English 250 Test-Out

Contact Information

Deanna Stumbo
English Department
stumbo@iastate.edu

(515) 294-3516

You may not register if you

  • have previously taken or been enrolled in an English 250 class.
  • have previously taken the ISU 250 test-out. University policy states that students may attempt a test-out for a course only once.
  • are not officially enrolled at ISU for the semester the 250 test-out is being offered.
  • are a First-Year Honors Program (FHP) student. The University Honors Committee voted to return to the no test-out option for FHP students.

NOTE:  You may be enrolled in English 250 when you take the exam. If you are enrolled in 250 and pass the exam, you will be given an administrative drop by your respective college.

The Test

Although any ISU student may take the 250 test-out, it is strongly recommended that you meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • an ACT-E score of 29 or higher
  • an A in English 150
  • an exemption from English 150 and a high school rank in the top 5 percent of your graduating class

We recommend test takers have experience with

  • rhetorical principles and composing rhetorical analysis of written texts
  • argumentative principles and composing written arguments

You will read a prose selection of 2500-3500 words. Then you will write a rhetorical analysis essay about the selection and complete a survey.

The test-out requires access to a computer, the internet, and Canvas. You should find quiet place to work for the two-hour test. To access the exam, 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.

Accommodation

To ask for accommodated testing arrangements, contact Student Accessibility Services (https://sas.dso.iastate.edu/) to request a Notification Letter. The completed Notification Letter must be emailed to stumbo@iastate.edu by no later than noon on Friday, December 18, 2020.

Test Date

The Spring 2021 dates for the 250 test-out are Monday, January 11 and Tuesday, January 12 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. You will select a specific date for the test when registering.

Registration for the Exam

You must complete and submit the English 250 Test-Out Registration Form – Spring 2021.

As a part of registration, please be prepared to provide an additional writing sample from a previous course. This sample should be a recent example of your academic writing of at least 400 words (2 pages double-spaced) submitted as a .doc or .pdf document.

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, contact Deanna Stumbo at stumbo@iastate.edu.

The Spring 2021 registration deadline is noon on Friday, December 18, 2020. 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 stumbo@iastate.edu by noon on Friday, December 18, 2020.

Because of resource limitations, registration is limited to 80 students. To increase the likelihood that you can take the test-out, submit your registration form as soon as possible.

Evaluation

The Test-Out Committee evaluates each portion of the exam using the following criteria: context, substance, organization, style, and delivery. 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.

If you were exempted from English 150 and pass the English 250 test-out, you will earn 3 T credits for English 150 in addition to the 3 T credits earned for the English 250 test-out.

In keeping with the ISUComm philosophy of incorporating all the WOVE (written, oral, visual, and electronic) modes of communication, the fundamental principles of effective communication have been summarized into five concepts, the rhetorical pentad, that are used for all forms of assessment including test out examinations. You will find a brief overview of criteria that are relevant for this written communication-based test below.

 

Criteria for Evaluation of Written Work

Context
Purpose, Position, Audience

  • Early reader involvement
  • Stated question, problem, or motivation
  • Clear relationship of the writer to the situation

Substance
Scope, Depth, Relevance, Fairness

  • Detailed examples
  • Subject suitably narrowed
  • Responsible use of facts and evidence
  • Precise definition of key terminology

Organization
Focus, Structure, Relationship, Emphasis

  • Clear thesis
  • Coherent argument Transitions that clarify logic and purpose
  • Well-developed, unified, coherent paragraphs
  • Audience-oriented headings

Style
Conventions, Aesthetics, Variety

  • Adherence to usage, punctuation, and grammar conventions
  • Verbal expression suited to the audience and situation
  • Careful proofreading and documenting

Delivery
Consistency, Engagement, Accessibility, Layering

  • Functional and consistent page layout: headings, typography, paper quality, binding, etc.
  • On or before deadline
  • Within word/space limits