We understand that standardized test scores don’t always fully reflect your scholastic abilities and motivation for success. That is why we offer the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay, which offers you the chance to place directly into CO150: College Composition rather than taking CO130: Academic Writing, or the opportunity to “test out” of CO150: College Composition.
Writing the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay is appropriate when:
- You have been placed into CO150 and believe that your writing skills are exceptional and exceed the expected outcomes for CO150.
- You have been placed into CO150 and believe that you have fulfilled the requirement through transfer courses that have not been approved by the University.
If you have been automatically placed into CO150, the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay is designed to demonstrate that you are a superb writer who exhibits sophisticated critical thinking skills and has an extraordinary writing style.
Writing the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay is appropriate when:
If you have been automatically placed into CO130: Academic Writing, we encourage you to write the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay if:
- You believe you have the writing skills and motivation necessary to successfully complete CO150.
- You would like to avoid taking CO130 because, as an elective credit course, it does not fulfill the AUCC requirements necessary for graduation.
- You are a transfer student who has been admitted to CSU without standardized test scores. (Note: The majority of transfer students place into CO150 upon writing the Placement Essay, which means they are not required to take CO130.
When can I write the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay?
If you choose to write the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay, you must do so before you enroll in CO150. The Placement Essay is proctored and available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Go to http://compexam.colostate.edu.
After you register for the online proctoring program (see below) you will have 90 minutes to:
- Read a designated article on a debatable topic.
- Summarize its main ideas in an organized and detailed essay.
- Explain why you agree and/or disagree with the central claims of the article.
- Support your position with references to and analysis of the article, as well as illustrations from your (or others’) personal experiences.
You will be asked to type and save your essay in your own file on your own computer. Once you have completed your essay, you will copy and paste your essay in the online Composition Placement “Essay” text box. Be sure to use Times New Roman 12-point font for your essay.
Why is the online Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay proctored and how do I register for the proctoring program?
Because CSU values academic integrity, the Composition Placement Essay is proctored to ensure legitimate authorship. The proctoring program, Software Secure, uses three methods to confirm academic honesty: during the essay time, it records conversations/interactions, produces a video version of the author while writing, and takes screen shots of the writers’ work to ensure no documents are downloaded from other sources.
Software Secure Proctoring Program Support for Students: Should you encounter any difficulties with the online proctoring program, please call 1-855-436-2039 or go to http://clientportal.softwaresecure.com/support/ for technical assistance.
Follow these instructions to take the proctored online Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay:
- Ensure that you have the required equipment and materials to take the proctored online Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay:
- A computer with a web camera and a microphone. (If you do not have a personal computer with these features, please see the list of CSU computer labs which can accommodate your needs, below.)
b. A picture ID (Driver’s License, Government-Issued ID, Passport, or CSU Student ID).
c. A major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card) or Pay Pal account to pay the $15.00 proctoring charge.
- If you choose to write the Placement Essay, go to http://compexam.colostate.edu. Click on the link, “Students can take the proctored online essay,” in the “Current Essay Prompt” box at the top right.
- You will be taken to Software Secure’s Proctoring website where you will pay the $15 proctoring charge with your credit card or Pay Pal account.
b. Software Secure will then determine if you have the appropriate equipment and will review your ID.
Please Note: If you need access to a computer with WebCam and Microphone features, the following CSU sites can make these available to you:
Behavioral Sciences Building Laptop Checkout (just behind Sweet Temptations Café on the first floor) has Macbooks that students can borrow for a maximum of 4 hours. The HP laptops are still not loaded with the proctoring software.
Lory Student Center Laptop Checkout – Go down the LSC main staircase and then turn right – it’s in the corner. 30 Macbook Airs can be borrowed for a maximum of 4 hours.
After I Register for the Proctoring Program, What’s Next?
You will automatically be taken to the online Composition Placement Essay page where you will:
- Complete the registration page.
- Follow instructions for writing your Composition Placement essay.
Is There a Charge to Write the Composition Placement Essay?
Your total cost for the online Composition Placement Essay will be $37: a $22 charge will be billed to your student account for processing and rating your essay, and a $15 charge will be paid to an online proctoring provider, Software Secure, who ensures academic integrity. Payment of these charges is expected even if the student subsequently chooses not to attend Colorado State University after writing the essay.
How Can I Prepare to Write the Composition Placement Essay?
To prepare for the Composition Placement Essay, we suggest that you read an argumentative article in a newspaper or magazine. Practice summarizing the main ideas of the argument, explaining whether you agree or disagree with the author’s viewpoint, and supporting your position with evidence from the article and your personal experience.
The following writing guides on Writing@CSU can help you prepare for the Composition Placement Essay.
Are There Accommodations for Students With Learning Differences?
Students with Learning Differences can contact the Office of Resources for Disabled Students at (970) 491-6385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will give students the accommodations they require to write the Composition Placement Essay.
When Can I Get My Composition Placement Essay Results?
The Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay is rated by Composition faculty either weekly or on the first and third weeks of the month as per the schedule below.
May 1 – August 31: Essays are rated each week. Students who submit their essay on the Friday prior to the week we review essays, will receive email notification of their placement by 5pm the Monday following the week essays are read.
September 1 – October 31: Essays are rated on the first and the third week of each month. Students who submit their essay on the Friday prior to the week we review essays, will receive email notification of their placement by 5pm the Monday following the week essays are read.
November 1 – January 31: Essays are rated each week. Students who submit their essay on the Friday prior to the week we review essays, will receive email notification of their placement by 5pm the Monday following the week essays are read.
February 1 – April 30: Essays are rated on the first and the third week of each month. Students who submit their essay on the Friday prior to the week we review essays, will receive email notification of their placement by 5pm the Monday following the week essays are read.
Where Can I Find My Composition Placement Essay Results?
You can check your results on your RAMweb homepage. On the right-hand side, under “Records” select Composition Placement Essay Results.
What are the Potential Outcomes of the Composition Placement Essay?
The Composition Placement Essay is rated on a scale of 2 through 6. Based on your score, you will be placed in one of three categories:
- Score of 2: Placement into CO130: Academic Writing
- Score of 3 – 5: Placement into CO150: College Composition
- Score of 6: Test-Out Credit via Placement into CO150-Section 550
The results of being placed in these categories are:
- 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. After successful completion of CO130, you will register for CO150. CO130 serves as a prerequisite for CO150.
- If you are placed in CO150: College Composition, you will register for a section just as you register for other courses at CSU.
- If you test out of CO150, you will register for CO150 Section 550: College Composition-Test Out Credit. You will receive 3 credits for CO150 and will be given the grade “S”. The grade of “S” will not affect your grade point average. You will have satisfied the All-University Core Curriculum Intermediate Writing requirement (AUCC Category 1A). A student needs to earn a score of 6 on a scale of 2 to 6 in order to test out and receive credit for CO150. Students considering writing the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay to test out of CO150 should consider that earning a 6 requires outstanding critical thinking skills and a sophisticated writing style.
What if I Have Questions or Want to Appeal My Placement?
If you have questions about your placement, please contact Sue Russell, the Composition Program Assistant in the English office, at (970) 491-1898 or email her at Sue.Russell@colostate.edu. If necessary, she will schedule an appointment for the Composition Placement Director to review your essay. Please note: You will not be allowed to rewrite the Composition Placement Essay without special permission.
Prompt: For many students, the time of transition between high school and college is not long at all. They graduate in late May or early June and enter postsecondary education in August. Students may take a few different paths through those few months between these two stations in life. In an essay of 400-500 words, describe the path you plan to take as you journey from high school graduation to your first day here at Old Dominion University.
Throughout high school, I worked a part-time job, took care of my siblings, and tried to achieve the best grades possible. As I struggled through these troubled times, I seldom thought about college. I just wanted to be the first in my family to graduate from high school. However, Mr. Jones, my tenth grade biology teacher, encouraged me to consider going to college. As I began my senior year, he called me into his office to make me aware of the application process not only for colleges but also the various scholarship offers and grants available to me. Because of his efforts, I will be stepping onto the campus of Old Dominion University in August 2012 after winning a scholarship. Because my scholarship does not provide spending money and I must maintain a grade point average of 3.2, my path over the next few months will be a balancing act as I work to save money for spending, study to make certain I am ready for classes, and spend as much time as possible with my family before I leave home.
Working is nothing new to me. I have had some type of a part-time job since I was fourteen years old. I spent many summer days harvesting crops at my grandfather's farm. The work was hard, but I learned the importance of staying focused on the task at hand. Failure to do so could have resulted in a serious injury, as farm machinery is not forgiving. These experiences with "Pap" enabled me to learn a great deal about the farming process and the selling of produce to local restaurants. I can see now just how he groomed me for the work I will do over the next few months.
I have a route that services twenty-five restaurants within a radius of 50 miles from Pap's place. I will be making two runs per week to service these establishments. The good news for me is that I have access to the Internet and can fill orders prior to each run. As a result, I simply need to carry with me the requested produce. Poor Pap never had such an opportunity. Forty years ago, he just filled the truck and hauled the "farm," just hoping to sell what he had. Needless to say there was spoilage and money lost. Because of refrigeration and the Internet, I will take only what I need; little will be lost to spoilage. Pap is allowing me to keep all profits from these routes this summer.
I am not necessarily the smartest student in the state, but I was able to graduate from high school with honors. Over the course of those four years, I learned to manage my time wisely so that I was able to study yet still care for my siblings until my parents came home from work. Many nights I had to make dinner and help the twins with their homework before I was able to begin my own studies. Fortunately for me, the twins will be gone for the summer. I will not have to look after them. However, the lessons I've learned in doing so will guide me through my efforts as I prepare for college. I will have my books with me on my routes. In the event there is down time, I will be able to study. I plan on studying during my lunch hour each day. Of course there will be a few hours at night when I can also study. I will be laying out a schedule, as I learned a few years ago that having a plan makes for a better study session. I also learned to focus on my least favorite subjects first. Yes, I will be working on literature; I despise talking about the works of all the great dead people. William S. was never one of my favorite folks, but I did learn a great deal about the English language as we studied his works.
I know that work and studies will keep me busy this summer, but I will most definitely find time to spend with my family. I know my absence will leave a void in the weekly routine at home. Luckily, the twins are older now, and they should be able to take care of themselves after school. I just hope they do not burn the house down while trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Over the last four years, I have formed a bond with both of them. We are close, and I do hope that my being over two hundred miles from home will not dampen their spirits. I certainly appreciate the times I have had with them.
Although I have not had a great deal of time to spend with my mother and father, I know that they both want the best for me. Just graduating from high school was an accomplishment that they were un able to achieve. When they found out that I had the chance to go to college due to a scholarship, they were overjoyed. Obviously, I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can; since the twins will not be home, I think there will be a bit more "me" time with my mother and father. Pap, well I'll see him every day.
These next few months will be busy for me, and there is a great deal that I need to get done before I leave for Norfolk. The key to success will be for me to balance my time and obligations so that I can be successful with business, brush up on my known areas of academic weakness, and ensure I have quality time with family.