English Placement Exam

Take a short quiz to see if you need to take the English Placement Exam.

The English Placement Exam is an assessment tool designed to place students at their appropriate level in their first-year Writing courses at CCA.

Students do not pass or fail the exam; rather, their results on the exam allow them to enroll in the courses where they will have the best opportunity to improve their writing skills successfully.

The exam consists of both an essay and a reading comprehension component; it takes approximately two hours. It is offered on campus only during orientation.

All students are required to take the English Placement Exam prior to their first semester at the college unless they meet one of the following criteria:

SAT

Students who received SAT scores of

  • 440 or below on either the critical reading or writing sections of the SAT: these students will be registered directly into the Writing Skills Workshop (WSW) or Writing Skills Workshop: ESL.
  • 450 or above on both the critical reading and writing sections of the SAT: these students will be registered directly into Writing 1 or Writing 1: ESL.
  • 620 or above on both the critical reading and writing sections of the SAT: these students will be registered directly into Writing 2. Students placing into Writing 2 in this manner will not receive academic credit for waiving Writing 1; they must take an additional 3 units of Humanities and Sciences electives to earn the 3 units that comprise their Writing 1 waiver.

ACT

Students who received ACT scores of

  • 17 or below on either the reading or English sections of the ACT; these students will be registered directly into the Writing Skills Workshop (WSW) or Writing Skills Workshop: ESL
  • between 18 and 26 on the reading and English sections alike of the ACT; these students will be registered directly into Writing 1 or Writing 1: ESL
  • 27 or above on both the reading and English sections of the ACT; these students will be registered directly into Writing 2. Students placing into Writing 2 in this manner will not receive academic credit for waiving Writing 1; they must take an additional 3 units of Humanities and Sciences electives to earn the 3 units that comprise their Writing 1 waiver

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

Students who scored 3 or higher

  • on the Advanced Placement exam in English Language earn 3 units of transfer credit for Writing 1
  • on the Advanced Placement exam in English Literature earn 3 units of transfer credit for Writing 2 (Note: Writing 1 will still be required. Students submitting AP exam scores of 3 or higher for English Literature only will be registered directly into a Writing 1 course without having to take the English Placement Exam.)
  • on both Advanced Placement exams (English Language and English Literature) earn 3 units of transfer credit for Writing 1 and 3 units of transfer credit for Writing 2

Official AP scores must be sent directly to CCA for credit to be transferred.

International Baccalaureate (IB) & English Placement

Students will be placed directly into Writing 1 without having to take the CCA English Placement Exam if their IB scores are

Standard-Level IB English Exam or Higher-Level IB English Exam (Language A) = 3 or greater.

Students will receive transfer credit for Writing 1 and be placed directly into Writing 2 if their IB scores are

Standard-Level IB English Exam or Higher-level IB English Exam = 4 or greater.

Transfer Students

  • Transfer students must provide evidence of their completion of the equivalent to Writing 1 or 2 through an official college transcript in order to waive the English requirement or the English Placement Exam, or both.
  • Transfer students not possessing transferable Writing 1 or 2 coursework will be required to take the English Placement Exam.
  • Any transfer students placing directly into Writing 2 as a result of the English Placement Exam will have an additional 3 units of Humanities and Sciences electives required to compensate for the waiver of their Writing 1 requirement.

Once the English Placement Exams are evaluated by CCA Writing and Literature faculty, students are placed into one of the following courses:

  • Writing Skills Workshop: ESL
  • Writing Skills Workshop
  • Writing 1
  • Writing 1: ESL
  • Writing 2

Writing Skills Workshop

Students who place into Writing Skills Workshop (WSW) will be restricted to a 12-unit course load.
Students who place into the 6-unit Writing Skills Workshop: ESL (WSW: ESL) will be restricted to a 15-unit course load.
Students who place into either WSW, but who do not register for the course in their first semester will have a hold placed on their registration for the following term. The hold will not be removed until the student enrolls in the correct WSW section.

Exam Grading

Grading for the WSW courses are on a Pass/Not Pass basis. A maximum of 3 units from WSW (6 units from WSW: ESL) may be applied toward the BA, BFA, or BArch degree requirements; these units do not count toward the required units necessary in Writing, but may be counted as Humanities and Sciences elective units.

Students who pass the Writing Skills Workshop may then advance to register for Writing 1. Students who do not pass must repeat the course in the following semester. Students are given one additional opportunity to pass Writing Skills Workshop.

Students who do not pass the Writing Skills Workshop a second time are subject to dismissal from the college.

Students who do not pass the Writing Skills Workshop a second time may appeal directly to the assistant director of the Humanities and Sciences division to be permitted to take WSW a third time.

If approved, the Humanities and Sciences division will notify the Student Records Office of this decision. Students will not be permitted to take Writing Skills Workshop for a fourth time under any circumstances.

Students who place into and register for a Writing Skills Workshop section cannot drop Writing Skills Workshop without the written authorization of the director of International Student Affairs.

This written authorization should be obtained by having the director sign a drop form, which is then submitted to the Student Records Office.