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English Writing Placement Test

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.