Writing Placement

Get Ready to Write

To meet graduation requirements, all students must pass an approved English composition course. The placement exams are designed to help you fulfill these requirements by identifying the courses that best match your skills.

Writing Placement Overview

WSU students planning to enroll in English 101 or an equivalent course must complete the Writing Placement Assessment.

The Writing Placement Assessment:

  • Is only required for students who plan to enroll in English 101 or an equivalent course.
  • Asks students to reflect on their writing skills and experiences in a few multiple-choice and short-answer questions.
  • Provides an article for students to read (students select between two articles chosen by the English department).
  • Prompts students to write a short essay (600-800 words) in response to the article and upload it into the platform.
  • Is evaluated by trained readers who are also the teachers of first-year writing courses.

What to expect from the Writing Placement Assessment:

  • You will be prompted to enter your WSU account (i.e., Butch.Cougar) and your password in order to enter the assessment platform.
  • As noted above, this assessment includes reading an article and writing a short essay, as well as several reflection questions. Plan to spend anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days on this assessment.
  • You can exit the platform and return to your saved submission.
  • You will need to use a composing program such as Word or Google Docs, and you will need to upload your completed essay into the assessment platform in a Word file type or a PDF.

If you have any questions, please reach out to tricities.testingcenter@wsu.edu or Patty Wilde at patty.wilde@wsu.edu (for info about the assessment or placement) or Crimson Service Desk (for help with your WSU account).

Placement Categories

Based on their written exams, students will be placed into one of the following:

English 101: College Composition is the first-year writing course that satisfies the WSU graduation requirement. 3-credits.

English 101 + ENG 102: College Composition is the first-year writing class that satisfies the WSU graduation requirement. English 102 is an additional one-credit class of 5-10 students who meet once a week for an hour with a trained instructor or tutor. 4 credits.

Exempt: This placement means that students demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of the conventions of academic writing. Students who are exempted receive credit for taking English 101.

Appeal Process

If you feel an error was made in the evaluation of your essays, you are welcome to contact the Writing Assessment Office to schedule an appointment to talk.