This is the first preparation book made available to prepare individuals for the Test of Spoken English (TSE), which must be passed in order for nonnative speakers to qualify for teaching assistantships at universities in the United States. The TSE was revised in 1996, but the retired version is still available and referred to as the SPEAK Test. The TSE consists of three warm-up questions and twelve rated questions. Raters assess students' proficiency in the areas of language function (such as giving an opinion), appropriateness, coherence, and accuracy (which includes grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, and fluency). Toward Speaking Excellence teaches the fundamentals of good communication as well as specific test-taking strategies. Also included are explanations of how the TSE and SPEAK tests are rated, examples of responses at varying score levels, and advice for responding to each of the question formats. Practice exercises within each unit help the users apply this knowledge. Each unit concludes with practice questions similar to those found on the tests including sample maps, picture sequences, graphs, and announcements that provide realistic test preparation for users. Dean Papajohn is Educational Specialist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For ESL/EFL students.