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English Placement Exam

Who Takes the Exam?

Most students are required to take the English placement exam. However, you are waived if:

  • You have transferred in the equivalent of IU South Bend course ENG-W131 from another college or university.
  • You took ENG-W131 as a high school student and received credit for it..
  • You received a score of 4 or above on the Advance Placement (AP) exam for English composition.
  • You opt for automatic placement based on your SAT score (see below).

The exam is used to determine the best level at which to begin studying composition at IU South Bend. You are asked to write an essay based on one of two essay prompts provided and can either handwrite or type your essay.

Exam Format

You have 60 minutes to plan, write, and proofread your work. Your exam is evaluated for:

  • Full development of your own ideas and opinions, supported by sound reasoning and relevant examples
  • Careful organization of paragraphs and varied sentence structure
  • Evidence of good reading comprehension
  • Correct grammar, spelling, word usage, and syntax

Exam Results

Experienced English composition instructors read and evaluate each student's exam and place them as follows:

Score

Composition course in which to enroll

10 English W031 – Pre-Composition
(does not count for college credit and is graded satisfactory/fail ; must successfully pass to take W130).
20 Enhanced English W130 – Principles of Composition (4 credit hour version)
(graded course, counts as elective credit; must successfully pass with a grade of C or above to take W131).
30* English W130 – Principles of Composition (3 credit hour version)
(graded course, counts as elective credit; must successfully pass with a grade of C or above to take W131).
40 English W131 – Reading, Writing, & Inquiry I
(graded course, required for all majors at IU South Bend)


*Automatic Placement Option
If a student has taken the SAT within the last three years and has a combined score on the Critical Reading and Writing sections equal to or greater than 960, the student may opt for automatic placement at level 30 and enroll in English W130. Students are responsible for knowing their SAT scores to determine if automatic placement is an option.

Students majoring in education, nursing, dental hygiene, or radiography are highly encouraged to take the exam because English W130 does not count toward degree requirements in those majors. All students are highly encouraged to take the exam if they wish to place directly into English W131. There is no automatic placement into English W131. You must take the exam and score a 40 to enroll in it.

Additional Information

  • The ACT cannot be used to waive the English placement exam.
  • If you are required by the Office of Admissions to take the English placement exam as a basis of being admitted to the university, you must take it. You do not have the option to waive the exam based on your SAT score.
  • The English exam can be taken once a month until you enroll in a writing course.

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Questions

If you have any questions, please contact the Gateway Information Center.