English Proficiency Examination (EPE)
English Proficiency Examination (EPE): Frequently Asked Questions
Dr. Terry Smith, Coordinator of the EPE (firstname.lastname@example.org) 1/18/14
What is the English
Proficiency Examination (EPE)?
English Proficiency Examination is a 90-minute essay examination required by the
University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) to meet a University System of
Maryland (USM) requirement to assure that all undergraduate students are able
to write at an acceptable level. This requirement became effective for classes
entering the fall of 1998.
EPE is completed online, usually in Waters Hall computer labs, under the
direction of an EPE proctor, who verifies each student’s identity before
letting him/ her start. Therefore,
students must take their HawkCards with them to the EPE. The EPE requires each student to write a 500-600
word, multi-paragraph essay in response to a specific, randomly assigned,
argumentative prompt. The essays are
administered and evaluated by the College Board using a modified holistic
scoring, a procedure used to evaluate the overall quality of writing based on
the following 6 dimensions of writing:
Purpose and Focus, Organization and Structure, Development and Support,
Sentence Variety and Style, Mechanical Conventions, and Critical Thinking. Students taking the EPE are not allowed to use
any writing or editing aids, such as dictionaries, thesauri, or Word with its
spell-checking and grammar-checking features.
addition to receiving feedback on each of the 6 dimensions of writing, each
student receives a score between 0 and 8 immediately after “submitting” the EPE. A score of 5 or above on the 8-point scale is
passing. A passing score is based on
“satisfactory” quality: an essay that
would earn a C in ENGL101/ 102. The
grades submitted on the transcript are “S” (satisfactory) or “U”
(unsatisfactory). Students can verify
their EPE grades on their unofficial transcript or Course History in HawkWeb.
What are the course
pre-requisites for taking the EPE?
students must fulfill the following two pre-requisites to take the EPE: (1)have completed ENGL101 with a “C” or above
or an “S” and (2)have completed ENGL102 with a “C” or above or an “S” or be
taking ENGL102 with a “C” average or above.
Most students register for the EPE for the first time when they register
for ENGL102. Transfer students who
receive credit for ENGL102 when they transfer in to UMES register during their
first semester at UMES.
When is the EPE
the Fall and Spring semesters, the EPE is given only during final exam week. During the Winter Session and Summer Sessions,
it is given on final exam day, the day after the last day of classes. Students in traditional ENGL102 must take the
EPE during their regularly scheduled final exam period. Students who have completed ENGL102 when they
take the EPE and students who are on Online ENGL102 (which does not have a
scheduled final exam period) select one of various dates/ times offered during
May ENGL102 students take
the EPE at a time other than their scheduled final exam period?
No. Except in the case of a University-approved
absence with written documentation, no ENGL102 students may take the EPE at a
time other than their scheduled final exam period. The final exam period should be on the students’
ENGL102 syllabus, it is posted in the EPE Blackboard class, it is posted on the
EPE webpage, and it is not negotiable.
An ENGL102 student who does not show up on time for his/ her scheduled
exam will receive a “U” for the EPE and must register for it again the
How do students
register for the EPE?
the EPE is worth 0 credits and doesn’t actually meet as a class, students
register for it through HawkWeb as they do for all classes. There are currently 3 different EPE “courses”: ENGL001, ENGL002, ENGL003.
simultaneously taking ENGL102 should register for ENGL001.
simultaneously taking ENGL102H (Honors) should register for ENGL003
(offered only in the Spring semester since ENGL102H is offered only in the
who received a “C” or above in ENGL102 or transfer students who received an “S”
in ENGL102 should register for ENGL002.
How do students get
more information about the EPE?
students who are registered for the EPE are also in a Blackboard class for the
EPE. Additional information about the
EPE is posted there. This includes a
sample topic and sample passing essays and the EPE schedule for both ENGL102
students and post-ENGL102 students.
What should students do
to prepare for the EPE?
in ENGL102 will be prepared for the EPE through their class instruction. Students who have completed ENGL102 should review the materials posted in the
Blackboard class and review the basic principles of expository and argumentative
writing taught in ENGL101 and ENGL102. Optional tutoring is available through the
Writing Center in Wilson Hall.
What should students
do if they do not pass the EPE?
should register for ENGL002 for the next semester (or ENGL001 if they will also
be re-taking ENGL102). If they want to
review a prior failed EPE, they should go to see Dr. Terry Smith, the
Coordinator of the EPE, prior to the last two weeks of the semester. Her office hours are posted in the EPE Blackboard
class. If they would like tutoring, it
is offered by both the Center for Access and Academic Success and the Writing
Center. Details are posted in the EPE
If a student is unsuccessful
in passing the EPE, will he or she still be permitted to graduate?
Successful completion of the EPE is required for graduation. Students are strongly
encouraged to complete this requirement before they become seniors.
If students have
additional questions about the EPE, whom should they contact?
Dr. Terry Smith, Coordinator of the English Proficiency Examination, for more
information. Dr. Smith’s email is email@example.com.
The links below are Adobe Acrobat pdf files containing additional information about the EPE. The first one is the information above, and the others provide additional information about the EPE, including schedules for Spring 2014.
Last updated 1-19-14 by Terry Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org