New IEP students are given a placement test before the semester starts to determine their level. The first part of the test is standardized and includes multiple choice questions in listening, grammar, vocabulary, and reading. The second part of the placement test is a timed 45 minute writing sample. Students will be asked to write an essay in response to a prompt developed specifically to test advanced grammar and writing skills. Due to the importance of writing in the IEP curriculum, the writing placement exam is weighted slightly higher than the multiple choice sections. The entire placement exam takes about 2 hours to complete.
Writing is scored based on content, organization, grammar, vocabulary, and mechanics (eg. punctuation, use of complete sentences). Writing samples that are graded highly demonstrate good to excellent organization with clear transitions between paragraphs, a strong thesis statement that is supported by the content in the body paragraphs, as well as a variety of different sentences structures. Accuracy in grammar and word choice is important and mistakes should not impede comprehension.
Based on their final scores on the placement test, students are put into levels and class sections by the IEP staff. Students will receive their schedules at the end of the IEP New Student Orientation.