Placement and Test Out

Student Placement Policies for First-Year Composition

Revised (12/12)

  1. In order to fulfill the Communications Skills requirement for General Education, the Faculty Senate and the Chancellor approved (spring, 1993) a six-credit writing requirement. All students who register for first-year composition courses, other than those awarded transfer credit from other institutions, must take the English Placement exam. The English Department establishes EPT cutoff scores that change yearly and will be entered into the schema below.

    1. Students scoring below 360 must complete ENGL-090, Writing Workshop, with a C or better to be eligible for ENGL-101, Freshman Composition.

    2. Students scoring between 360-530 or successfully completing ENGL-090 will first take ENGL-101, Freshman Composition, followed by ENGL-102, Reading and Related Writing or, if receiving an A- or better in ENGL-101, ENGL-112, Honors II.

    3. Students scoring above 530 may take ENGL-111, Freshman English Honors, followed by ENGL-112, Honors II. Those not taking ENGL-112 or ENGL-113 will complete the requirement by taking ENGL-102. Students in the Academic Honors program must take ENGL-113 as the second course to complete the requirement.
  2. The English Department designates College Composition as the CLEP exam for which college credit will be given. Students who achieve a score of 50 shall receive 3 credits for ENGL-101/111. Students who achieve a score of 55 or above shall also receive 3 credits for ENGL-102/112.

  3. Students who receive marginal EPT scores of 330-359 may be exempted from ENGL-090.
  1. All ENGL-090 students will be asked to produce a writing sample to be evaluated within the first three class days of each semester.

  2. Papers of students who are within the marginal scores and produce a strong writing sample will be reviewed by two ENGL-090 instructors to decide if the writing is competent enough to exempt the student from remediation.

  3. The English Department office must receive a note listing those students exempted from ENGL-090. Registration and Records will then be notified to clear the University's first year remediation requirement.

  4. Exempted students will immediately be withdrawn from ENGL-090 and sent to the English Department Office for placement into ENGL-101.

Placement Policy for Degree-Seeking ESL International Students in First-Year Composition Courses

Revised (12/13,12/12)

International students who have submitted TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission to Stout will be placed according to their test scores:

  1. ENGL 101: Students who have composite TOEFL scores of 79 (iBT) or 550 (paper-based) or IELTS 6.5 or higher are eligible to enroll in ENGL 101. 

  2. ENGL 90: Students who have composite TOEFL scores between 69-78 (iBT) or 525-549 (paper-based) or IELTS 6.0 should enroll in a designated ESL section of ENGL 090; upon successful completion of ENGL 90 with a grade of "C" or better, students can enroll in ENGL 101 the following semester. 

  3. ENGL 80: Students who have composite IELTS 5.5 or TOEFL scores under 69 (iBT) or under 525 (paper-based) will enroll in ENGL 80; upon successful completion of ENGL 080 with a grade of "C" or better, students can enroll in a designated ESL section of ENGL 90 the following semester.  NOTE: ENGL 80 will no longer be offered beginning with the Spring 2015 semester.  

The following groups of international students, who do not have a TOEFL or IELTS requirement, will be placed according to the following:

  1. Graduates of other ESL programs

    Will be placed based on GPA in their ESL program:
    or higher will be placed in ENGL 101
       2.0-2.99 will be placed in ENGL 90

  2. Students from English-speaking countries including the United Kingdom , Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, English speaking Canada or Commonwealth Caribbean; and transfers from other universities, colleges or high schools in the U.S. or Canada

    Will take the English Placement Exam.

  3. Transfers who have already completed a course equivalent to ENGL 101 at another U.S. university.

    The English 101 requirement can be waived based on the Transfer Coordinator's recommendation.

Credit for Life Experience Policy for Advanced Writing

Revised (11/93; 3/91 12/11)

Because no adequate procedure for awarding credit for life experience has been approved at UW-Stout, the following procedure will be used to award students such credit. In the English Department, this option is reserved for non-traditional students with significant professional writing experience. Such students can attempt to earn credit for advanced writing courses, Business Writing (ENGL-320) or Technical Writing ENGL 415/615, through the following procedures:

  1. Within the first two weeks of an academic semester the student, who cannot be currently enrolled in the course, must submit a letter or send an email to the English department chair requesting to be considered for Life Experience Credit.

  2. The material is relayed to the Advanced Writing Committee chair who will be the initial contact person. The chair is not required to supervise every life experience credit process. For instance, depending on the professional writing experience the student may provide, the chair may hand off the student's materials to a committee member more familiar with the subject matter.

  3. Before meeting with the assigned Advanced Writing Committee member, the student gathers as many examples of his or her professional writing as possible along with any other available evidence of writing experience (such as job descriptions) to bring to the appointment. (NOTE: Material that has been written to meet requirements in a UW-Stout or any other university, college, or technical school course cannot be submitted for Life Experience Credit.)

  4. At the appointment, the student and the Advanced Writing Committee member must decide whether or not the evidence merits an attempt to earn credit, which advanced writing course the student should designate on the Credit by Exam form, and how much credit might be earned. (In extenuating circumstances, this interview may be conducted by phone or via email after the instructor has received and looked over the evidence.) At this point, if the Advanced Writing Committee member deems the materials suitable for Life Experience credit, the student may initiate the following procedures.

  5. The student then contacts the Department Chair and requests that the chair fill out the Credit By Examination form, available electronically at The student pays the Credit By Examination Fee directly to the Business Office.

  6. When the English Department receives evidence that the fee has been paid, the Advanced Writing Committee member calls on two other members of the advanced writing staff to evaluate the student's materials. A third member may be called in for consultation.

  7. The involved advanced writing staff have 4 weeks to review the work, communicate with one another and/or meet to decide either to deny credit or to award credit. When credit is assigned, the staff may adjust earlier recommendations about which course and how much credit may be assigned. Finally, a decision of credit or no credit is reported to the Registrar's office.

  8. The student is notified in writing of the results.

  9. No Life Experience Credit procedures will be conducted during Summer or Winterm sessions.