Assessment of Written English (AWE)

Test Overview
The Assessment of Written English (AWE) is a placement test that asks you, the student, to give an example of your best writing.  The AWE measures your writing abilities in order to place you in a writing course where you will experience academic success.  At least two professors will be evaluating your paper using these four categories:
 
1.      ORGANIZATION:                     the logical arrangement of ideas
2.      DEVELOPMENT:                      sufficient support for your ideas
3.      LANGUAGE:                              use of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
4.      REASONING and IDEAS:      logical response to the topic
 
Course Placement
The AWE is required for placement in English, American Language and for all courses requiring English eligibility.  It will place you in one of the following writing courses:
 
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)                      
  •  American Language (AmLa)                                                                         
  • LERN 81: Improving Writing
  • English 67: Writing Fundamentals (See "1" below)
  • English 90:  Accelerated Developmental Writing (See "1" below)
  • English 68: Preparation for College Writing (See "2" below)
  • English 1A: Freshman Composition
1.  Students eligible for ENGL 67 have two options:  A) Enroll in ENGL 67; or B) Enroll in ENGL 90.  Students will be eligible to enroll in ENGL 1A after successful completion of 
      ENGL 90.
2.  Students eligible for ENGL 68 have two options:  A) Enroll in ENGL 68; or B) Concurrently enroll in both ENGL 1A and ENGL 66 – Paragraph Writing.
  
Test Directions
You may choose one of three topics to write on. You will have 45 minutes to write.  Here are two sample topics:
 
Sample Topics
1.    What was the worst kind of work you ever did?  This might have been anything:  a paying job, household or school-related chores, volunteer work, etc. Describe the work,     
        explain why you found it unpleasant, and discuss ways that would have made it more satisfying.
 
2.   “All human actions have one or more of these seven causes:  chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.” -Aristotle
       Of these seven causes that lead to human actions, which do you find to be most true?  Give an example that focuses of one of Aristotle’s seven actions.  Explain what kinds           of behavior it leads to.

Student Success Inventory
It is important to complete the Student Success Inventory before taking the test. To complete the questionnaire, please go to:  http://www.mtsac.edu/assessment/pdf/SSIInstruction.pdf .  Your final placement may depend on the answers given.
  
Test Results
English test results availability is announced during the test, please check with Assessment staff.  Test results are available at https://myportal.mtsac.edu/ or the Assessment Center.  Test results are not available over the telephone.
   
FAOs:  Frequently Asked Questions
1.   What type of format/structure does the writing need to have? 
      No specific format or structure is required, but good writing is organized.  There should be a clear beginning (introduction), middle (development), and end (conclusion) to          your writing.   If you have taken writing classes before, as you plan your response, think about and apply what you learned about paragraph and essay structure.
  
2.   Do I have to write a five-paragraph essay?
      While many writing courses teach the five-paragraph essay, you are not required to write a certain prescribed number of paragraphs.   Instead, read the prompt/topic       
      carefully and organize your response so you address all parts of the question.  This may take more or less than five paragraphs.  Keep in mind that a paragraph needs a
      clear, single topic.  Do your best to respond as completely and clearly as you can.
  
3.   What is the required length of the writing?
      While there is no stated or minimum length, you need to make sure to answer all parts of the prompt clearly and completely.  You need a clear topic, organization, well-
      chosen examples or development, and original ideas.  Remember that critical thinking and development are essential to good writing, so make sure to write enough to give 
      an example of your best work.
  
4.   Can I write in cursive, printing or all capital letters?
      You may write in any style as long as it is legible. 
  
5.   Do I have to use the entire 45 minutes?
      No, but it is recommended that you use the entire 45 minutes to review and edit your work to be sure it is an example of your best writing.
  
6.   Will I get marked down for crossing things out, for using white-out, or for having messy writing?
      No, but make sure that your writing is as legible as possible.
  
7.   Do I have to write on paper or can I use a computer to write?
       You have a choice of using pen and paper to write or using a computer to type your work.
  
8.   If I choose typing, is there spell or grammar check?
      Spell and grammar check are not available.
  
9.   Can I get a copy of my writing or review it when I get the results?
       For test security, we do not give a copy of the writing to students.  Also, the writing is not marked for errors.
  
10.   If I need to finish a sentence or a word after time is up, can I finish?
         You must finish within 45 minutes.
  
11.   Can I use pencil or a different color pen?
         You must use a black pen.
 
12.   Which prompt is best to choose?  Will the prompt I choose make a difference in my placement?
         Since all prompts are looked at equally, you should choose the prompt that you feel inspires you to write and that will result in a sample of your best formal writing.