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Placement into First Year Writing

All undergraduates at UMass Amherst must satisfy the first year writing requirement (College Writing, Englwrit 112)  in order to complete the bachelor’s degree. 

Placement Test:

New students must take the Writing Program Placement Test to determine which writing course is most appropriate for them.  This test is given by the First Year Writing Program during summer and spring orientations.  Students who do not have the opportunity to take this test during orientation should contact the Writing Program to find out the schedule of placement tests for the academic year.

The Placement Test asks students to respond in essay format to a short text (200-300 words).  Placement essays should demonstrate clear organization, relevant support and examples, and an adequate understanding of sentence structure.

***The next placement tests are scheduled for:

Tuesday, September 2nd, 6:00pm, Bartlett 202


Wednesday, September 3rd, 6:00pm, Bartlett 202

For more information on the writing placement test, call 545-0610 or email the Writing Program.***

Based on the results of this test, students are placed into:


Exemption by SAT score or Advanced Placement Tests:

Students are exempt, with credit, from the First Year Writing Requirement if they received a combined total of 1460 or more on the Critical Reading and Writing Sections of the SAT, or if they received a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Test. (If they received a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Test they are not exempted from the First Year Writing Requirement but will receive three English credits).

For more information, contact Anne Bello, Placement Officer and Deputy Director of the Writing Program.

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