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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 an ACT English Score greater than or equal to 21, a SAT "Evidence-Based Reading and Writing" test score greater than or equal to 580, or a TOEFL Writing IBT score of 25. 
  • If students are required to take the WPE, they must take the online exam before they 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 encouraged to take 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.
  • After the exam is assessed, the students' scores will be displayed in the "Grades" tab. A score of 1 indicates enrollment in UWRT 100, and a score of 2 indicates enrollment in First Year Writing.

To access the exam, students use their “RIT Computer Account” username and password, and log onto MyCourses (

Please direct any questions about the exam to the Writing Placement Exam coordinator ( in the University Writing Program.

Direct any questions about MyCourses to “Teaching and Learning”  ( or 1 585.475.2551, press 2 (V/TTY). 

Direct any questions about RIT Computer Accounts to the ITS service desk ( or 585-475-4357).