Writing Placement Testing
first-year students are required to take a composition course to fulfill the
requisite undergraduate writing competency. The goal of placement testing is to
assess whether or not students have the writing skills to successfully complete
Writing Intensive First-Year Seminar, the required writing course for all
students. Students who do not demonstrate the basic criteria for college
writing will be assigned to ENG113 Introduction to Academic Writing, a 3-credit course for
remedial instruction. Upon completing ENG113 with a grade of C or higher,
students will be prepared to enroll in ENG106 Writing Intensive First-Year Seminar to complete the writing
competency required for graduation.
requirements are based on SAT scores. Students with an English/Writing SAT
score below 445 must take the placement test before enrolling in their classes. It is highly recommended that
students complete the placement test as early as possible in order to be able
to schedule classes during orientation. For more information about
when and where to register for the test, please visit www.ship.edu/testing and select the Register for Placement Testing tab
on the dropdown menu.
Preparing For The Test
courses are counted as part of a student's overall GPA, but they do not count
toward graduation. Therefore, it is important to take time to prepare for the
test to improve your performance. The
best way to prepare for the test is to review the basic concepts of grammar,
sentence structure and the elements of a strong thesis statement. You can find helpful resources on line at the Help Yourself-Writing Resources page.
accommodations will be provided for students with special needs. Please contact
the Office of Disability Services as early as possible to obtain the correct
forms and make arrangements. The office is located in Horton Hall 120,
Description of Writing Assessment
writing assessment, students will be asked to write an essay about a common
topic that will be familiar to them. The test does not have a time limit so
students will have plenty of time to compose an outline and rough draft if they
wish. However, only the final copy will be submitted for evaluation by an
English Department faculty member. It is important for students to take the
time to carefully consider the prompt and prepare a thoughtful, articulate
will be evaluated on the following criteria for necessary for college writing:
response to the essay prompt
organization and paragraph structure
main idea supported by appropriate details
receive notification of your assigned placement as soon as your essay has been read and scored.
who satisfactorily meet the requirements for university-level writing will be enrolled
in ENG106 Writing Intensive First-Year
Seminar (WIFYS), the writing course required to fulfill the writing competency.
who do not meet the expected criteria for university-level writing will be placed in ENG113 Introduction to Academic Writing where they will be
able to develop their writing skills in a smaller class setting. ENG113 is a
3-credit bearing course that students must pass with at least a C average or higher
before taking Writing Intensive First-Year Seminar to meet the writing requirement
for graduation. For further information regarding ENG113, click here to view the course overview sheet.
recommended that students take Writing Intensive First-Year Seminar during the
semester immediately following completion of Basic Writing.
Adanced Placement Writing
with SAT scores between 545 and 645 may be advised to take the Optional English
Placement Essay for possible placement in ENG110
Advanced Placement Writing. If you feel you qualify to take the Optional
English(writing) Test, please review the information provided at www.ship.edu/Testing/Optional_Testing/
and contact the placement testing office.
Please direct all questions about the writing placement test to the Director of First-Year Writing:
Dr. Laurie Cella
Director of First-Year Writing
Office: Dauphin Humanities Center 005
Questions about math, reading or other general concerns regarding the placement test should be directed to:
Placement Testing Director