English 314 Test-Out

Contact Information

Deanna Stumbo
Department of English


To be eligible for the English 314 test-out exam, you must

  • not be currently enrolled in English 314 when taking the 314 test-out exam
  • have at least a junior classification
  • have completed English 150 and 250
  • be taking the test-out exam for the first time (university policy prevents repeats)

You May Not Register If You

  • have previously taken or been enrolled in an English 314 class
  • are not officially enrolled at Iowa State University for the semester the 314 test-out is being offered

The Test

The English 314 test-out exam consists of three separate parts that will ask you to define and apply various technical communication concepts, analyze a specific genre of technical communication, and compose in a genre responding to a given technical communication scenario. Your responses will be evaluated on their incorporation of specific course concepts and principles as well as the content’s depth, accuracy, organization, style, and grammar.

You will take the exam at an ISU Test Center computer lab, where you will need to sign up for three separate appointments corresponding to the three separate parts of the test.

To access the exam at an ISU Test Center computer lab, you will log in to Canvas with your Iowa State Net-ID and password. You must submit each part of the exam before the end of the 50-minute time frame or the lab closing time, whichever comes first.

Please visit the ISU Test Center for further information on hours and rules.


If you need accommodated testing arrangements, contact Student Accessibility Services to request a Notification Letter. The completed Notification Letter must be emailed to Deanna Stumbo (stumbo@iastate.edu) by no later than noon on Friday, January 19, 2024.

Test Dates

The spring 2024 test-out dates will be Monday, January 29 – Wednesday, January 31.

The test-out must be taken in three separate 50-minute sessions, and you must complete all three parts of the test.

When you register for the exam, you will be provided with a link to the page where you will book the three separate 50-minute sessions. While you can take all three parts on the same day, you will need to sign up for each part separately. You will also need to leave the testing center between each session so that the testing center staff can clean and prep between sessions.

You must arrange the three separate appointments with the ISU Test Center in advance. You will be turned away if you walk into an ISU Test Center computer lab without a scheduled appointment.

Registration for the Exam

You must complete and submit the English 314 Test-Out Registration Form – Spring 2024. Upon receipt of your registration form, you will receive an email that will provide you with the information you need to set up your three separate 50-minute sessions for the exam.

The spring 2024 registration deadline is noon on Friday, January 19, 2024. A $100 fee will be placed on your university bill. The $100 fee is nonrefundable unless you cancel your registration by sending an email to Deanna Stumbo (stumbo@iastate.edu) by noon on Friday, January 19, 2024.

Studying for the Exam

To prepare for the English 314 test-out, you should be familiar with the major technical communication concepts and principles covered in the course.

To pass the test, you should demonstrate a strong ability to analyze and compose within specific genres and scenarios of technical communication. You should also be able to understand and apply core technical communication practices, including audience analysis, usability studies, organization, accessibility, and document design principles.

When you register for the exam, you will receive information on preparation material for the exam.

What to Bring to the Exam

All you need to bring to the exam is your student ID.


Administrators and instructors in the Advanced Communication program compare your performance on the exam to the writing of a good 314 student who has taken the course. All parts of the test must receive a satisfactory rating for you to earn T (test-out) credit. You and your advisor will be notified within six weeks of the exam whether you have earned this T credit. If you receive T credit, it will be posted at the end of the semester in which you took the exam.