Writing Placement Exam
Certain students may be required to take the Writing Placement Exam to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the challenges of College Writing (L59 111-120), the University’s first-year writing requirement. Our sole objective in requiring this exam is to ensure that all students who take College Writing have the skills and support they need to do well in the class.
The Writing Placement Exam asks students to produce one essay in response to a short reading. Students will also complete a self-assessment form, on which they can provide some contextual information about their previous training in writing, strengths and weaknesses, etc. This timed exam is administered through Canvas via email invitation. Students will be notified of their placement within 14 business days of completing the exam.
Before taking College Writing, some students may be required to take one or more preparatory courses. Students placed in preparatory courses must successfully complete those courses by earning a C- or better in successive semesters before they may take College Writing. To find out when these courses are offered, consult online course listings.
Please note: Students who are required to take the exam and who fail to do so will be automatically enrolled in the lowest preparatory course in the sequence and will not be allowed to attend College Writing on the first day of fall classes.
The resulting placement of this exam is not meant to disrupt your academic plans at Washington University. Instead, the placement measures your strengths in writing and figures your best sequence of writing courses to fulfill the University's first-year writing requirement. If you are dissatisfied with your writing placement after your online exam, you may retake the exam on campus.