Poynter Institute Exam
Passing the Poynter Institute Exam (known in Greenlee as PIE) is a prerequisite for JL MC 201. The exam is offered as part of an online course, Iowa State University Language Primer Course Pack (Spring 2020), offered through Poynter’s News University. Students must receive a score of 78% or more (117 out of 150) to pass the PIE. Students will take the PIE through the Poynter Institute website on their own time from any computer with Internet access.
Summer 2020 Information
For summer 2020, students will take the exam through the Iowa State University Language Primer Course Pack (Spring 2020). Students will take the exam through the Poynter Institute website on their own time from any computer with Internet access. The summer 2020 quiz will be available Monday, May 18, 2020 until 4 p.m. CDT Friday, June 26, 2020.
Students have five attempts to pass the PIE with a 78% or more (117 out of 150). Students must use these attempts by 4 p.m. CDT Friday, June 26, 2020.
All students who wish to attempt the PIE in summer 2020 must fill out the form below to be eligible for the summer 2020. Students who do not fill out the form may not be able to take the exam or may not have their scores recorded. It is recommended that this survey be filled out by Sunday, May 17, 2020 to ensure access to the summer 2020 attempts.
Students with accommodations through the Student Accessibility Office should contact Kelsie Poe as soon as possible at email@example.com.
To sign up and study for the course:
- Create an account at www.poynter.org/newsu.org. At the top right corner of the page, you will see a link to “Register.” Follow the directions to create an account. Students who are not registered will not be able to complete the final exam. Your field should be filled out as follows:
- Username: ISU Net-ID
- Email: ISU email
- Name: Full name (First and Last)
- Organization: Iowa State University
- Job Title: Student
- Log into your account, and search for “Iowa State” in the “search for courses” bar.
- Click the course titled “Iowa State University: Language Primer (Spring 2020)”.
- Enroll in Iowa State University: Language (Spring 2020) by clicking the button that says “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now.” Be prepared with a credit or debit card to pay the $14.95 fee.
- Practice drills available through “Language Primer (Essays and Drills)”, a course you will be automatically enrolled in when you sign up for the Iowa State course. (Courses can be found by clicking on your username at the top right corner of the screen. Work through the practice drills and additional resources at your own pace.
- Additional resources can be found through our Study Links document, as well as our own Grammar Test Study Guide.
For additional guidance with photos, please follow this visual instructional guide.
To take the final exam:
- Locate “Iowa State University: Language Primer Course Pack (Spring 2020)” in your course list. You can easily find this by clicking on your username in the top right corner and going to “My Courses.”
- Once you are in the Language Primer Course Pack, scroll all the way down to the “Courses” box. There will be an option for “Language Primer College Edition.” Click that or click “Expand.” If you click “Language Primer College Edition,” you will then need to click “Iowa State Comprehensive Assessment” to get to the test. Clicking “Expand” will show a direct link to the “Iowa State Comprehensive Assessment.”
- You can begin the quiz by clicking “Start Quiz.” You have two hours (120 minutes) to complete 150 questions.
- Students will receive emails on Fridays during the testing period regarding their attempts. If a student has passed the PIE in the last week, they will receive an email saying they have passed. If a student has not passed or not attempted the exam in the last week, they will receive an email with a reminder to use attempts before the testing period ends.
- If you do not score a 78% or more (117 out of 150) on your first attempt, you may take the test as many as five times total before the testing period ends.
- Students with accommodations should contact Kelsie Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students must receive a 78% or more (117 out of 150) on the exam to be qualified for JL MC 201. Test scores will be recorded at 4 p.m. CDT Friday, June 26, 2020, and no other attempts for the spring semester will be accepted past that time.
All questions should be directed to Kelsie Poe at email@example.com.
I am having technical problems with the Poynter website. (Examples may include exam score not displaying, exams restarting, or study materials not being available.)
Please contact Poynter directly to notify them of the technical issues you are facing. This will help them adjust for you and for others who may run into the same problem. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a detailed account of your problem, as well as any screenshots if applicable.
I am trying to enroll in the course but it says it is out of stock?
You are trying to enroll in a previous semester’s course. Please make sure you are enrolling for the current semester as that will be the only course available for purchase. You can always find current courses by searching for “Iowa State” in the search bar at the top of the webpage.
I took the test last semester but did not pass; do I have to sign up again?
Yes. You need to enroll in the course each semester. You can use the same account but will need to pay the fee for the current semester.
***For summer 2020, students who are already enrolled in the Iowa State University Language Primer Course Pack (Spring 2020) will not have to re-enroll. Students should complete this form to indicate that they would like to attempt the exam in the summer.
If I’ve taken the test once this semester, do I have to pay the $14.95 again?
No. You only have to pay the fee once per semester. You are welcome to take the final exam five times before you need to repay.
Do I have to sign up for a specific time to take the exam?
No, you do not have to sign up for a specific time to take the exam. All exams should be taken online through any computer with Internet access. You have five attempts to score a 78% or more (117 questions right out of 150) before 4 p.m. CDT Friday, June 26, 2020.
How can I use my SAS accommodation for the Language Primer test?
Please contact Kelsie Poe at email@example.com to arrange accommodations.
How do I study for the exam?
Poynter offers essays, practice drills and other resources through the course pack. After you have enrolled in the course, you are able to access all study materials. Practice drills are reported as the most helpful, but you can also find assistance through our Study Links document, as well as our Grammar Test Study Guide.
What is the average studying time for the exam?
Most students report they study 6-10 hours before passing the exam. Time depends on students’ familiarity with the topics tested and individual differences.
How many students pass the exam?
About 75% of students pass the test each semester. Only about 25% pass the first time they take the exam. The average number of attempts to pass is two, but some students take the exam as many as five times.