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Writing Assessment Information

First Year Writing Placement Process:

Students below the state cut scores on the SAT or ACT English sections may place with the First Year Writing Placement.

Testing at home for English placement:

The MSU Denver Department of English will allow students to complete the First Year Writing Assessment at home during the current campus closure.

To request the First Year Writing Assessment please fill out the form available at this link: Request First Year Writing Placement


ENG 1010-Composing Arguments

ACCUPLACER English tests


SAT (old version)

SAT (new version)


200 – 245
(Accuplacer Next Generation Writing test)

20 – 94
(Accuplacer Sentence Skills Test)

Below 18

Below 430

Below 470

Students in this score range must complete the First Year Writing (FYW) Placement writing sample.

Possible course placement based on the FYW Placement writing sample: ENG 1010, ENG 1010+ ENG 1001, or ENG 1008/1009.

Please see the English Department in King Center 402 for placement details.

246 or higher
(Accuplacer Next Generation Writing test)

95 or higher
(Accuplacer Sentence Skills Test)

18 or higher

430 or higher (score result before March 2016)

470 or higher (score result March 2016 or later)

ENG 1010 Composing Arguments

The MSU Denver English Department offers College level, credit-bearing First Year Writing courses for all admitted students regardless of standardized test scores. English Department faculty will determine placement based on the First Year Writing (FYW) Placement writing sample. All students may take the optional Accuplacer English assessment for placement.

New High School graduates 19 years old or younger must have either an ACT or SAT test score.

ACT and SAT scores are valid for five years. Students with expired ACT or SAT scores must take the First Year Writing Secondary Placement writing sample.

Consult with the English Department (King Center, Room 402) for additional information on placement options.

Transfer Students or Students with Previous College-level English Credit:

Students must transfer completed courses equivalent to ENG 1010 (or pre-requisite ENG courses) from other institutions to MSU Denver. This includes completed classes from other colleges, Concurrent Enrollment credit completed while in High School, CLEP credit, AP credit, etc. Consult with Transfer Services for details on this process. Consult with an Academic Advisor for placement options based on transfer credit.

Secondary Placement Process:

There is no time limit for the writing sample; the average time is under 60 minutes. Once scored the English Department will contact students via email regarding placement based on the writing sample. Students must respond to the email message in order to register. For questions please contact the English Department.

New, First-time Freshman Students: Please complete all placement tests prior to attending New Student Orientation!

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