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Morningside Campus Access Updates

All Columbia affiliates have access to the Morningside campus. CUID holders can request campus access for guests by completing the registration form. Campus entry points remain limited. Read More.
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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 of classes. 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. 
  • Placement decisions made by the Program are final.
  • Changes of level are generally 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

Per University policy, accommodations cannot be made retroactively. This means once an exam has been completed and a result given, the outcome is final.

Appeals are very rare and may be made only in the most unusual of circumstances, in writing, within one week of receiving official notification of results.

  • "Unusual circumstances" might include, but are not limited to: environmental factors, sudden illness, or acts of God during the exam that prevented you from completing it.
  • Your appeal will require a clear reason why unusual circumstances apply in your case.
  • 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 felt ill during the exam."
    – "I had jet lag during the exam."
  1. Contact ALP Test (alptest [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu (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

    Only appeals made in writing to ALP Test will be considered.
  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

Students who enroll in an ALP class after receiving an Essay Exam result can, if they wish, schedule an appointment with their course instructor to review the strengths and areas for improvement in the essay. Such meetings are advisory only and cannot be used for appeal of placement test results. The ALP course will also offer plenty of opportunity for feedback and review of students' written English.