International Students FAQs

FAQs about the English Writing Placement Test

Note: The information provided below is only relevant for SAS students for whom English is not the first language or who are bilingual or multilingual.

1) What is the English Placement Test?

The English Placement Test is designed to provide information about your English reading and writing skills. The test is online and is allotted 90 minutes. It consists of four sections: a short language questionnaire (5 minutes), an essay (20 minutes), reading comprehension (35 minutes), and sentence sense (30 minutes).

The purpose of the test is to help the Advising Office place you in courses that are appropriate for your level of English proficiency, so that you can have the best chance to succeed at SAS and Rutgers. 

2) Do all SAS incoming international students need to take the English placement test?

Most incoming international students need to take the English Placement Test as early as possible except for the following:

  1. Students with a Critical Reading SAT score of 650 or higher or an ACT English score of 32 or higher (by the January 2018 test) are exempt from completing the English portion of the testing and will automatically be placed into Expository Writing.
  2. Students who completed the AP exam in English Lang/Comp or the English Lit/Comp with a score of 4 or 5 do not have to complete the placement test in that subject, but must arrange to have the AP scores sent to Rutgers from the College Board. Go to:

If you are an international transfer student, you should only take the test if advised to do so by a SAS Advising Dean or if indicated on your transfer summary/credit evaluation.

3) If I do poorly on the English Placement test, will there be any bad consequences?

Please be assured that no matter how you score on your English Placement Test, the score will not affect your admission to SAS, appear on your transcript, or affect your GPA. Its only purpose is to place you into the appropriate classes to help you succeed at Rutgers.

4) How can I prepare for the English Placement test?

The English Placement Test is important to your success at SAS, so please take it seriously and do your best independent and honest work. You must have 90 minutes of uninterrupted time because the test must be completed in one sitting.

Tests are administered online and can be completed from home or in a quiet environment with a reliable internet connection. Please use a laptop or desktop computer – do not use mobile devices.

Read the “PLACEMENT TESTING INFORMATION BULLETIN” for sample tests at the following link:

5) How can I take the English Placement Test?

  1. Please go to the Testing and Placement webpage
  2. Carefully review the “PLACEMENT TESTING INFORMATION BULLETIN” on the page.
  3. Click on the links under “Accessing the Test” on the page.

The most important thing is to make sure you have access to reliable internet when you test, since tests can only be attempted once. If you are unsure of how reliable your internet access is, it is best to wait until you have access to a campus computer lab to ensure reliability. If you do have reliable internet access, then please complete testing as soon as possible. The earliest that Fall incoming students can test is March.

6) How long does it take to get the English Placement Test result?

It usually takes a few weeks to get your English Placement Test results.  Therefore, it is important to take the test as soon as you confirm your attendance at SAS, provided that the test is available and that you are certain you have reliable internet access. Tests can be completed before you come to the U.S.

7) How can I check the result of my English Placement Test?

Within a few weeks of completing the test, you can view your placement result on the Enrollment Pathway ( or Degree Navigator or by contacting the SAS Advising Office.

8) I am not satisfied with my performance on the English Placement Test, can I retake it?

You cannot retake the placement test, but all placements are checked on the first day of your assigned writing class with an in-class written essay. Your in-class essay will be read to insure that you have been correctly placed in the writing course or you may be moved to a different level based on your essay.

*Last updated January 26, 2017. For most current information, please visit an SAS Advising Center.