Placement Tests

English Placement

Because effective writing is directly connected to successful completion of a college degree, freshmen entering the College must register for the freshman English course appropriate to their writing abilities. Placement in freshman English courses is determined by the following:

  • The student’s SAT or ACT scores;
  • The student’s high school record;
  • The student’s score on the Advanced Placement Program.

Entering freshmen will initially be placed according to the above criteria. However, they will also be required to write an essay on the first day of class. After reading the essay and reviewing the student’s scores, the department will place the student according to the following norms:

English 0099: a course of study geared to remedy deficiencies indicated by the written sample and/or where the student’s SAT score is less than 400 Verbal (16 ACT). Students placed in English 0099 must successfully complete the course before they may register for English 1010. Unless exempted by the Registrar, the student may repeat English 0099 once. The student may gain credit for the course by examination.

English 1010-1020: These are the standard English freshman writing courses. Placement in English 1010 is by way of submitting an acceptable writing sample on the first day of class with the attendant SAT scores above 400 verbal and an appropriate high school record. The student must complete English 1010-1020 in semester sequence during the first year.

English 1030: To provide the exceptionally well prepared student the opportunity to write at the advanced level, the department offers English 1030 Honors. Placement in English 1030 shall be on the basis of high school record, an outstanding writing sample on the first day of class and SAT verbal scores of 500 or above. Students who score 3 or 4 on the Advanced Placement Examination may also be placed in English 1030. Successful completion of English 1030 with a grade of C- shall satisfy the Liberal Arts Core requirement and the student will be awarded 6 hours of credit toward graduation. Students who score a 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination may be exempted from both English 1010-1020; such students will also be awarded 6 hours of credit in English toward graduation.

Because the department concludes that successful completion of Freshman English is fundamental to any advanced study in English, it requires that the student shall have successfully completed this requirement before any student may register for any advanced English course, 2000 or above. Should a student attempt an advanced course before completion of the freshman requirement, the student will not receive credit for the upper level English course. (Where appropriate, the Freshman English requirement includes both English 1030 and exemption by Advanced Placement scores.)

Foreign Language Placement

Advanced placement in foreign language also will be granted on the basis of scores on the Advanced Placement Examination, departmental examinations, and the student’s level of secondary school work in foreign language.

All students who have studied two semesters with an average of C or better must take the departmentally sponsored placement tests in order to be placed in an appropriate language course.

French 1010-1020, German 1010-1020, and Spanish 1010-1020: These are the standard foreign language courses that may be used to satisfy the Liberal Arts Core requirement in language. Placement in 1010 of a foreign language course is automatic for students who have not taken the placement test and who have little or no preparation in foreign language. Placement in 1020 or higher in foreign language may be obtained by departmental placement examination.

A student with three years or more of high school language with a “B” average or better may not take the 1010 course of a foreign language without departmental approval. Students with this background should enroll in the 1030 or 1020 course in the language of their preparation.

French 1030 and Spanish 1030: To provide the exceptionally well prepared student the opportunity to work at an advanced level, the department offers French 1030 and Spanish 1030. Students who have a combined SAT score of 950 and a “B” average in their high school French or Spanish classes, and have completed three or more years of the high school language may be placed in either French 1030 or Spanish 1030 without taking a placement test. Successful completion of French 1030 or Spanish 1030 with a grade of “C-” shall satisfy the Liberal Arts Core requirement and the student will be awarded 6 hours of credit toward graduation.

In addition, students who have no high school language experience, who have scored a “zero” on the college’s language placement exam, and/or are enrolled in ENG 0990 will be placed in SPA 1011, Elementary Spanish Lab I. Students who receive a C- or lower in SPA 1010 will be placed in SPA 1021.