Students are placed into an English course in one of three ways: (1) by a combination of SAT scores and high-school GPA, (2) by a timed pen-and-paper test taken on campus, or (3) by an online test, called iMOAT, which may also be used to challenge an SAT/GPA placement. All students who do not have SAT scores, or whose SAT scores fall below a certain level, will be required to take one of the written placement tests. For more information on the tests—including information on registration—see the web site for the Testing Center, or contact them at 718-488-1392.
Both written placement tests are designed to assess a student’s skills in reading and writing and are scored by at least two Writing-Program instructors. If a student's response is particularly weak and/or insufficient for the readers to make a placement determination, the student may be asked to retake the exam. Students whose writing samples demonstrate insufficient English-language proficiency to merit placement in English 13X may be directed to the English Language Institute, where they can pay to take courses to develop their English-language skills.
During the first week of class, all Writing-Program instructors administer a diagnostic exam in order to verify the student’s original placement. If the student’s performance warrants it, the student may be given permission to register for the next-highest level Writing-Program course, although no student will be given permission to skip English 16. Occasionally, students will decide that they are not ready to take a particular course and will choose to take a lower-level course so that they can get more practice and preparation; this option, however, is at the student’s discretion, and students cannot be required to transfer to a lower-level course in the sequence than that indicated by the original placement. Scheduling changes resulting from the diagnostic exam must happen during the first week of classes, so it is important that students attend class on the first day so as not to miss the diagnostic exam.