Humboldt State University

Directed Self-Placement FAQs

Do I still have to take the English Placement Test?

Yes. The California State University system mandates that every first-year student accepted without the approved combination of 1) high-school grades; 2) SAT, ACT, and/or AP test scores; and/or 3) college credits takes the English Placement Test or EPT.

What role should my EPT score play when I choose the English 102&103 or English 104 option?

The EPT is no longer used at HSU to place you in a specific section of English composition. However, you may include your EPT score as one of the many factors to determine which course is the best option for you.

According to my EPT score, I need to take remedial English. Which option should I choose?

There is no remedial English at HSU. However, if you have a remediation designation from the Registrar’s Office, you must successfully complete either English 102 or 104 in your first year to remain eligible to continue at HSU.

If I took AP, IB, or Honors English in high school, should I chose the English 104 option?

Not necessarily. The best way to make an informed decision about which course to choose is to consult the DSP. While your experiences in AP, IB, or Honors English will likely help you, many students find college writing much different from the writing required in high-school English classes. We recommend that you consider those English classes as one factor to weigh in your decision—not as the sole or even the primary basis for your decision.

I am a good writer, but I need help with grammar. Which class should I take?

You should consider your command of grammar conventions as one of many factors in your decision-making process. In all English composition courses, the focus on grammar involves its relationship to the ideas you are trying to express, the ways you are thinking, and the decisions you make as a writer. We think it is important to remember that grammar is simply one aspect of successful writing. Many people are very good sentence writers but still need more practice and instruction regarding planning, organizing, developing ideas, reading critically, researching, and revising. Instead of focusing on one issue like grammar to make your decision about which course to take, we encourage you to consult the questions and resources in the DSP.

What happens if I choose English 104 and realize that I have made the wrong decision?

At the beginning of English 104, your instructor will explain the number and types of assignments and review your writing for indications that you are better suited for English 102+103. If, within the first week, you realize you have not made the best decision, you may be able to switch courses. Such changes present challenges for the student and the university, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to make the change that semester; however, you may opt to drop the course and register for English 102 the following semester. Weigh your options carefully. When in doubt, you may want to choose the English 102+103 sequence.

What if I choose English 102 and realize that I have made the wrong decision?

Depending on course availability, you may be able to make this switch—but only within the first week of the semester. However, do not anticipate that this will be the case very often. In most cases, we encourage students who feel that English 102 is not the best fit to consult with their instructors. Many students benefit from the variety of activities and additional practice time in English 102+103, and with the assistance of your instructor, you will be able to work at a level appropriate to your experience and skills.

Will I have the same instructor in English 103 that I have in English 102?

You will work with the same instructor and the same classmates in English 102 and English 103. Indeed, one of the benefits of the English 102+103 sequence is that you make important connections and form a learning cohort with instructors and students for an entire year.

If I fail English 104 and decide to take English 102+103, will the English 103 grade replace my English 104 grade?

No. Both grades will be counted in your GPA. You can avoid this situation by carefully considering the self-assessment tools provided in the DSP.

If I fail English 102, do I have to retake the course, or may I take English 103?

English 102+103 is a year-long version of English 104; therefore, successful completion of English 102 is a prerequisite for English 103. This means that you must pass English 102 before you can enroll in English 103.

Will taking English 102+103 delay my graduation?

The English 102+103 option provides college-level credit and fulfills the Area A Written Communication GE requirement. Selecting this stretch option does not delay your graduation. Moreover, in the long term, taking the course(s) most appropriate to your skills and confidence improves the likelihood of college success and thereby increases—not decreases—the possibility of timely graduation.

Why should I pay to take extra credits for English 102+103 when I can complete my English requirement with one class?

Taking course(s) most appropriate to your skills and confidence improves the likelihood of your success. Investing time and resources now in English 102+103 will serve you throughout your college career and beyond.

Is there additional support to help me succeed in either English 102+103 or English 104?

Any student enrolled in English 103 or English 104 can elect to take English 215, which meets twice weekly in a computer lab. Students in English 215 will participate in a hands-on learning experience with writing instruction and one-on-one assistance with the research and writing process. English 215 provides you with support for research-based writing assignments from any HSU course, including English 103 or English 104.

Why should I take extra credits for English 215 when I can meet my GE requirement with one (English 104) or two (English 102+103) classes?

English 215 provides students with support for research-based writing assignments such as those required in English 103 and in English 104. Many students find themselves unprepared for the rigors of college research writing, so they may enroll in English 215 along with English 103 or English 104.