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Placement Exams

Writing Placement Exam

Learning to write well in higher education depends on 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 the Writing Placement Exam (WPE). This timed, written exam is required of all first-year students who do not meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • A score of 560 or higher on the verbal section of the SAT
  • A score of 23 or higher on the English portion of the ACT
  • A score of 6 or higher on the SAT essay exam

Students who have not taken either the SAT or ACT need to take the WPE. The outcome of the exam has no effect on your GPA, and is used to determine whether you will be placed into ”Critical Reading and Writing (UWRT-099) or First Year Writing.

If you are bringing in First Year Writing transfer credit or a score of 3 or higher on the AP English Language & Composition exam, you do not need to take the exam.

You do not need to prepare for the exam, but you do need to take it seriously.

  • You will be allowed 60 minutes to write an essay in response to one of two prompts.
  • Once the essay has been evaluated you will be notified of the results.

If you need to take the WPE, you will be notified in May via email. The exam is only available online until June 30. To access the exam, you will need to use your RIT user name and log in to MyCourses ( If you do not take the 60-minute, online exam before June 30, you will not be allowed to enroll in either “Critical Reading and Writing” or First Year Writing for the fall term. Please direct any questions you have about the exam to the University Writing Program Senior Staff Specialist, Angela Brodie at 475-7965 or

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