Academic Readiness Screening ACRES for Applicants

ACRES is a method of assessing language and academic readiness of applicants as part of the student selection process for some master’s degree programmes taught in English at the University of Jyväskylä. In some doctoral programmes ACRES is used for individual applicants by faculty decision. The set of tasks in ACRES consists of items aimed at determining applicant ability for accessing appropriate language and academic skills as part of a wider process for determining suitability for programmes.

ACRES process and timeline for master 's programme applicants

  • Academic readiness will be assessed only for those applicants whose degrees and backgrounds used for proving eligibility for JYU master’s degree programmes taught in English meet the requirements set by the programme and move forward in the selection process.

  • The selected applicants will be invited around mid- to late-February to complete a pre-task in an online-environment around late February / early-March.

  • For the pre-task, the programme will contact the applicants and invite them to participate. Applicants will receive the materials for preparation a few days ahead of time.

  • Following initial preparation, the applicant then participates in the online pre-task activity through a platform such as Moodle. Pre-task activities have a set time in the platform for completion of the task. The goal of the pre-task is to assess applicant reading strategies, writing strategies, critical thinking skills and dialogic academic discussion through a written text format. The pre-task constitutes the reading and writing part of the academic readiness and language proficiency screening and is assessed by the Centre for Multilingual Academic Communication (Movi).

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  • If the applicant demonstrates appropriate academic skill levels for reading and writing, the programme will invite the applicant for an interview. Instructions for the interview will be sent via email around early / mid-March to those applicants selected for the interviews held around mid- to late March. Part of the interview will also include the assessment of oral academic language skills, including listening, speaking and interaction. The goal of this aspect of the interview is to assess applicant information management, critical thinking and dialogic oral interaction skills and is assessed by Movi. The structured interview will be recorded, and the recordings will only be used for student admission purposes.

Applicants are responsible for providing themselves the space, time and equipment to enable participation in both the online pre-task as well as the online interview of the application process.

ACRES is one aspect of the overall evaluation criteria used in the final selection of applicants to a JYU master’s degree programme taught in English. For the specific criteria used for Movi assessment, click here. All applicants will be informed of admission results via email by the deadline given on the university’s website.

ACRES process and timeline for doctoral programme applicants

Since doctoral programmes have more individualized pathways of study, ACRES is conducted on an individualized basis for certain doctoral programs.  See below under Doctoral programmes using ACRES for individual applicants by faculty decision for further information.

Programmes involved in ACRES and their admission criteria

In some programmes ACRES is the only means to demonstrate language and academic skills, whereas in other progammes ACRES is used alongside other means, such as validated language tests (e.g. ToEFL, IELTS) and previous degrees. You can view the programme specific data, and ACRES evaluation criteria, as well as other admission criteria from the links below.

How to prepare for ACRES


ACRES is not a validated language test, measuring and evaluating separate language skills. The purpose of ACRES is to recognize applicants who are appropriately suited for studying in the academic programmes. These programmes require academic English and independent study skills, as well as pro-activeness. Therefore, applicants need to demonstrate that they possess these skills for completing work within a given time frame. Skills examined in ACRES include academic reading, writing, and oral interaction in English, self-directedness, and information management.

The skills assessed in ACRES are skills that applicants should have acquired during their earlier academic studies. Reading and examining academic materials is a good way to prepare for the written pre-task. Practicing oral interaction and self-presentation skills is beneficial for the interview. Additionally, focusing on self-management skills for working within a limited time frame would be useful.