Admitted students to take composition test

Admitted students to take composition test

English Professor Kim Douglas teaches composition to Gabby Turco (left) and Laken McKeel (right).

Brooke Boyer, Copy Editor

An English Composition placement exam has been introduced to those who have been admitted to Pitt-Johnstown and is to determine a student’s entry-level course.

The exam results are to place a student into one of three classes: Composition 2, Composition 1 or a First Year Success Program.

Those who do not have to take the placement exam include students who have transferred advanced-placement credit or college transfer credit for Composition 1, according to the Pitt-Johnstown website.

If a student achieves an advanced placement exam score and is placed into the Composition 2 class, they are not to receive the three academic credits for Composition 1, according to the website.

The advanced-placement student, however, would complete the freshman-writing requirement by taking only English Composition 2.

If a student scores 0-35, he or she is to be placed in the First Year Success Program. Scoring a 36-59 places a student at an Intermediate level and in the Composition 1 class. An advanced score is 60-70, placing a student in the Composition 2 class, according to the Pitt-Johnstown website.

Humanities Division Chair Patty Derrick said she thinks that the exam will allow for students to be placed in the right class and receive instruction appropriate for their skill level.

“The students who are capable of placing directly into Composition 2 will no longer have to sit through a course (Composition 1) that is designed to address skills they have already mastered,” Derrick said.

According to the website, the exam requires one to read a short passage and prompt, then respond analytically and critically in essay format.

The exam allows 60 minutes to complete the essay; 70 is the maximum exam score one can achieve.

Freshman Kellie Coffey says she does not remember whether she took the exams this summer along with the other placement exams for admitted students.

“I think placement exams would be a good idea in the future,” Coffey said.

She said she feels that it would be a good idea because if someone has higher abilities in English, then they should have the opportunity to test out of those classes.

Derrick says that the placement test will target those students who need instruction and practice with basic writing, grammar and critical thinking skills. Those students will be placed into Composition 1.

Junior Beth Sabo, said the new placement exam is a positive for students.

“If a student is proficient in the category, there is no reason to have them take a class with other students who may not be on the same page,” Sabo said.