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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.
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 test is scheduled for TBA Fall 2013. 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:
Basic Writing Englwrit 111. This course is designed for students needing additional reading/writing practice before taking College Writing. This course grants three General Education credits in US Diversity.
College Writing Englwrit 112. This course is required for all undergraduates.
Waiver. A small number of students may be waived from the College Writing requirement based on the placement test, but these students, unlike those who are exempt based on SAT or AP exam, do not receive credit for the course.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PLACEMENT TEST MAY BE TAKEN ONLY ONCE.
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 Deirdre Vinyard, Placement Officer and Deputy Director of the Writing Program.