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Writing Placement

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The Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) is a one-hour timed essay designed to assess your English reading and writing proficiency. The assessment is used to place you in the level-appropriate English course. We do not want to place you in a course that is too easy because you have come to college to be challenged, to learn and to grow. However, we do not want to place you in an English course that is too hard because we want to support your success at Otis.


FAQs >

Who has to take this assessment?

All incoming first-year and transfer students excluding anyone with a prior degree from an accredited college or university where instruction was in English, scored 529 or higher on the SAT Critical Reading, or scored 22 or higher on the ACT.

What are the classes I can place into?

-- short --

ENGL 020 English as a Foreign Language, ENGL 050 Developmental English I, ENGL 090 Developmental English II, ENGL 090 Linked Developmental English II and ENGL 107 Writing in the Digital Age.

-- alternate --

This course will focus on popular culture and what it means to communicate in today’s technological and media rich world.

  • Writing in the Digital Age (ENGL 107)

These courses will focus on helping you develop more writing skills and fluency with English.

  • English as a Foreign Language (ENGL 020)
  • Developmental English I (ENGL 050)
  • Developmental Englsih II (ENGL 090)
  • Linked Developmental English II (ENGL 090)
  • Writing Lab

Can I use a dictionary?

Yes.

Is the assessment online?

Yes.

What is a good strategy for taking this assessment?

A proctor will call time after 60 mintues. Be sure to spend the entire time on the essay. Spend 5-10 minutes outlining how you want to approach the question, 40-45 minutes writing your essay, and 5-15 minutes proofreading. It helps us better assess your writing level if you develop your ideas as fully as possible. The more you write, the more we have to assess your writing skills.

What if I need special accommodations?

If you need them, contact Students with Disabilities Services at 310-846-2554.

Do you expect my essay to be perfect?

No. We know it is a timed exam and that you would revise if you had more time.

What assessment criteria do the faculty use in determining placement?

WPA Scoring Guide (PDF).

What if I do not think my results are really representative of my writing abilities?

You may appeal your assessment by following the appeal process (PDF).



 

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