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ENGL 2010 Challenge Exam

Policy and Procedure for Challenging ENGL 2010: Intermediate Writing: Research Writing in a Persuasive Mode

All undergraduate students seeking to obtain a Bachelor's degree at USU, regardless of majors, are required to take ENGL 2010, Intermediate Writing: Research Writing in a Persuasive Mode (transfer students should check with their college or department advisors for general requirements). Students wishing to be exempt from taking ENGL 2010 must take the ENGL 2010 Challenge Exam.

University Policy on "Credit by Special Examination":

Matriculated students may challenge course for credit by taking a special available examination or a departmental examination. The examination must survey content and may include papers, projects, portfolios, etc. Students who take one of these examinations will receive the exam grade opted to their transcript for that course with a designation that it was earned by special examination.

University credit is awarded for examination in courses the student has not already taken; students challenging a course in which they are registered must do so within the first two weeks of the course. Students not registered will be required to pay a fee (standard recording fee and course-specific examination fee).

The Testing Center has a listing of special available challenge exams, such as for American Institutions courses. Departments will determine if other courses are appropriate for challenge; students should contact the instructor and/or department. If a challenge exam is available, the instructor should advise the student as to whether he or she has a reasonable chance of passing. Students will have the final choice.

Credits earned by challenge exam cannot be used toward a graduate degree nor be used to meet the minimum USU course requirement.

Application forms for permission to take special examinations are available in the Records Office, TSC 246.

-- Advisor Handbook, USU General Online Catalog 2008-2009


English Department 2010 Challenge Exam

The 2010 Challenge Exam fee of $400.00 is to be paid at the Registrar's Office using Account # MWRI. NO PART OF THE FEE IS REFUNDABLE, whatever the outcome of the examination.

The English 2010 Challenge Exam takes place on two consecutive days during spring or fall semester and is administered by the director of the USU Writing Center. 

The exam consists of four parts: (1) an unofficial transcript of classes along with a portfolio of two graded research essays or two letters of completion from former professors, (2) a library proficiency test, (3) a persuasive research essay, and (4) a documentation exercise. 

Three members of the English composition faculty will grade parts 2, 3. and 4 of the exam as if they were grading a final project in the class. If the graders agree that the work scores at least 80% proficiency ON ALL THREE PARTS, the exam will earn a Pass designation. Otherwise, the grade will be F and the student will be required to register for the class. There will be no appeals to the grading panel's decision. The challenge can be taken only once.

Contact Information:
Star Coulbrooke
USU Writing Center Director
435.797.3853
star.coulbrooke@usu.edu

Challenge Exam Procedure

Preparing for Day One

Before taking the exam, check with your advisor to make sure you are eligible for credit. Obtain written permission to take the exam from the Dean of your college. Fill out and sign the Special Examination Form. Call the Writing Center Director, 435.797.3853 to make an appointment for the exam. Pay the $400.00 fee at the Registrar's Office using account # MWRI and bring the receipt to your appointment.

Day One, Part One: Portfolio 

Meet with the Writing Center Director, RBW 104B, before noon. Bring your filled out and signed Special Examination Form, with proof that the fee has been paid, along with a portfolio consisting of an unofficial transcript of classes and two graded research papers or two letters from former professors to verify that you have successfully researched and written such a paper for a university class.

Day One, Part Two: Library Test

Obtain the test form and a pre-approved research topic from the Writing Center Director before 12:30 p.m. The test will be timed and must be completed within three hours. Go to the reference desk at the Merrill-Cazier Library and inform the librarian that you are there to acquire sources in a timed test. Print out your sources to take with you to the writing exam. Return the test and sources to the Writing Center on or before the agreed-upon time of completion. You must score at least 80% to pass.

Day Two, Part Three: Persuasive Essay

Draft and revise a four page persuasive paper (on a computer in the Writing Center Testing Lab), which verifies that you can construct a plausible and reasonable argument. Specific assignment guidelines will be give to you when you take the exam. The paper must be well-documented (see Part Four below) and should contain minimal grammatical and/or mechanical errors. You will not be allowed to leave the computer station once you have started the paper, so bring an APA or MLA style guide and your printed library source with you to the testing room. The exam must be completed within three hours and must earn a score of at least 80% to pass.

Day Two: Part Four: Documentation

Using your printed sources and notes from the library test, construct a Works Cited or Reference page depending on wether you choose MLA or APA documentation. Paraphrases and direct quotes must be smoothly integrated into the paper with correct citations. Specific assignment criteria will be included with the essay exam guidelines. The documentation portion of the exam is graded separately and must earn at least 80% to pass.

All three parts - the library exam, the persuasive essay, and the documentation exercise - of the challenge exam must be passed with a score of 80% or better. All grades are final.