Carnegie Mellon University


Advanced Placement Policy

All first-year students must fulfill the First-Year Writing requirement by enrolling in one of two full-semester courses (76-101 or 76-102) or two of three half-semester mini courses (76-106, 76-107, or 76-108). Carnegie Mellon University does not accept any Advanced Placement (AP) score in place of this requirement.

Please note that if you achieved a score of 5 on the AP exam, this can be used as 9 credits for an English elective course. Speak with your advisor for more information. Transfer students who have been granted AP credit from another institution should consult with their advisor. Additionally, if English was not listed as your first language on your application, AP scores may be used to exempt you from taking the placement exam. See the 76-100 Placement Policy below for more information.

Please direct any questions you have about placement to Mike Brokos, Assistant Director of the First-Year Writing Program, or Dr. Danielle Wetzel, Director.

76-100 Placement Policy

All students must complete the First-Year Writing requirement during their first year at Carnegie Mellon, but if English is not your primary or native language, you may be required to take 76-100 as a pre-requisite to this requirement. Students who indicated in their admissions materials that they use English, but that English is not their primary or native language, will receive an email and letter in late May or early June, notifying them that they need to take the English placement exam to determine which first-year writing course is the best fit.

Students who receive this email message must take the placement exam before registering for any first-year writing course. (If you meet certain qualifications, you may not be required to take the placement exam. Please refer to the paragraph at the end of this section for more information.)

The exam will be available from May 30th until July 31st. Please check with your academic advisor for your college's deadline for completion of the exam. If you take the exam by June 24th, you should receive your course placement by July 2nd. If you take the exam by July 31st, you should receive your course placement by August 10th.

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

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your CMU ID and password.
  3. The exam should be listed under "Courses" as "English Placement Exam 2018." Click on this course link and follow the instructions found there.

Please note: The exam must be completed within 48 hours after you begin. Most students in previous years report spending 5 to 6 hours on the exam, so please plan accordingly.

If you feel you may not be required to take the English placement exam, please email us immediately. We will then email you a set of questions. The answers to these questions 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. You do not need to take the placement exam or answer the email questionnaire if you meet any of the following qualifications:

  • Received a 5 on the English Language and Composition AP exam
  • Received a 7 on the IB English A exam
  • Received an A on Cambridge International A or AS level exams in English Language, Literature in English, OR Language and Literature in English.

You must provide documentation of these scores to be exempted from the placement exam. Please send your score report(s) from your Andrew email account to We cannot accept score reports sent from other email accounts.

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