Exemption Program for English 191

Answers to Common Questions

What does it mean to be "exempted" from English 191?

Exemption from English 191 means that the 4-hour writing requirement is waived; that is, you don't have to take the course. Because the exemption process does not address all aspects of 191, credit for the course is not given.

How do I know if I'm qualified to take the advantage of the exemption program?

You may seek exemption if you meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Upper 25% of high school graduating class
  • ACT combined English score of 25 or higher
  • AP lang/lit score of 3 or above (scores of 4 and 5 earn automatic exemption)
    *English 100 or 162 or transfer equivalent

What does the exemption process involve?

If you qualify for exemption based on one of the criteria above, and you wish to go through the exemption process, you will need to do two things.

  1. Submit a Portfolio of Writing that demonstrates your achievement of 191 goals. The portfolio MUST include:
    • samples of your academic writing that demonstrate your understanding of 191 course content including analysis, argument, and research writing—as suggested by course goals; AND
    • a portfolio cover sheet (provided at on-campus writing session that includes a statement of original authorship, signed by you; AND
    • a letter from a teacher (or other school official), printed on official school letterhead, certifying that the writing submitted is your work; OR a transcript and other course materials that correspond with the material include in the portfolio; OR recommendations from former instructors familiar with your academic writing ability.

      The portfolio might also include:
    • Other wiring samples that demonstrate understanding of 191 course content;
    • A list of writing-intensive courses that you have taken, with descriptions of assignments and grades earned for each.
  2. Complete a Timed Writing Exam on Campus during times designated by the department. You will be given two hours to write a persuasive response to a text. You should bring your portfolio (and proof of meeting one of the qualifying criteria) to this session.

How will my writing be evaluated and who will evaluate it?

The portfolio and timed writing sample will be evaluated by at least two English 191 instructors. Evaluation will be guided by 191 course goals, particularly those concerning analysis and argument, research skills, and process (e.g., drafting, revision, peer response). Results will be mailed to you.

When and where are the next testing sessions, and how do I reserve a seat?

Dates, times, and locations for the on-site writing exam can be found in the current schedule of classes. Call (320) 308-5108 as soon as possible to reserve a seat. Remember to bring a pen (or pens), your writing portfolio, and proof of meeting one of the qualifying criteria to the exam session. Paper for the timed exam will be provided. Sign up by 3 pm on the Thursday before the exam.

Upcoming on-site exam times:

Friday, March 20, 2015 from 1-4 pm in 51B-218

Friday, October 16, 2015 from 1-4 pm in 51B-218


* 291 Placement Option for Transfer Students
Transfer students who have partially met English 191 objectives through a composition course taken at another University may be approved for the two-credit English 291, as a way to fulfill their English 191 Requirement.

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