Challenge Exam

Please note: Students who scored a 16 or below on the English portion of the ACT are ineligible to take the challenge exam and must register for ENG 100E.

Welcome to USM!

Our challenge exam is designed to simulate a typical writing situation in our first-year composition program and will be administered online via Canvas.  (For Canvas help or technical support, contact the LEC at 601.266.5518 or  You will need your USM student ID number in order to complete the registration process.


Fall 2019 Timeline 

  • Last Day to Register: July 22, 2019

  • Access to Canvas: August 12, 2019

  • Access to Readings and Prompt: August 14, 2019

  • Essays Due: August 21, 2019


We invite you not only to reflect on your preparation for college-level writing but also to consult with teachers, advisors, and family members to help you make your decision.  Students who are well informed tend to be more successful in their courses.

To help you decide whether or not English 100E is the right course for you, please ask yourself the following questions:

1.  Do you read books, magazines, and newspapers outside of class?

  A - Rarely
  B - Sometimes
  C - All the time

2.  How much writing did you do in high school?

  A - Not much—or it’s been awhile!
  B - 1-2 essays per year
  C - 3 or more essays per year

3.  What types of writing have you done (both inside and outside of school)?

  A - Mostly personal writing
  B - Some personal writing, some reports or professional documents, some argumentative and analytical writing
  C - Mostly argumentative and/or analytical writing

4. How well do you think you understand the conventions of academic writing and edited English? 

  A - Not very well
  B - Somewhat well
  C - Very well

5.  How often have you incorporated a process of drafting and revising into your writing (both in school and outside of school)?

  A - Rarely or never
  B - A few times
  C - Always

6.  How confident are you in your writing?

  A - Not very confident
  B - Somewhat confident
  C - Very confident


If you answered with two or more As, we strongly encourage you to take English 100E, where you will get additional time and feedback on your writing in a supportive community.  

If your answers were mostly Bs, we encourage you to take English 100E.

If you answered with four or more Cs, we'll need further assessment--via the challenge exam--to determine the course that's best for you.


Exit and Stay in 100E 





Register for Challenge Exam