What is Directed Self-Placement?

Directed Self-Placement is a program designed to help entering students determine which first-year composition course is the right choice for them. All Sac State students are required to complete General Education Area A2—Writing. We know, however, that one type of class is not the right fit for every student. Our goal is to help you discover, based on your background and experiences, which course will enable you to be most successful.

Sac State students used to enroll in first-year composition courses based on their scores on the English Placement Test (EPT). We do not, however, believe that a multiple-choice, timed exam is the best way to determine a student’s skills and placement. Thus, we have designed a program that informs you about our expectations, provides you with some activities to test out your skills, and asks you to review your own experiences and ideas to help you determine the best class for you.

If you have questions about this information, please write to the DSP Hotline: HornetDSP@csus.edu

All queries will receive a response within one business day.


Am I required to participate in Directed Self-Placement?

  • Yes! All first time freshmen must participate in Directed Self-Placement.
  • The directed self placement actvities are live now. You will log in using your Saclink.  
  • Please plan to complete this requirement BEFORE you attend orientation.


Book HighlightsOnly a small number of students will be exempt from the Directed Self Placement Activites. The following students may be exempt:

• Students who earned of score of 3 or above on either the Language and Composition or Composition and Literature examination of the College Board Scholastic Advanced Placement Program (AP exam)

• Students who took a college-level English course (this does not include high school AP English) and earned a C- or better in a course equivalent to CSUS ENGL 5.

Please note: Students who are exempt from the EPT are not exempt from participating in Directed Self Placement, unless the student is exempt by either option above.

How do I complete Directed Self-Placement?

The Directed Self-Placement program is a series of online activities within SacCT. You will read information about Directed Self-Placement, our composition course offerings, and how we view academic reading and writing.  You will then complete four different activities:

  • a self-test to check your understanding of the Directed Self-Placement process and course options
  • a critical reading activity
  • an academic writing activity
  • a self-inventory to review your background and feelings about your reading and writing skills

We believe these activities will take about 2-3 hours of your time. Once you complete this work, you will select which first-year writing course best meets your needs. You can then print out this information and take it with you to Orientation (when you will sign up for classes).

Are you ready to begin Directed Self-Placement?

You will sign into SacCt with your saclink account to access the Directed Self Placement Activities.

Sign into your Saclink HERE

You will see your Directed Self Placement course in your Canvas. 


Please plan to complete this requirement BEFORE you attend Orientation. 

All questions regarding Directed Self Placement should be sent to: hornetDSP@csus.edu