Office of Undergraduate Education

Writing Program

Writing Placement Exam

Evaluating Students' Ability to Write at the College Level

The Writing Placement Exam consists of two essays during a single, supervised session that address similar tasks that students will encounter in English courses.

The Writing Placement Exam is required for all students on all campuses of WSU who want to enroll in English 100, 101, 104, or 105.

Students who have received scores of four or above on the AP test in English will receive credit for English 101 and do not have to take the Writing Placement Exam.

Students in the Honors College should contact their advisor or the Honors College for instructions on registering for English 298.

Please note: WSU does not accept outside scores for placement in writing courses. If you want to enroll in English 100, 101, 104, or 105 you must take WSU's Writing Placement Exam.

The in-person exam...

  • requires students to bring two pens and their photo ID
  • allows two full hours to write the essays
  • offers accomodations through the Access Center
  • costs $40, which is billed to the student account.

The online exam...

  • is hosted by WSU Global Campus Proctoring Services
  • allows two full hours to write the essays
  • offers accomodations through the Access Center
  • costs $18 in addition to the $40 fee (see above)
  • requires a WSU Net ID (NID); contact IT services for assistance
  • takes two days to register and schedule (you must wait 24 hours after registering before you can schedule your exam)
  • requires a credit or debit card at the time of scheduling to pay the $18 proctoring fee.

To take the exam online, please visit Global Campus Proctoring Services. Please note that we advise students to register for and schedule their online exam at least one week prior to arriving at their scheduled Alive! session.

Placement Categories

Depending on the results of the Writing Placement Exam, students will be placed into different levels of required English courses. The placement options include ...

Exempt: Students who demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of the characteristics of academic writing will receive three credits for taking English 101 and will satisfy one of the General Education Writing [W] requirements.

English 100: 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: This course provides instruction to develop students' academic writing, critical thinking, rhetorical strategies, reading and library skills. Successful completion of this course fulfills the [W] credit.

English 101+ 102: Placement into these concurrent courses indicates a level of readiness for academic writing, but also a need for structured assistance with at least two of the characteristics of academic writing (e.g. focus, organization, support, proofreading). The Writing Center administers group tutorials for English 102.

English 102 is a one-credit writing tutorial provided through the Writing Center. This course extends and enhances the writing experiences for students enrolled in English 101.

English 104: This course is designed to introduce non-native speakers of English to writing and reading in the university. This course prepares students for English 105 with focused attention on grammar, syntax, and academic styles of writing. To receive [W] credit, students must successfully complete English 104 and 105.

English 105: This course provides instruction designed to develop academic writing, critical thinking, reading, library skills, and rhetorical strategies for non-native speakers of English. It is an equivalent course to English 101 and carries [W] credit.

English 105+ 107: Placement into these courses provides an introduction to academic writing for multi-lingual writers whose first language is not English. This placement indicates a writer's need for structured assistance with academic writing. English 105 provides focus on grammar, syntax, and Western academic styles of writing. It is an equivalent course to English 101 and carries [W] credit. The Writing Center administers the group tutorials for English 107.

English 107 is a one-credit writing tutorial provided through the Writing Center. This course extends and enhances the writing experiences of students enrolled in English 105.

Appeal process: If you feel an error was made on the evaluation of your Writing Placement Exam, you can request a review of your exam. Contact the Writing Assessment Office to schedule an appointment. If you are dissatisfied with your Writing Placement Exam results, you can retake the Writing Placement Exam once. You will be charged the Writing Placement Exam fee. Both of these options need to be done within 120 days from the day that you originally took the Writing Placement Exam.

NOTE: Some WSU campuses currently offer only English 101 and English 101 + 102. Contact the appropriate campus Writing Assessment office with questions.

Quick Links


Writing Placement Exam

Junior Writing Portfolio

Undergraduate Writing Center

Graduate Writing Center

Writing in the Major

Writing Program Calendar


Upcoming Pullman Exams


Dates Time Location

Exams are offered during Alive! sessions throughout the summer.

For the online option, visit Global Campus Proctoring.

If you have questions, contact us at or 335-7959.

NOTE: Branch campus students should contact their campus Writing Assessment office for Placement Exam details.



Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and need testing accommodations, please either visit or call the Access Center to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. All accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center. (Washington Building 217; 509-335-3417)


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