DSP is not a test! It is an online tutorial application in which you complete a reading, write an essay, and answer a series of questions in order to help you reflect on your reading and writing skills. The application will give you a reccomendation for which First Year Composition (FYC) class might suit you, but ultimately it is YOUR decision to select your FYC class at the end of the application.
All entering first-time freshman are required to complete DSP (unless you have already received college credit for First Year Composition) and must complete DSP before you can enroll in classes at orientation. We recommend completing DSP 2 days before orientation.
*If your EPT score is 146 or lower, you will DSP as part of your Early Start English (ESE) class. Please do not start the DSP application until you take ESE.
DSP is an online application. All students log in, and at the conclusion of DSP, select the First Year Composition (English) course they will take their first semester or year at SF State.
DSP can be done in one sitting, or over the course of several days. Plan for 3-4 hours minimum to complete.
DSP is free of charge.
Yes, you can complete DSP at any computer lab on campus. If you need assistance navigating the DSP application, please contact the English Tutoring Center at 415-338-1821.
We recommend students complete DSP no later than the day before an orientation. In order to enroll in First Year Composition (English) at orientation, students must complete DSP first. Students who have not completed DSP will not be allowed to enroll in any First Year Composition classes at orientation.
No, your DSP decision is binding. Because such changes would present enormous challenges for students and the university alike, it will not be possible once the semester begins for you to change your DSP choice. For this reason, it is best for you weigh your options carefully before you complete the DSP. Under exceptional circumstances, students may write to the ETC (firstname.lastname@example.org) to appeal to change their DSP choice, but only before the semester begins or within the first week of classes.
If you received credit for first year composition (English) through an English AP exam, an International Baccalaureate course, or a course at another college or university, then you do not need to complete DSP. We encourage you to check the your SF State bulletin for details about AP scores.
You will not hear back about your essay. The purpose of the essay writing portion of DSP is for you to reflect on your writing skills in order to make an educated decision about which FYC course is best for you.
While your DSP essay is not reviewed by the university or the English department, your First Year Composition instructor will have access to your DSP essay. Your FYC instructor may choose to incorporate your DSP essay into their course or use it as preliminary sample of your writing. This is one reason you should put a genuine effort into your essay.