Placement

Why Writing Is Important 
Effective writing for professors and for audiences beyond school walls is one mark of an educated person.  Beginning in your first year, the Writing Requirements here at Stony Brook are designed to guide you through a sequence of increasingly demanding writing tasks.  Our aim is to prepare you for the rigors of academic writing in your chosen discipline as well as for the needs of a public audience. Every student at Stony Brook University must complete WRT 102 to graduate. 
This requirement ensures that Stony Brook students develop adequate writing skills before graduating. All Stony Brook students must take WRT 102 and pass with a grade of C or higher in order to fulfill Stony Brook's Writing Requirement. Those students initially placed in a writing course lower than WRT 102 must complete all of the preceding courses in addition to WRT 102. Within one year of their enrollment, all students must register for a course which works toward fulfilling the writing requirement

The Purpose of the Writing Placement Essay
The purpose of the writing placement essay is to provide us with a representative sample of your writing to determine the courses you will need to take.  The placement process is designed to get you off to the best start possible as you begin or continue your university work at Stony Brook.
MATH PLACEMENT NOTE:  The Math Department and the Writing Program run separate placement exams.  Please contact the appropriate office for questions on each exam. We cannot answer questions about the math placement exam; they cannot field queries about the writing placement exam.

Prerequisites for Writing Courses

WRT 101:  Prerequisites have been recently revised. Most students have the option of placing out of WRT 101; however, students who score 3 on the writing examination must take WRT 101. See criteria below for determining if you should complete the online writing examination.

WRT 102: Prerequisites include a score of 4 on the writing placement examination, OR successful completion of WRT 101, OR a combined SAT verbal + writing score of 1050 to 1219, OR appropriate transfer credit.

Placement Criteria

Please read the criteria below to determine if you should complete the Writing Placement Essay: 

(1) You earned a score less than 1050 on your combined SAT Verbal and Written score.  In this case, you do not complete the Writing Placement Essay and must enroll in WRT 101. 

(2) You earned a score between 1050 and 1219 on your combined SAT Verbal and Written Score. In this case, you are encouraged, but not required, to complete the Writing Placement Essay.  If you do not complete the writing essay, you must enroll in WRT 101; if you do complete the essay, you will be placed into either WRT 101 or WRT 102.   

(3) You earned a score greater than 1220 on your combined SAT Verbal and Written score.  With the exception of those students who scored a 5 on the AP English Language/Comp or AP English Literature/Comp examination, you do not complete the Writing Placement Essay and must enroll in WRT 102.  

(4) You earned a score of 3 or 4 on the AP English Language/Comp or  AP English Literature/Comp examination.  In this case, you do not complete the Writing Placement Essay and must enroll in WRT 102.   Please mail an official copy of your AP score report to: Transfer Office, Stony Brook University, 134 Administration, Stony Brook, NY 11794-1909. You can obtain the report by calling ETS at (609) 771-7300.    

(5) You earned a score of 5 on the AP English Language/Comp or AP English Literature/Comp examination.  In this case, you may opt to complete the Writing Placement Essay. If you do not opt to complete the Writing Placement Essay, you must enroll in WRT 102.  In either case, please mail an official copy of your AP score report to: Transfer Office, Stony Brook University, 134 Administration, Stony Brook, NY 11794-1909. You can obtain the report by calling ETS at (609) 771-7300.    

(6) You passed, with a grade of C or higher, a college-level composition course judged to be the equivalent of WRT 102.   Please mail an official transcript to: Transfer Office, Stony Brook University, 134 Administration, Stony Brook, NY 11794-1909.  If you have earned a C or better in one of the following common transfer courses, you have completed the equivalent of both WRT 101 and WRT 102 and do not need to complete the Writing Placement Essay.                               

    Nassau Community College: ENG 101 Composition I or ENG 108 The Craft of Comp (Honors)             
    SUNY Farmingdale: EGL 101/101R Composition: Rhetoric 
    Suffolk Community College: EG 11/ENG 101 Freshman Composition

Important Details for Those Completing the Writing Placement Essay

  • You are responsible for writing your own paper.
  • Students may write a placement essay only once.
  • You are submitting the essay as a Stony Brook University student. Any evidence of plagiarism, including assistance with writing the essay, will be reported as academic dishonesty and may be grounds for expulsion. For policies on responsible academic conduct, consult theAcademic Judiciary Committee Home Page. Furthermore, outside help defeats the purpose of placement assessment. Incorrect placement will cost you time and money and will lower your chances of succeeding at Stony Brook. 

    If you have questions about the online placement essay or any aspect of the placement process, please contact Stony Brook’s Writing Placement Coordinator at 631.632.7390

Finding Out Your Score  

Placement 3 is given to students who need two semesters of writing practice, in order to develop more fluent use of written English and introductory college writing skills. They are required to pass WRT 101 and then WRT 102 with a grade of C or higher.

Placement 4 is given to students whose composition skills reflect a satisfactory preparation for college study. They are required to pass WRT 102 with a grade of C or higher to fulfill their Writing Requirement.

FAQs  

How is my score determined? 
Each essay is read by the Chair of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric. 
If you have any questions, please contact the Writing Placement Coordinator at 631.632.7390

May I rewrite the essay after it has been submitted? 
No. You may only revise the essay before it has been submitted. 

When and where can I take the Writing Placement Essay?
You can take the writing placement essay anytime from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday in Humanities 2005 when classes are in session. You must bring your SBU ID card, and you should allow yourself 30-45 minutes for this exam.

Program in Writing and Rhetoric • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5340 • 631.632.7390
Writing Center • 631.632.7405