Test Out of ENGL/LING 220

Contact Information

Dr. Bethany Gray
355 Ross Hall
(515) 294-3236


The Class

ENGL/LING 220 offers an overview of grammatical structures and functions, looking at how to analyze units of language from morphemes, words, and phrases up to simple clauses and complex sentences. While it briefly discusses rhetorical grammar and appropriate register, it is not a remedial, English composition, or ESL course. ENGL/LING 220 is a compulsory class in many undergraduate programs in the English Department: English, English Education, Linguistics, and Technical Communication. It is also a prerequisite for several English Department graduate programs: the MA in Teaching English as a Second Language/Applied Linguistics (TESL/AL), the Graduate Certificate in TESL/TEFL (on-campus and online versions), and the PhD in Applied Linguistics and Technology.

The Test-Out

The option to test out of ENGL/LING 220 is available to graduate students only.

Testing out of ENGL/LING 220 shows that a student’s current knowledge of English grammar is equal to or surpasses the material taught in the course. The test-out lasts an hour and consists of 40 multiple-choice questions requiring the identification of language forms and functions, parts of speech, tenses, and the roles of different phrase, clause, and sentence constituents. No credit is earned for passing the test-out, and it cannot be used to make up for a grade previously received in the class.

Before You Take the Test-Out

We do not provide study guides for the test-out. We recommend the textbook for ENGL/LING 220, Kolln and Funk’s Understanding English Grammar (Longman 2011, 9th Ed). Their terms and analyses for some forms and functions are slightly different from those in other textbooks, e.g., “subject predicatives” in the Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English (Biber et al. 2002) are called “subject complements” in Kolln and Funk, “copular” verbs are divided into “be” and “link” verbs, “-ed” participles are called “-en” forms, and “noun complement clauses” are analyzed as “appositive nominals.”

Taking the Test-Out

The test-out can be taken once only. It is offered in March and October on the Wednesday of the last teaching week before the start of class registration for the following semester. The test-out is hosted on the Moodle online learning environment and must be taken on a computer in the Engineering-LAS Online (ELO) Online Testing Center. This is a secure, proctored environment for which photo ID is required. There is no fee for taking the test-out.

After Taking the Test-Out

Test-out scores are visible on completion of the test. The pass mark is 82%. No feedback is available on individual student performance. The English Department office and student advisors will be notified of passing scores.

To book a test-out place, contact Dr. Bethany Gray, 355 Ross Hall.