STEP  assesses hundreds of skills across Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing, including language functions such as "giving directions" or "defending a point of view", grammar elements such as “modals", “prepositions", “articles" or “punctuation", as well as “fluency", “pronunciation", and “comprehension”. The exact mix of skills assessed in any given test depends on your progress. Because the test is adaptive, as you get questions wrong, you will be asked easier questions that test skills such as “quantifying”, “decoding sounds”, or “simple verbs”. As you get questions right, you will be tested on higher skills such as “composition”, “hypothesizing”, or “responding to counter-arguments”.

Skills are assessed using a variety of question types. For example, we test knowledge of subject-verb agreement via multiple choice questions “A) She stand in the corner B) She stands in the corner”, via short answer questions “She ____ in the corner. Please fill in the blank with the appropriate form of the verb ‘to stand’”, and via open-ended answer questions “Please type a sentence using the verb stand in the blank below”. Similarly for punctuation, we sometimes present correctly and incorrectly punctuated options in an MCQ, ask the you to punctuate a partial sentence, or ask you to write a well-punctuated example sentence from scratch!