Writing Placement Test
The writing test is designed by our English Department and is completed off-site, usually from the student's home, and done during a specific time frame.
The next writing placement test will be in March 2018. Here are the dates you need to keep in mind:
Test Opens: March 20, 2018
Test Closes: March 27, 2018
Writing Placement testing is required of all entering matriculated students unless they have:
- Transfer credits in college-level English.
- A score of 28 or higher on the NEW SAT Reading test or 510 or higher on the old SAT – Critical Reading to waive the reading test.
- A score of 32 or higher on the NEW SAT Reading test or 600 or higher on the old SAT – Critical Reading to waive the reading and writing test.
- Students can be eligible for writing courses based on SAT, Advanced Placement and CLEP test scores. Please click here to learn more about course placement based on test scores.
If you are required to take the writing placement test, you should be automatically enrolled within a few days of the processing of your deposit. To check your enrollment, log into your Blackboard account and look for the writing placement test site there. Note that the exam site won’t be visible until about a week before the exam opens, and you should receive an email once the site is available.
If you don’t see the writing placement test site or if you have other questions about the test, please contact Dr. Patricia Lynne of the English Department by email at email@example.com. Questions about other placement tests should be directed to Ben Trapanick, Director of First-Year Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Take the exam seriously. English professors (possibly your future instructor!) are reading these to determine whether you need one semester of first-year writing or two. We want to put you in the class that will best help you be successful in college.
- Take your time! You have a week between the time the test opens and the time it closes. This will allow you to write and revise your essay before submitting it for review. We want to see your best work and also want you to be pleased with the work you’ve produced.
- Read the assigned article carefully. You want to make sure that you understand the author’s position, as well as the key points present in the text, so you will probably want to read the article several times. Take notes as you read, too. These preliminary thoughts could become major features of your own essay.
- Make sure that the assigned article and its ideas are central to your essay. The exam is designed so that you need to use only that single source and your own ideas, and you should not use any other sources.
- Remain clear and focused in your response. State your controlling idea (thesis) in an introductory paragraph and stay on track as you develop your essay. Re-reading your essay as you write will help you connect your thoughts without being repetitive.
- Develop and organize your essay. Give the reasons why you feel as you do in distinct, well-developed paragraphs that use topic sentences and include appropriate, accurate details and examples. Refer directly to the text you are writing about, and feel free to quote and paraphrase as appropriate.
- Use grammatically correct and effective sentence structure. If you have had problems with sentence structure in the past (run-ons, fragments), review these issues by using a handbook for writers or looking online for help. The Purdue Online Writing Lab and the Handouts section of the UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center’s website are particularly good places to start.
- Revise your essay before submitting it. Multiple errors in word choice, grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling will almost certainly affect the exam readers’ thinking about which class would be a better fit for you. Again, re-reading your essay as you write, as well as after it is finished, will help you to catch errors and improve the quality of your essay.
- You will not be able to retake the writing placement test. Instead, if you decide that your placement isn’t accurate, you will have the opportunity to submit a portfolio of your work for review. Click here for more information about the portfolio review process.