For applicants

ACRES is a method of assessing language and academic readiness of applicants as part of the student selection process for Master’s degree programmes taught in English at the University of Jyväskylä. In some programmes ACRES is the only means to demonstrate language and academic proficiency, whereas in other programmes ACRES is used alongside other means, such as validated language tests (e.g. ToEFL, IELTS), previous degrees, etc. 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

  • 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 staff.
  • The selected applicants will be invited around mid- to late-February to complete a pre-task in an online-environment around early-March.
  • For the pre-task, the programme will contact students and invite them to participate, and will also send 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 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. The interview will take ca. 20 minutes per applicant. 

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.

Programmes involved in ACRES and their admission criteria

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

Programmes currently beginning the pilot process using ACRES, alongside other means for Spring 2021 applications (no current information regarding the ACRES pilot in these links)

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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.