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Writing Placement Exam

Welcome to the RIT Community!

Learning to write well in higher education depends upon direct instruction in writing as well as multiple opportunities to practice writing. In an effort to provide students writing instruction appropriate to their abilities, the University Writing Program has developed a Writing Placement Exam (WPE). The outcome of the exam has no effect on your GPA, but is used to determine whether you will be placed into Basic Writing or First Year Writing.

Some important things to know about the WPE:

  • You may be required to take the WPE, depending on your scores on the ACT or SAT Verbal exams, or the SAT or ACT Written exams.
  • If you are required to take the WPE, you must take the online exam before you can enroll in either Critical Reading and Writing or First Year Writing.
  • You do not need to prepare for the WPE, but you do need to take it seriously.
  • You will be allowed 15-20 minutes to read two short articles, choose one and plan your written response to the reading you chose. You will then have 50 minutes to compose a 3-4 paragraph essay that quotes from the reading and presents your own views on the material in the reading.
  • Once the essay has been evaluated, your home department will be notified of the results.

To access the exam, you will need to use your “RIT Computer Account” username and password, and log onto MyCourses ( Please direct any questions you may have about the exam to the University Writing Program at (585) 475-7965. Direct any questions you have about MyCourses to “Online Learning” ( or 1-800-CALL-RIT (V/TTY)) or about your RIT Computer Account to the ITS Helpdesk ( or 585-475-HELP (V), 585-475-2810 (TTY)).