Placement-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

Placement Process

Students who indicated in their admissions materials that they use English, but that English is not their primary or perhaps “native” language, will receive an email and letter, sometime in late May or early June, notifying them that they need to take the English placement exam to determine which first-year writing course will be most useful for them. Students receiving this email message must take the placement exam before registering for a first-year writing course.

The exam will be available from June 5th until August 1st, but please check with your advisor for your college's deadline for completion of the test. If you take the test by 0900 EDT on June 27th, you will receive your placement by July 7th. If you take the test by July 28th, you will receive your placement by August 4th.

The exam is located on CMU's Blackboard site. To access the test, please complete the following steps:

1. Go to http://www.cmu.edu/blackboard.

2. Enter your CMU ID and password.

3. The exam should be listed under "Courses" as "F14-English Placement Exam." Click on this course link and follow the instructions found there.

Please note: The exam must be completed within 48 hours after you begin, so plan to take the exam only when you have 48 hours in which to complete it. Most students in previous years report spending 5 to 6 hours on the exam.


If you feel you may not be required to take the English placement exam, please email us <engfirst@andrew.cmu.edu> immediately. We will then email you a set of questions that will give us the information for determining whether you are required to take the exam. These questions should take less than 10 minutes to answer.

If you have problems with Carnegie Mellon's Blackboard site, please e-mail bb-help@andrew.cmu.edu. For other questions or problems with the online exam, please email us.

To learn more about the First-Year Writing Program, contact  Dr. Danielle Wetzel, Program Director, or Beth Oberleiter, Coordinator of the First-Year Writing Program.

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