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Spring 2021 Advisory

Find the latest information SPS's plans for the Spring and University resources. Message from the Dean.
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Live Information Session

Join the American Language Program for a live info session via Zoom on March 4 to learn more about our summer and fall courses. Click here to register.
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Initial Placement into ALP Classes

  • Placement into ALP classes is based on:
    • The Oxford Online Placement Test (including sub-scores for the two test sections)
    • Day One Writing Exam (fall and spring intensive)
    • OR The ALP Essay Exam (newly matriculating CU students only)
  • Placement is double‐checked by course instructors during the first week and placement may be changed as a result of classroom performance.
  • Only placement by the ALP Essay Exam is considered final.
  • Changes of level are made only by the Director in discussion with course instructors.
  • Changes of level are not possible beyond the first week of classes.
  • Students arriving after the first week of classes will be admitted and placed only in the most unusual of circumstances, and only at the discretion of the Director.

Placement Appeal Policy

Initial Placement into ALP Intensive Classes

  • Intensive students who believe they have been placed in the wrong level should speak with their instructors.

ALP Essay Exam Score Appeals

Appeals must be made, only in the most unusual of circumstances, within one week of the student receiving official notification of results.

  • "Unusual circumstances" might include, but are not limited to: environmental factors, sudden illness, acts of God.
  • Your appeal will require a clear reason why unusual circumstances apply in your case.
  • Do not appeal in person in 504 Lewisohn.
  • The following are not acceptable reasons for appeal and will be rejected:
    – "I deserve a better level.”
    – "I can do better if I have another chance."
    – "I cannot afford to take the class."
    – "I had jet lag during the exam."
  1. Contact ALP Test (alptest [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu) with the following information:
    – Name
    – UNI (if applicable)
    – Advisor’s name (if known)
    – Date of ALP Essay Exam
    – Reason for appeal
  2. If an appeal is considered worthy, the original essay is read by new readers.
  3. ALP Test reports the results back to student and the admissions officer/advisor within one week.

Only in the most unusual circumstances will students be asked to sit for the exam again.

Academic Advisement

After receiving an ALP Essay Exam result, students can, if they wish, schedule an appointment to review their strengths and areas for improvement in English. Such meetings are advisory only and cannot be used for appeal of placement test results. 

Students who subsequently enroll in an ALP class after taking the Essay Exam will be directed to their course instructor for such advisement. 

To schedule an appointment email the ALP Director, Mary Pickett, at mp3045 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu or wait until your ALP classes begin and talk with your instructor.