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Testing Services
LSS

Normal Office Hours
M-F: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you registered for a test, please be sure to check the time/hours listed on your confirmation. Testing hours vary greatly.

English 101 and English 102 Proficiency Exam Information

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Basic English 101 Proficiency Information: Students will be asked to complete one essay of at least 1,000-1,500 words in length, from a choice of two prompts. The essay should be written in standard, edited English to an audience of English instructors. A title, introductory paragraph, supporting body paragraphs, and a conclusion should be included. For details about the English Department standards for ENG 101, please go to siue.edu/ENGLISH/TOW/FYW/101grading.html

Basic English 102 Proficiency Information: Students will be asked to complete three assignments as detailed below.

  • Part 1 – Students will be asked to choose one of two given topics and write an argumentative research-oriented essay of 800-1,000 words. Students must incorporate source material from each provided passage. A “Works Cited” page is required and should be listed on the last page of the essay. Choose the MLA or APA method of documentation; whichever method is chosen, in-text citations, parenthetical citation, footnotes, or endnotes should be consistently applied. Students are encouraged to consult current course materials to review APA or MLA citation styles. Current course materials are available through textbook services. Students may consult Purdue's Online Writing Lab (owl.english.purdue.edu) when implementing the chosen citation style.
  • Part 2 – Students will complete a short-answer essay test over basic techniques in research and citation. Students are encouraged to consult current course materials to review APA or MLA citation styles. Current course materials are available through textbook services. Students may consult Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (owl.english.purdue.edu) when implementing the chosen citation style.
  • Part 3 – Students will be asked to demonstrate proficiency in using the Internet by finding five more sources that could be used if a longer, research-based paper was being written on the topic chosen in the previous part of the exam. By using the online databases and other resources available through Lovejoy Library, students will be asked to find one book, one credible web source, and three scholarly journals that would be appropriate in the writing of a research paper. A Work Cited or Reference page will be created using the same format as the essay and turned in during this part of the exam. Students may consult Purdue's Online Writing Lab (owl.english.purdue.edu) when implementing the chosen citation style.

Additional information about the English 101 & English 102 Proficiency exams

  1. Registration is required at least two business days prior to the test date. You may register online.
  2. Students will use a computer in the room provided and create their documents using Microsoft Word.
  3. Students will not be allowed to keep any computer files, copies of essays, or scratch paper for any essay and/or essay test.
  4. Students may use a dictionary and/or thesaurus but must provide their own copies.
  5. Essays should be completed in Times New Roman font, 12 point, with one inch margins all around. Essays that do not conform to these formatting standards will not be evaluated.

Guidelines for passing scores

The proficiency examinations are evaluated by the criteria set forth by the SIUE Writing Program, which reflects the goals and objectives that students are expected to have accomplished by the end of the first-year composition courses. The English department will assign proficiency grades as a PASS or FAIL. Letter grades are not given. The following are guidelines that should be considered while writing your essays:

  • Invention
    Purpose of the essay is clear and appropriate to the assignment.
    Introduction engages the reader and creates interest.
    Essay maintains interest by the creative choices made in content selection.
  • Arrangement
    Organization is effective in developing and supporting a thesis.
    Introduction includes an "essay map" (forecasting statement) and/or a clearly stated thesis.
    Discussion paragraphs present a coherent, logical case in support of the thesis, with appropriate rhetorical strategies, examples, definitions, and explanations.
    Essay concludes smoothly and powerfully.
  • Style
    Language, content, and persona are appropriate to subject, audience, and purpose.
    Essay exhibits sophisticated control of language and syntactic structures.
  • Conventions
    Essay uses Edited American English and includes features of other dialects only when they serve particular rhetorical purposes.

For additional information, you may contact Testing Services in the Student Success Center, Room 1246, phone (618) 650‑1246. General information regarding the proficiency program, as well as other methods of earning credit by examination, is printed in the SIUE Undergraduate Catalog and is available online.

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