The Tool of Research Language Examination, also called the TOR, is a required reading examination set up by your graduate program administered by CLEAR to evaluate and assess your ability to perform primary research in a language other than English.
Most American University master's and doctoral programs require research-level proficiency in reading comprehension in a foreign language. Taking the Tool of Research Language Exam administered by CLEAR is one way you can meet this requirement.
Please meet with your graduate academic advisor to determine whether your program has a TOR requirement and the options for how to satisfy your program's language proficiency requirement.
CLEAR administers exams in the following languages:
- Chinese (Simplified & Traditional)
If the language you want to be examined in is not listed, please contact your academic adviser for options on setting up alternate testing.
All exams are administered in person, in a proctored setting, via a computerized platform.
Register for a testing session during an available registration period using the GenBook button posted in the registration page.
If you need to modify or cancel your reservation, be sure to use the link provided in your confirmation e-mail.
- You must have an official picture ID (AU or government-issued) to sit for the exam.
- You must arrive at least 10 minutes before your session.
You may use a printed dictionary for the TOR. You can bring your own, but we can also provide you with one. Electronic dictionaries are not allowed.
Any appearance of cheating will cause immediate termination of your exam.
How will I find out the results of my exam?
The computer-based exams will post results automatically upon completion.
Once the testing session is complete, the results will be forwarded to your department. Your department will e-mail you notification at this time.
May I retake the exam?
- Each student may sit for the TOR Language Exam up to a maximum of three (3) times.
- Master's candidates can only test in one language per session and are restricted to a 3-test limit overall.
- You may not take the TOR more than twice within a 4-month period.
- If you fail the exam after the second administration, you are strongly urged to confer with CLEAR's Director, your advisor, department or school on how to improve your language skills before attempting the examination a third and final time.