Composition: Student Placement

Good writing skills are part of your educational and professional toolboxes. Based on ACT, SAT, or Compass test scores, students are placed in a composition course. Academic Literacy, Rhetoric 0321, is a combined reading and writing course for students who need foundational skills in both reading and writing prior to the credit composition courses. Students who need additional support in writing are placed in a connected composition course, based on the Accelerated Learning Program model. In this model, students concurrently take Rhetoric 0310 (Composition Fundamentals) and Rhetoric 1311 (Composition I) during the same semester. The coupling of the courses offers Composition Fundamentals, RHET 0310, as a writers’ workshop to further understand and explore material from Composition I, RHET 1311. Credit courses in Composition include Rhetoric 1311 (Composition I), Rhetoric 1312 (Composition II), and Rhetoric 1320 (Honors Composition).

Students who do not have an ACT or SAT score or students who would like to improve their placement may take the Compass Test through UALR’s Testing Services. Students may retake the Compass Test as many times as they like. Below are the test scores used for placement, which can also be found on the testing homepage.

 Compass Reading Score

  • 82 or less – RHET 0321
  • 83 or more - Always exempt from RHET 0321

 Compass Composition Score

  • 38 or less – RHET 0321
  • 79 or less – RHET 0310 and RHET 1311 simultaneously
  • 80 or more – RHET 1311
  • 99 or more but made less than a B in high school English – RHET 1312
  • 98 or more and made an A or B in high school English – RHET 1320

ACT Reading Score

  • 18 or less – RHET 0321
  • 19 or more - Always exempt from RHET 0321

 ACT English Score

  • 13 or less – RHET 0321
  • 14-18 or less – RHET 0310 and RHET 1311 simultaneously
  • 19 or more – RHET 1311
  • 29 or more but made less than a B in high school English – RHET 1312
  • 27 or more and made an A or B in high school English – RHET 1320

 SAT Critical Reading Score

  • 469 or Less – RHET 0321
  • 470 or More – Always exempt from RHET 0321

 SAT Writing Score

  • 359 or less – RHET 0321
  • 449 or less – RHET 0310 and RHET 1311 simultaneously
  • 450 or more – RHET 1311
  • 650 or more but made less than a B in high school English – RHET 1312
  • 610 or more and made an A or B in high school English – RHET 1320

Students transferring 60 or more hours to UALR who have met the first year composition requirement at the a previous college may be exempted from UALR’s freshman composition requirement. The decision to exempt a student is made by the student’s major department chairperson when the student files a degree plan.


Testing Out of Composition

Students who feel they already have the requisite skills of either Rhetoric 1311 or 1312 may attempt to complete these requirements through credit by examination. For information about test dates, required fees, and test content, students should contact the Office of Testing Services.  A student who successfully tests out of a course will receive three credit hours, per course, toward graduation.