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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the College Basic Skills Test in Writing and Reading?

Middlesex County College requires incoming students to a take placement test in reading comprehension and writing before registering for courses. In no way will your performance on the test affect your admission to the College. However, you should take the exam very seriously and try your best. Your results will determine whether or not you must complete one or even two courses in developmental reading and whether or not you must complete one or two courses in developmental writing before entering ENG 121: English Composition I. You can register for the College Basic Skills Placement Test by calling the Testing Center at  732-906-2508.

Does everyone have to take the College Basic Skills Placement Test?

All entering students must take the test. However, students who have completed at least 27 credits of college level work, including at least one course in English composition, may request an exemption from the course. In addition, students who have completed developmental reading and writing courses at other colleges may petition the chairperson of the English Department to waive the requirement. You can do this by writing to:

Michael Nester
Dept. of English  
Middlesex County College  
Edison, NJ 08818.

You MUST include a transcript (a photocopy will suffice) and a catalogue course description relating to the courses you have taken.

What courses must I take if I do not pass the Basic Skills Placement Test?

Depending upon your test results on the essay portion of the exam, you might have to take ENG 009: Writing Skills for College I  and/or ENG 010: Writing Skills for College II.

Depending upon your test results in reading comprehension, you might have to take RDG 009: Reading Skills for College I and RDG 011: Reading Skills for College II.

If I do poorly, will I have a chance to re-test?

Yes.  Students who score within the standard measure of error in reading and writing are invited to re-test. Moreover, all students in RDG 009, ENG 009, and ENG 010 are given another opportunity to re-test and challenge results obtained before the first week of each new semester.

Do developmental reading and writing courses carry credit?

No. However, students taking a full load that is wholly or partially made up of developmental courses have full-time status.

What grades must I make in developmental reading and writing to go on to credit courses.

A grade of "C" or better in each required developmental course.

If I am required to enroll in RDG 009: Reading Skills for College I, what other courses am I permitted to take?

Typically, RDG 009 students can register for no more than 12-13 contact hours. In addition to RDG 009, they must take an English and a mathematics course determined by their College Basic Skills Placement Test results. Finally, they must enroll in one of the College's study skills courses.

What writing courses are required for graduation?

ENG 121 and ENG 122.  ENG 125 may be substituted for ENG 122.

What grade must I make in ENG 121 or ENG 122/125 to pass the course and to graduate?

A grade of "C" or better is required.

What second-year literature courses transfer to four-year colleges?

All second-year literature courses transfer as major courses, as humanities electives, or as free electives. In New Jersey, many four-year colleges are now requiring that students take a course in world literature regardless of major.  Middlesex's ENG 225: World Literature I and ENG 226: World Literature II fulfill this requirement. World Literature II, which is now available online, may be taken without having taken World Literature I.  Click here for more on World Literature II Online