Background Image
   Home   |   On-Campus Exams   |   Online Exams   |   Composition Program   |   Writing@CSU   |   Contact Info   |   Admin

To Take an Exam…

Newly admitted students not yet on campus should take the online exam.

Current students should take the proctored, on-campus exam.

Welcome to Colorado State University's Online Composition Placement Exam web site. You can use this site to learn about the online exam. For detailed information on both the proctored and online Composition Placement/Challenge Exam please go to http://composition.colostate.edu/placement.html.

Please note that the online exam is available ONLY for NEWLY ADMITTED students. Once students are on campus and taking classes, they are no longer considered new students and they must take the exam in a proctored test session on campus. Newly admitted students for Fall may take the Composition Placement Exam online at any time between April 1 and mid August, and newly admitted students for Spring may take the online exam the first two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January.  The Placement Exams will be scored only once each week, on Thursdays. In order to have your exam read and scored on Thursday, you need to complete your exam by 8 a.m. on Thursday. Results for exams scored on Thursdays will be posted on RAMweb by that Friday by 5 p.m.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT, once you have agreed to take the online exam, the timer begins, and, if you close out of the exam for any reason, you can return within the 90 minutes. But, if you try to return after the 90 minute time period has ended, you will NOT be allowed to take the test.  You have just ONE opportunity to take the exam!

All CSU students will be required to take the Composition Placement Examination unless you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You scored 600 or higher on the SAT verbal/critical reading or 26 or higher on the ACT English and submitted those scores to Colorado State. In this case you will be placed into CO150 and should sign up for the course your first or second semester at the University. You may also challenge CO150 by taking the Composition Challenge Exam in a proctored (not online) session. You can find your SAT and ACT test scores by going to your RAMweb homepage and on the right-hand side under the heading, Records, selecting SAT/ACT Test Scores.
  • You received transfer credit from Colorado State for a course equivalent to CO150: College Composition and thus have satisfied the All-University Core Curriculum requirement for CO150;
  • You submitted Advanced Placement exam results that document a 5 earned in English Composition and Literature or a 4 or 5 earned in English Language and Composition and thus have satisfied the All-University Core Curriculum requirement for CO150;
  • You submitted International Baccalaureate scores that document a 5, 6, or 7 earned for English at the Higher Level and thus have satisfied the All-University Core Curriculum requirement for CO150;
  • You received transfer credit for a course equivalent to CO130: Academic Writing. In this case you will be placed into CO150 and should sign up for the course your first or second semester at the University. You may also challenge CO150 by taking the Composition Challenge Exam in a proctored (not online) session.

How Can I Prepare to Take the Composition Placement/Challenge Exam?

To prepare for the exam, we suggest that you read an argumentative article in a newspaper or magazine. You can then summarize the main ideas of the argument, explain whether you agree or disagree with the author's viewpoint, and then support your agreement and/or disagreement.

The following writing guides on Writing@CSU can help you prepare for the Composition Placement/Challenge Exam.

What are the Potential Outcomes of the Online Composition Placement Exam?

The Online Composition Placement Exam is based on a scale of 1 through 5. As a result of this examination, you will be placed in one of three categories:

  • Score of 1: Placement into The Writing Center Tutorial.  If you are placed in the Writing Center Tutorial, you will be required to work with a Writing Center Consultant for one hour a week, for at least one semester, in order to strengthen your writing skills before enrolling in a CSU composition course. The Writing Center Tutorial does not require registration and does not carry University credit. You must contact the Writing Center (http://writingcenter.colostate.edu) in the first week of the Fall or Spring semester to schedule your tutorial hour.
  • Score of 2: Placement into CO130: Academic Writing.  If you are placed in CO130: Academic Writing, you will register for a section just as you register for other courses at CSU. CO130 is designed to provide an intensive writing experience which will strengthen your writing abilities in preparation for CO150, the required first-year writing course. CO130 serves as a prerequisite for CO150.
  • Score of 3 – 5: Placement into CO150: College Composition.  If you are placed in CO150: College Composition, you will register for a section just as you register for other courses at CSU.

What is the Charge for Taking the Online Composition Placement Exam?

Students taking the online Composition Placement Exam will be assessed a $22 charge, which will be billed to their student account.

How Can I Earn Course Credit by Examination for CO150?

Students who wish to qualify for CO150 credit without taking the course must take the Composition Placement/Challenge Exam on campus in a proctored setting and earn an exam score of 6. Upon earning that score, they will register for CO150-Section 550. Section 550 is the section number we use to give students placement credit. So, this is not a course you will be attending—it’s the way we give you the “test out” credit. Students cannot earn course credit by exam for CO150 by taking the online exam. Students may retake the test on campus in a proctored setting only ONCE, and they will be assessed a $22 charge. Proctored test dates can be found on this site http://composition.colostate.edu/placementdates.html.

How Do I Find Results for the Composition Placement Exam?

Results can be found on your homepage of RAMweb. On the right-hand side under the heading RECORDS, select Composition Placement/Challenge Exam Results.

If you have any questions, please email Sue.Russell@Colostate.edu or call (970) 491-1898.