International graduate students at the University of Central Florida (UCF) are not completing graduate programs at the same rate as domestic graduate students. One of the main differences in the admissions process for international graduate students compared to domestic students is the English language test requirement. The purpose of this study was twofold: to test if the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the (International English Language Testing System) IELTS scores have any statistically significant linear relationships to international graduate students' academic success as defined by their cumulative grade point average (CGPA). Secondly, this study sought to understand how international graduate students feel about the TOEFL and/or IELTS, and whether or not they feel prepared for study with regards to their English language ability. Using mixed-methods research, data were retrieved from international graduate students who graduated from UCF during the 2012 – 2016 academic school years. Information from a total of 583 international graduate students was included in the retrieved data collection and data analyses. A survey was also utilized to assess current international graduate students' perceptions of the English language test and requirements. A total of 235 students completed the survey. The study demonstrated that TOEFL and IELTS scores do not have any statistically significant linear relationship to international graduate students' CGPA. Therefore, results from this research study did not indicate that the English language test scores have an impact on academic success for international graduate students who met the UCF admission requirements. The findings also demonstrate that international graduate students generally feel the scores are an accurate assessment of their English language abilities. However, many international graduate students expressed a desire for additional English language resources. The findings are beneficial in able to better understand whether or not English language test scores have any impact on international graduate students' success, and to more accurately comprehend the international graduate students' perspective regarding the language requirement.


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Graduation Date





Biraimah, Karen


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Learning Sciences and Educational Research

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction









Release Date

August 2020

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)