Writing placement exam

The WSUV Writing Placement Exam requires students to write two essays that tackle the same kinds of writing tasks students will encounter in the English 101 program courses. Students will have two full hours to write their essays, with fifteen minutes of the exam session devoted to pre-writing. The exam requires students to write about a passage of text with college-level intellectual strategies. The passage is written at a level of sophistication common in college courses. Assessed by experienced writing instructors, the Writing Placement Exam is evaluated on how well students comprehend the passage as well as by how well they focus, organize, support, and proofread their writing.

All students wishing to enroll in English 101, including international students and transfer students with no [W] credit, must take the exam. Placement results from other universities or testing centers are not accepted at WSUV.

Writing placements

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

  • English 100: placement in this course prepares students for the rigors of academic writing that will be found in English 101. Students must successfully complete both English 100 and English 101 to receive the [W] credit.
  • English 101: places students into the course that provides an introduction to academic writing at the university.
  • English 101 + 102: this placement means that students are mostly ready for the challenges of academic writing, but have demonstrated a need for additional assistance in at least two major areas of composition (focus, organization, support, style, mechanics, etc.). English 102 is a one-credit writing tutorial that helps students work on strategies to meet the requirements of English 101 courses. English 102 is taken concurrently with English 101.
  • 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.

Parking on campus

If you don't currently have a valid Washington State University Vancouver parking permit, when you arrive for your exam, please park in the daily Blue lot to avoid a citation. The Blue daily parking rate is $3.00 exact coin or debit/credit before 5pm. After 5pm, the Blue lot daily rate is $1.50. 

Writing placement exam schedule​

Space is limited, so sign up early! Bring a pen and a photo ID to the exam site. Your student account will be charged the current exam fee.

For the current semester registration, the Writing Placement Exam is given on the following dates and times. Please arrive promptly at the beginning of the session.

  • 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, October 12, Library Building, Room 264
  • Additional exam dates TBA

Sign up for your preferred date and time on the Writing Placement Exam Signup Form


Contact us

Questions about Writing Placement can be directed to Jen Barnes at 360-546-9260 or van.writingassessment@wsu.edu.