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Writing Placement Exam

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 a student's GPA; it is used to determine whether a student will be placed into Critical Reading and Writing (UWRT 100, "CRW"), or First Year Writing ("FYW").

Some important things to know about the WPE:

  • Students are required to take the WPE, unless they have a score of 23 or greater on the ACT English exam, or a score of 560 or greater on the SAT Verbal exam, or a score of 6 or greater on the SAT written essay.
  • If a student is required to take the WPE, s/he must take the online exam before s/he can enroll in either CRW or FYW.
  • Students do not need to prepare for the WPE, but they do need to take it seriously.
  • Students will be allowed 15-20 minutes to read two short articles, choose one and plan their written response to the reading they chose. They will then have 50 minutes to compose a 3-4 paragraph essay that quotes from the reading and presents their own views on the material in the reading.
  • Once the essay has been evaluated, the student and his/her primary academic advisor will be notified of the results.

To access the exam, students use their “RIT Computer Account” username and password, and log onto MyCourses (https://mycourses.rit.edu/).

Please direct any questions about the exam to Paulette Swartzfager in the University Writing Program.

Direct any questions about MyCourses to “Online Learning” (Online@rit.edu or 1-800-CALL-RIT (V/TTY)). 

Direct any questions about RIT Computer Accounts to the ITS Helpdesk (HelpDesk@rit.edu or 585-475-HELP (V), 585-475-2810 (TTY)).