English Placement Information

Students have multiple ways of determining which composition classes at Clark College best support their writing success in developing writing and reading skills. Most students will not need to take a traditional assessment test. Research by the English department shows that high school GPA (grade point average) is the most effective measure for success in English courses. Therefore, we encourage students to use their GPA as their first measure, if possible, to determine which English class is a good starting point. Placement options, measures, and thresholds are the same for all students, including Running Start students.

Students with a United States High School GPA

Students must have graduated from a U.S. high school or must be currently enrolled Running Start students to place by high school GPA. To submit your U.S. high school GPA, log in at myClark@Clark (click on the link). You’ll need to set up a Clark Labs Account first if you have not yet. The first time you log in, you will self-report your high school GPA. If you realize later that you have misreported your GPA, you will need to submit an official or unofficial transcript in order to make a change to what you reported initially. Please see the directions below under “How to Correct Your Self-Reported GPA” for more information. 

If you graduated high school several years ago, we know you might not be able to access your transcripts or remember your exact GPA number. That’s okay. Please estimate as best you can, keeping in mind that GPAs are determined as follows:

Mainly As with a few Bs: 3.5 and above

Mainly Bs: 3.0 to 3.4

Mainly Cs and a few Bs: 2.5 to 2.9

Ds and Cs: 2.4 and lower

Students without a United States High School GPA

If you do not have a U.S. high school GPA that can be used for placement, you can still determine which English class is right for you. You can use High School 21 GPA, GED scores, Bridge to College and AP course grades, and Smarter Balanced, GED, ACT, SAT, TOEFL, and IELTS scores.  If you have one of these placement measures, please follow the directions below to submit your method of placement. Details about each placement level can be found on the chart at the bottom of this page.

How to Submit Placement Scores Other than GPA 

After you apply for admission and receive your ctcLink ID, email enroll@clark.edu with your scanned documents showing your method of placement. Provide your name and ctcLink ID in the email.

Students Who Have None of the above Placement Options

If you have none of the above measures, you can take the Accuplacer exam. This option is available only for those students without another placement option. It is not an option for those who hope to start in a more advanced level than one of the above measures indicate.  Please email enroll@clark.edu to schedule your Accuplacer exam. 

How to Correct Your Self-Reported GPA

If you would like to make a correction to your GPA after you have self-reported it, you can submit a correction to enroll@clark.edu, but you will need to provide an unofficial or official high school transcript that shows the GPA that should be entered instead. Corrections will not be processed without a high school transcript.

How to Appeal Your English 90 Placement

Our goal with placement is to ensure you start out at the level of English composition that will ensure your best chance of success and that will help you build confidence as a writer. If you start in a class that is too challenging, or too easy, it will not serve you. Our placement options are meant to place you accurately, but if you have graduated from a U.S. high school and have placed into English 90 using high school GPA and think this placement is inaccurate, you can submit an appeal for English 101+099 placement. Please follow the directions below to submit your appeal.

  1. In 350 words or fewer, explain why you think your U.S. high school GPA does not reflect your English 90 placement and why you think you can be successful in English 101+099. Important note: The form being used to collect the appeals will not limit word count for you, so you must monitor the length of your own appeal to ensure it does not exceed 350 words.
  2. Be specific and clear in your writing.
  3. Write in your own words with no help from outside resources (another person, translation program, etc.).
  4. Compose your appeal in a Word or Google doc, revising and editing it for clarity and length, and then copying/pasting your appeal into the form.
  5. Read the 101+099 course description below before you write your appeal so you understand the course in which you would be placed if the appeal is approved.
English 101+099 Course Description:  Integrated college reading and writing, emphasizing deep comprehension, critical thinking in response to texts from various genres, and writing for a variety of purposes and audiences in a range of modalities. Strengthens skills through rhetorical awareness, application of genre knowledge, and reflection on past and future writing tasks to enable skill transfer to new situations in college, workplaces, and communities. Reading and writing processes emphasized. The English 099 portion of the course focuses on college-level writing, critical thinking, and critical reading to support achievement of ENGL& 101.

Click on the English Placement Appeal Form link to access the appeal form. Fill out the form completely with your full name, CTClink ID #, and accurate contact information. Once you have completed your appeal paragraph, click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page to submit your appeal. You will be notified by the email you include on this form of the appeal decision. Decisions will be sent between 5 and 7 working days. 

Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with a disability, please email Audrea Hagen at ahagen@clark.edu with questions about accommodations or accessibility in relation to placement.

FAQs about English Placement 

Why do I need English placement? Why can’t I just pick my own class and place myself?

Placing correctly is the best way to ensure your success in English classes so you continue and finish your college career. Selecting the right English classes, the first time, will help you avoid unneeded credits, which will save you time and money. Being placed in the right class helps you avoid the frustration of realizing you are in the wrong class after you’ve already started the term and purchased your books. 

Can I just start at the lowest level without taking a test or submitting placement information?

In order to make sure you start at the level that will best ensure your success, you have to submit placement information. If you don’t have information for any of the placement methods mentioned on this page, you can take the Accuplacer exam. Placing correctly is the best way to ensure your success in English and to save you time and money.

Once I know what placement option I’m going to use, how do I know what class I should take using that option?

Please scroll down to “Placement Options and Measures'' to find all the placement options. If you still need help after that, you can contact enroll@clark.edu.  

Who can I contact if I need help looking at my placement options?

You can email enroll@clark.edu with questions. The Assessment and Placement page has contact information as well. 

I’m not happy with my placement. Who can help me?

If you would like to appeal your GPA placement, please follow the guidelines above under “How to Appeal Your English 90 Placement.” You can also correct an incorrect self-reported GPA by following the guidelines above under “How to Correct Your Self-Corrected GPA.” Those are the only two options for changing placement. Please remember that the English department has done extensive research on the best, more effective way for students to place in order to be successful in English classes. 

Why can’t I take the Accuplacer exam if my GPA is too low for English 101?

Research shows that using GPA for placement is the best, more effective way to place you accurately and ensure your success in English classes. Since we want each student to have the best chance of success at Clark College, Accuplacer is considered a last resort for only those without any other placement method. 

I’m having trouble logging into MyClark@Clark to self-report my GPA. How can I get help with this?

Email enroll@clark.edu with the subject “HS GPA for English Placement.”

How long will it take for my placement information to be entered into the system, so I can enroll in an English class?

It should take within 3 business days. If you have questions, email enroll@clark.edu.

How do I submit my test scores? (SAT, ACT, Smarter Balanced, etc.)

After you apply for admission and receive your ctcLink ID, email enroll@clark.edu your scanned documents showing your method of placement. Provide your name and ctcLink ID in the email.

What happens if I fail the Accuplacer test?

You cannot fail the Accuplacer test. The test results will indicate which English class should be your starting point. 

Can I use my English placement from another college?

In many cases, yes, if Clark has placement reciprocity set up with that college. Contact enroll@clark.edu to find out more.

What is the difference between ENGL& 101 and ENGL& 101+99?

ENGL& 101 is a freshman-year composition course for those who are ready to go about this work without much support.  ENGL& 101 + 099 is the same course, except that it has extra support in place, so students get more clarity about the tasks and learning that they are encountering in the work of ENGL& 101.



Placement Options and Measures

For more information about how your placement measure determines which class to take, click on the option below that best describes you.

Graduate of U.S. High School, High School +, or GED Programs

 ENGL& 101 Placement

  • U.S. High School Graduate or Clark HS 21 GPA:  2.90 or higher
  • GED Post-2014:  RLA 165-200
  • Smarter Balanced: 3-4
  • Bridge to College English: B or Higher
  • AP Lang/Comp or Comp/Lit: score of 3 (score of 4 provides credit for ENGL&101, so student should start in 102 or 235)
  • ACT: 19 English
  • SAT pre. 3/2016: Read 460 & Writ. 460
  • SAT 3/2016 to pres.: 510 Evid. Based R & W
  • Accuplacer Next Generation Combined Reading and Writing Scores: 513-600

ENGL& 101+099 or PTWR 135 Placement

  • HS Graduate or HS 21 GPA:  2.4-2.89
  • GED Post-2014:  RLA 145-164
  • Smarter Balanced: Encouraged for 3
  • Accuplacer Next Generation Combined Reading and Writing Scores: 478-512

ENGL ENGL 090 or CAP 090 Placement

  • HS Graduate or HS 21 GPA:  1.0-2.39
  • Accuplacer Next Generation Combined Reading and Writing Scores: 454-577

Running Start, iTech, or EXAD Student

ENGL& 101 Placement

  • 10th Grade or Later HS GPA: 2.90 or higher 
  • Smarter Balanced: 3-4
  • AP Lang/Comp or Comp/Lit: score of 3 (score of 4 provides credit for ENGL&101, so student should start in 102 or 235)
  • ACT: 19 English
  • SAT pre. 3/2016: Read 460 & Writ. 460
  • SAT 3/2016 to pres.: 510 Evid. Based R & W
  • Accuplacer Next Generation Combined Reading and Writing Scores: 513-600

ENGL& 101+099 or PTWR 135 Placement

  • 10th Grade or Later HS GPA: 2.4-2.89
  • Smarter Balanced: Encouraged for 3
  • Accuplacer Next Generation Combined Reading and Writing Scores: 478-512

International Student

ENGL& 101 Placement

  • TOEFL: 61 ibT/17 Writing
  • IELTS: 5.5 wit all bands 5.0+
  • STEP EIKEN: Pre-1 or higher

College Graduate

ENGL& 101 Placement

  • Undergraduate degree from an accreditated U.S. college
  • Undergraduate degree from an accreditated college in an English-speaking country or province

Consult Credential Evaluations to determine if you have English 101 or English 102 credit from your previous college.

Transfer Student

  • Consult Credential Evaluations to determine if the best mechanism for your placement is transfer credit, a placement reciprocity score, or any of the measures for high school graduates.

Graduate of High School in English Speaking Countries

Students from specific English speaking countries (for the list of countries, please contact the Office of International Programs) can choose from the following two options for English 101 placement:
 
  • Accuplacer Next Generation Combined Reading and Writing Scores: 513-600
  • Transcript evaluation to show the equivalent of a 2.9 GPA. Contact international@clark.edu for a list of credential evaluation providers.