English 150 Test-Out

Contact Information

Deanna Stumbo
Foundation Courses Office
229 Ross Hall
(515) 294-3516


Registration for the Fall 2019 test-out is closed. 

The Spring 2020 test-out information will be posted soon.

You may not register if:

  • you have previously taken or been enrolled in an English 150 class.
  • you have previously taken the ISU 150 test-out. University policy states that students may attempt a test-out for a course only once.
  • you are not officially enrolled at ISU for the semester the 150 test-out is being offered.
  • you have credit for English 250. We do not allow students to take the English 150 test-out when their credits show they are already beyond that course level.

NOTE:  You may be enrolled in English 150 when you take the exam. If you are enrolled in 150 and pass the exam, you will be given an administrative drop by your respective college.

The Test

We recommend test-takers have experience with:

  • organizing their writing using clear paragraphs and transitions
  • reflecting on their own writing processes, strengths, and areas for growth
  • adapting their writing to specific purposes and audiences

You will read a prose selection of 600-1000 words. Then you will write one response essay about the selection and one reflective essay.

You will take the exam at the Online Testing Center computer lab, 2552 Gilman, and you will receive a maximum of two hours to complete the exam. When you arrive at the Testing Center, you will need to check-in and tell the check-in staff you are there to take the English 150 test-out so they can give you access to the exam.

To access the exam at the Online Testing Center computer lab, you will log in to Canvas with your Iowa State Net-ID and your password. You must submit the exam before the end of the two-hour time frame or the lab closing time, whichever comes first.

For further information on the Online Testing Center hours and rules at 2552 Gilman, please go to http://www.testcenter.iastate.edu.


If you are asking for accommodated testing arrangements, please contact Student Accessibility Services (https://sas.dso.iastate.edu/) to request a notification letter. The completed notification letter must be dropped off to Deanna Stumbo, English Department, 229 Ross Hall, by no later than noon on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Suggested Preparation

This test is intended to test the communication skills that students already possess, specifically in response writing and reflection. If you wish to review, you may consult the following source, which can be found on reserve at the ISU Parks Library:

  • ISUComm Foundation Courses: Student Guide for English 150 and 250

Test Date

The Fall 2019 dates for the 150 test-out are Week 2 of the Fall 2019 semester, September 3-6. You are responsible for selecting one of these four dates, September 3-6, to take the exam at the Online Testing Center computer lab, 2552 Gilman, and for allowing a two-hour time frame (the maximum time allowed to take the exam).

Registration for the Exam

You must complete and submit the English 150 Test-Out Registration Form – Fall 2019. Upon receipt of your registration form, you will receive a confirmation email that you are registered. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 1-2 business days, please contact Deanna Stumbo at stumbo@iastate.edu.

The Fall 2019 registration deadline is noon on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. A $100, non-refundable fee will be placed on your university bill. The $100 fee is non-refundable, unless you cancel your registration by sending an email to stumbo@iastate.edu by noon on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Because of resource limitations and to provide an optimal testing environment for students, registration is limited to 40 students. To increase the likelihood that you can take the test-out, submit your registration form as soon as possible.

What to Bring to the Exam

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


The Test-Out Committee evaluates each portion of the exam using the following criteria: context, substance, organization, style, and delivery, explained in the ISUComm Foundation Courses: Student Guide for English 150 and 250. All segments of the test-out must receive a satisfactory rating for you to earn “T” (test-out) credit. You will be notified within six weeks of the exam whether or not 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.