Placement FAQs | First-Year Composition Courses

The  Writing Programs in the Department of English offers many versions of First-Year Composition, each designed to maximize student learning and success. Courses for non-native speakers and honors courses are all taught by dedicated teachers motivated to meet specialized student populations where they are to ensure all students have the opportunity to reach their academic potential. The Writing Programs is dedicated to meeting students where they are and providing meaningful instruction for a diverse student population.

What is the composition requirement?

English 101 and 102, or one of the versions of these classes described in this section, are required for graduation. Students must earn a grade of "C" or better to fulfill the graduation requirement.

Can I test out of English 101 and 102?

No, you cannot test out of ENG 101 and 102. However, partial credit can be earned by certain scores on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests. Please visit the Transfer Credit Guide to search credit by exam.

What course do I take during my first semester?

Effective Summer 2021, no placement test scores are needed for enrollment into ENG 101.  For students for whom English is not the native language, enroll in ENG 107. Other students may qualify for English 105; placement test requirements are listed below.

Placement Exam

Score Course

No Exam Needed 

N/A ENG 101/107

SAT Read/Write

Effective March 2016

660 or above

ENG 105

SAT Verbal (Critical Reading)

Prior to March 2016

620 or above

ENG 105

ACT English

26 or above

ENG 105

Accuplacer score

8 (8-point system, effective Fall 2009)/11
or above (12-point system prior to Fall 2009)

ENG 105

I am an international student who has not taken an English placement test. What test should I take? 

All students must have a qualifying test score in order to enroll in first-year composition courses. Admitted students who have not had TOEFL, IELTS, PTEA scores reported to ASU may take the placement test through the Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness,, telephone: 965-7146. ASU uses the ACCUPLACER as a placement test for first-year composition courses. The Duolingo English test is not an acceptable exam for English placement and cannot be used. 

What is English 105?

English 105 is a one-semester course that practices the various ways of reading and writing that are studied in English 101 as well as the research and argumentation strategies that are studied in English 102. The pace is faster so the workload is heavier.

You may qualify for placement into English 105 by:           

  • an ACT score of 26 or more.
  • an SAT score of 660 or more  (620 or more if taken before 2016).
  • an Accuplacer score of 8 (8-point system, effective Fall 2009)/11
    or above (12-point system prior to Fall 2009
  • Either of these two CLEP test scores:

1. English Composition with essay -- the General Examination. 
a score of 610/1978 scale or 500/1986 scale or more.

2. Freshman College Composition -- the Subject Examination.
a score of 50 or more.

Are there any awards, publications, or honors I might be eligible for through Writing Programs?

Absolutely.  Each year Writing Programs hosts The Printer’s Devil contest which recognizes outstanding essays from composition students at Arizona State University. The contest is open to all composition students, i.e., students who have completed or are currently enrolled in one of the following classes during the current school year: ENG 101, 102, 105, 215, 216, 217, 218.

What is the policy for adding or dropping a Writing Programs course?

The process of adding and dropping Writing Programs courses is the same as adding and dropping any ASU course.  However, Writing Programs does have a policy against late adds after drop/add has ended. You can enroll through MyASU after your registration date becomes available and drop through MyASU any time during the drop/add period.  After the drop/add period has ended, students may withdraw (with a grade of “W”).

Course Withdrawal Deadlines

The drop/withdrawal deadlines listed on the Academic Calendar apply to classes scheduled in the regular 16-week term.  If your class is scheduled in a session that is less than 16 weeks, the deadlines are prorated.  The best way to determine the registration deadlines for a class you are registered for is to sign into My ASU and click on the calendar icon next to the class in your My Classes box.

May I get an override to enroll in a closed section?

No.  Writing Programs courses have strict enrollment caps to maintain the effectiveness of instruction which depends largely upon the instructor's ability to respond frequently to the writing of each student. 

What is the attendance policy?

Writing Programs maintains and expects teachers to enforce the following attendance policy: A student who exceeds 6 absences in a class meeting MWF or 4 absences in a class meeting TTH, MW, or WF will fail the course. See the attendance policy for Hybrid and Online courses below.
  • Hybrid classes: In the case of a hybrid course, a student who misses more than four classes -- either face-to-face, online, or a combination -- will fail the course with a grade of E.
  • Online classes: More than four absences will result in failure.
  • Definition of attendance in online classes: The instructor will define attendance in the syllabus. Generally, a student who fails to post an assignment to the class website during the assigned "window" of time will be counted absent for that class day.
  • Technical problems online: While these do occur either at home or from an on-campus connection, they are usually not valid reasons for failing to fulfill the requirements for attendance on that day. Students are responsible for allocating enough time to complete online assignments, and they should include the possibility of technical "glitches." Thus students need to allow enough time to try again later or to travel to a campus computer lab or alternative place to complete the assignment and therefore avoid an absence for the day.
  • Exceptions may be made by the instructor in the event of widespread computer viruses or some other large-scale event affecting ASU's computer network, but exceptions will not be made for routine computer problems.

What if I have to miss the first week of school?

According to university policy, students who are registered but do not attend any of the first week of classes may be dropped (see below).  Students enrolled in hybrid/online courses must make every reasonable attempt to attend class or contact the instructor during the first week.  After the first week those who do not show up either in person or by calling or e-mailing the instructor may be dropped.

What is an instructor initiated drop?

Instructors are encouraged to drop students who miss the entire first week of classes.  Because it is initiated by the teacher, it's called an "instructor initiated drop."

What are the policies about submitting work, grading, and classroom expectations?

While Writing Programs has provided teachers with some standard policies that appear in all Writing Programs course syllabi, individual teachers are responsible for setting and implementing classroom policies, including grading policies (i.e., how assignments are weighted, whether to use +/- grades, etc.), behavior policies (i.e., technology in class, tardiness, etc.), and course policies (i.e., participation procedures, assignment sequences, etc.).  If have questions or concerns about classroom policies, your teacher is your first point of contact. 
If you have questions or concerns about course policies, grading policies, or behavior policies that cannot be addressed by your teacher, please contact someone in the Writing Programs office (LL314). Office staff may ask you to complete a brief form detailing your concerns. A Writing programs administrator will then contact you to discuss the matter. If necessary, you may set up an appointment to discuss the matter further.

Can I dispute a grade that I received?

If you are dissatisfied with a grade you have received on an individual assignment during the semester, you are advised to meet with your teacher and ask for an explanation of the grade. The Writing Programs administration will not hear appeals during the semester.

If, after the semester is over, you feel you have been awarded an incorrect final course grade, you should also first discuss it with your teacher. If you would like to pursue a formal appeal after that, you may submit to the Writing Programs administration a packet containing the following (only complete packets will be considered):

  • a formal letter with a full and detailed explanation of your grievance
  • your name, student ID number, and contact information (e-mail address and phone number)
  • copies of the course syllabus
  • the assignment sheets complete with rubrics/grading criteria
  • all graded work complete with teacher’s comments
  • a copy of your Canvas grade report
  • any other documents you feel substantiate the appeal

Please submit these documents as a single PDF by the end of the semester immediately following the semester in which the class was taken. Do not include links, but copy and paste documents so that they are directly accessible in this file.

After receiving the complete packet, the Writing Programs Grievance Committee will review your materials, investigate your claims, and inform you in writing of their decision. During the investigation, the committee may also contact you for follow-up questions or additional materials.

Please email your packet to the Director of Writing Programs, Dr. Kyle Jensen. His email address is

What is plagiarism? I hear a lot of talk about it, but I’m not exactly sure what it is.

The general definition of plagiarism is “knowingly presenting someone else’s language or ideas as one’s own.” Plagiarism can take several different forms:
  • Using all or part of another writer's work word-for-word without quotation marks and proper acknowledgment.
  • Closely paraphrasing or summarizing another writer's work without acknowledgment.
  • Using original ideas expressed by another, in writing or in speech, without acknowledgment.
  • Copying another student's composition or allowing another student to copy one's own composition.  This includes copying a paper from an online source—copying a paper written by someone else—in part or whole—does constitute plagiarism, regardless of the source.
  • Submitting a composition significantly revised by another person.
  • Submitting as one's own work a paper written by another student or supplied by a professional paper-writing company.
  • And, at ASU, turning in a paper that you wrote in one class for credit in another.

How do I avoid plagiarizing?

You must acknowledge the source of all material in your essays. This is done by systems of documentation, such as MLA and APA. If you have any doubt, you should credit the source or sources, even if the source is a roommate or parent. When in doubt about specific cases, you should ask the course instructor.
If you are having trouble writing an essay, visit with your teacher during office hours and visit the Writing Center or the Learning Resource Center.

I am worried that I might accidentally plagiarize.  What will happen if I do?

ASU and Writing Programs take plagiarism very seriously.  In accordance with policies stated in the Student Code of Conduct, Writing Programs will not excuse, condone, or ignore plagiarism. Offenders may receive severe penalties, including 1) immediate failure for the assignment, 2) immediate failure in the course, 3) immediate failure in the course with a grade of XE, 4) referral to the Student Conduct Committee of the University, and 5) possible expulsion from the University.
At the same time, we recognize that plagiarism is a new concept for many students, and it can be challenging to learn what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.  Therefore, if you are at all concerned that work you’re doing might be plagiarized, talk to your instructor before turning the assignment in.  If you are nervous about meeting with the instructor, make an appointment to see a writing tutor at one of the on-campus Writing Centers.  Whatever you do, get help before you turn in an assignment so that you never have to worry about potential penalties.

Who teaches in Writing Programs?

Writing Programs courses are taught by well-qualified, dedicated teachers including full-time faculty members, full-time instructors, part-time faculty, and graduate students from the English department.  Writing Programs staffs every course with teachers who have demonstrated their ability to teach effectively.  Furthermore, in conjunction with the English department, Writing Programs provides multiple opportunities for all levels of instructors to access training workshops and implements annual assessments to make sure that students are getting the highest quality instructors. 

My parents want to know how I’m doing in my writing class.  Can they contact my instructor?

Student information is protected by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment.
By policy, Writing Programs teachers are not allowed to discuss student's academic performance with or release any information about student's academic records to others, including parents.
Students can access their academic records via, and share the information with their parents.
For more information on FERPA, please visit: or visit the FERPA FAQs at

I have other questions.  Who should I contact?

If you have further questions, you should contact the Writing Programs - 480-965-3853 or