Transfer Student 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 opens April 18, 2019 and the test closes May 30, 2019.

Writing Placement testing is required of all entering matriculated students unless they have:

  • Transfer credits in college-level English.
  • 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 Questions about other placement tests should be directed to Ben Trapanick, Director of First-Year Programs at

  • 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.

Writing Placement Review Process


Framingham State University does not allow you to retake the Writing Placement Exam. If you believe that you were inappropriately placed as a result of that exam, you may appeal the decision with a portfolio.


Here is what you will need to submit:

  1. A portfolio of between 10 and 15 pages of word-processed, written work with all identifying information removed. Please do not give us copies of pieces with teachers’ comments on them.
  2. The 10-15 pages must be comprised of at least two essays. At least one essay must include use of textual sources. No creative writing (e.g., poetry, short stories, plays, etc.) will be considered.
  3. The assignment for each essay in the portfolio. If you do not have and cannot get the original assignment, provide a brief written description of the assignment. Attach each assignment to the relevant essay.
  4. A 1-2 page letter requesting a review and explaining the reasons why you believe that the writing in your portfolio demonstrates that you were placed incorrectly.
  5. A certification statement (click here for the form) that certifies that the work in the portfolio is your own and that provides information about the essays in the collection, including the instructor’s name and contact information, as well as the institution for which these essays were originally written.


Because the certification statement must be signed, you must submit all work as printed copy. You should submit your complete portfolio to


Dr. Desmond McCarthy

Chair, English Department

ATTN: Portfolio Review

Framingham State University

100 State Street

Framingham, MA 01701


Review requests for fall placement must be received by August 20th. Review requests for spring placement must be received by January 15th. Any review must be requested before you take your writing course and no later than the end of your first semester as a matriculated student at FSU. You may not request a portfolio review if you haven’t taken the original writing placement exam.


If you do not follow these instructions or if your portfolio is incomplete, it will not be reviewed and the original placement decision will stand.


Your portfolio will be read carefully by members of the English Department. You will be notified by email as soon as the review is complete. Depending on when you submit the portfolio, the process may take several weeks. If you have questions about the portfolio review process or about the status of your review, you may email Dr. Patricia Lynne, Writing Placement Coordinator (