Undergraduate International Students
ESL Composition Placement Test – Undergraduates
Incoming international students, including transfer students, are required to demonstrate writing proficiency in academic English. Students who are required to take the ESL Composition Placement Test (those who do not meet specific exemptions) will be contacted at their OSU email address with instructions for taking the online test.
For students admitted for Autumn 2017, the test will be available from May 1, 2017 to May 25, 2017. Acceptance fees should be paid one week before a test is scheduled to allow time for processing.
Taking the ESL Composition Placement Test Online
The online ESL Composition Placement Test is administered through ProctorU, a unique service that allows you to complete your exams at any time. You can take an assessment from home, work or anywhere with internet access while utilizing almost any computer with a webcam. During your assessment, you will be connected to a live person who will be there to guide you through the process and assist with any technical issues. Instructions for registering for the ESL Composition Placement test through this service will be emailed to students who are required to take it.
The exam is hosted on the OSU Carmen site (carmen.osu.edu) which requires a secure log-in using your OSU username (lastname.#) and password. You must activate your OSU account before taking the test, and have this login information ready at the time of your test. You will also need a photo ID in English (such as your passport) to take the test.
If you have not set up your OSU lastname.#, visit my.osu.edu to activate this account.
ESL Composition Placement Test – What to expect
The ESL Composition Placement Test assesses familiarity with university-level writing. Many university assignments involve writing for critical reading and require the use of sources. The ESL Composition Placement Test is not a language proficiency test like the TOEFL (although naturally there is a correlation between high language proficiency and ease of reading and writing). The one-hour test will begin with a short text, about one page in length, which you should read carefully. Then, you will have two writing tasks: summarize the text and write a reflection on the text. You will be evaluated on how well you address and develop a topic from an accompanying reading, on how effectively you can communicate what you have to say. Grammatical accuracy, syntactic variety, appropriate use of vocabulary, logical organization, and awareness of academic rules for use of text sources are often implicated in effective communication, so these will also be examined.
Or watch this video on Youku.
After the ESL Composition Placement Test
Your test will be rated by at least two experienced instructors who are specifically trained on the placement test. There are three possible scores, which correspond to placement into the following courses:
- EDUTL 1901 – Advanced English as a Second Language
- EDUTL 1902 – Academic Writing in English as a Second Language
- Qualify (“Q”) – No ESL coursework is required, eligible to enroll in English 1110
Test results will be posted in your Buckeyelink account, generally within one week. To view your results:
- Go to buckeyelink.osu.edu
- Click on “Student Center”
- Click on “Generate Advising Report”
- Look under “Test Results” for “ESL PLACE”
If you are placed in one of the courses, you must complete the ESL requirements within one year. If you are placed in 1901, you will have to successfully complete the course and then take 1902. You cannot take 1901 and 1902 simultaneously. Keep in mind that you have to complete 1901 and/or 1902 before you are eligible to enroll in your first year English course, and some courses require English 1110 as a prerequisite. Note: The test cannot be retaken; scores are final and placement will not be changed.
You will register for the appropriate class when you meet with your Academic Advisor. Early registration is encouraged as classes fill up quickly. Students who score 1901 can get started early by taking EDUTL 1901 online this summer.
Or watch this video on Youku.
Students who have reported the following Test of English scores to OSU (obtained within the last two years) are exempt from the ESL Composition Placement Test. Scores at these levels–which are higher than those required for admission –indicate that a student has already demonstrated sufficient writing proficiency.
- Those who score on the internet-based (iBT) TOEFL
- 114 or higher
- 101 or higher and a 28 on the Writing section
- Those who score on the computer-based TOEFL
- 280 or higher, or
- 253 or higher and 5.0 on the TOEFL Essay
- Those who score on the paper-based TOEFL
- 650 or higher, or
- 610 or higher and 5.0 on the Test of Written English
- Those who score on the IELTS
- 9.0 or higher (Overall Band Score)
- 8.0 or higher (Overall Band Score) and 8.0 Academic Writing module
- Those who are citizens of the following countries or regions: Australia, Belize, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, Liberia, United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland), British Caribbean and British West Indies countries, and the United States.
- New first term undergraduate freshmen who attended a U.S. high school for two or more years and graduated from that high school, and who have an ACT English score of 19 or greater, or an SAT verbal score of 460 or greater, or who have AP, IB, or postsecondary credit for English 1110.
- New undergraduate transfer students who attended a U.S. institution of higher education and are transferring in a course for English 1110 credit (not general English credit).
If you meet one of these exemptions, but receive an email that you should take the ESL Composition Placement Test, please contact ESL Composition Program Coordinator, Andy Seibert. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, including your Full Name, OSU ID #, Name.#, and the exemption you meet.