You can submit the application by mail, fax, email, or in person.

  • Your completed identification form, your passport photo, and the test fee must arrive at your selected test center by the registration deadline as specified by the center. An incomplete identification form without a passport photo and the accompanying test fee will not be processed.
  • The MELAB Speaking Test cannot be taken alone. Speaking test scores are reported only in conjunction with the most recent written MELAB examination scores.

How much does it cost?

MELAB (without speaking test): $210.00 CDN (includes cost of postage to the US)
MELAB (with speaking test): $260.00 CDN (includes cost of postage to the US)

Rush Scores: $115.00 CDN
Extra Score Reports: $45.00 CDN
Extra Rush Score Reports: $65.00 CDN

What is the refund policy for the MELAB?

All MELAB test fees are non-refundable. The testing date cannot be changed once the MELAB application has been submitted to our VIU Test Centre.

When are the next MELAB test sittings at Vancouver Island University?

**Please note – ther are a limited number of seats available for each sitting, please register early. We are unable to accept late registrations**

Test Date

Registration Deadline

August 18, 2017 (Friday) July 28, 2017
October 20, 2017 (Friday) September 29, 2017
December 1, 2017 (Friday) November 10, 2017

Where is Vancouver Island University - Nanaimo Campus and where should I go on test day?


Vancouver Island University (VIU)
900 Fifth Street,
Nanaimo, BC, Canada
V9R 5S5
Building: 200
Room: 219

Map: Nanaimo Campus Map

Parking Info:

Please note, students are responsible for on-campus parking. We (VIU) have general parking lots (you can purchase tickets from the kiosk) where you can purchase up to 6 hours of parking time; however, the metered spaces only allow for a maximum 2 hours

Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to park and locate the Assessment Centre.

**In the event of severe weather conditions, the VIU campus may be closed. Decisions around closures will be made, if possible, before 6 AM, Please check the VIU website, local radio stations or call the main switchboard at 250 753 3245 for updates**

We will attempt to re-schedule exams as soon as possible.

How will I receive my scores?

At the bottom of the MELAB registration form there are two rectangles where you will write the complete mailing addresses of the institutions where you want your official score reports sent. Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments will not send official score reports to your home address. They are only sent to institutions. Your unofficial score report will be sent to Vancouver Island University. You will be notified by email when the unofficial score reports are ready for pickup. Vancouver Island University does NOT receive official score reports unless you indicate on your registration form that you want one sent here. Any official score reports received by Vancouver Island University cannot be released to test takers but will be kept on file. Official Score reports should be sent directly to the institutions that need your scores, not to Vancouver Island University

How long do the score reports take to arrive?

Score reports arrive in approximately 6 weeks from the Wednesday following the test date. If you order rush score reports, they will arrive in approximately 2 weeks from the Wednesday following the test date.

I passed all sections except for the speaking/composition/listening test. Can I take the speaking/composition/listening test alone?

No. You cannot take any individual part of the MELAB alone. For example, you cannot take only the speaking test or only the composition portion.

How often can I take the MELAB?

As often as you wish - you do not have to wait a month.

How can I prepare for the test?

You can prepare for the test by familiarizing yourself with the test format. More detailed information about the MELAB can be found on the Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments website.

What time should I arrive on test day and what do I need to bring?

Examinees are asked to arrive at 8:30am on the day of the test. You will need to bring the identification that you marked on your registration form (passport, PR card, or Driver’s License) as well as No.2 or HB pencils (not mechanical) and erasers. An email containing more information about the day of the test will be sent to all those registered once the registration deadline has passed.

More Information

For more information about the MELAB, or to find contact information for Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments, visit their website at

For more information about the MELAB at Vancouver Island University (VIU), contact the Assessment Coordinator at