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Writing Placement Information

Every student must demonstrate a certain level of writing proficiency to graduate from Stony Brook University by completing a writing sequence culminating in the WRT 102 Intermediate Writing Workshop. Depending on individual student preparation, students will enroll initially into writing courses in the Program in Academic English (WAE 190, WAE 192, WAE 194) or in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (WRT 101, WRT 102). Final placement is verified and adjusted as needed during the first week of classes. Details of the policy are below.

New freshmen and transfer students who have not transferred an equivalent course from another collegiate institution will be assigned to a writing course appropriate to their level of preparation based on the criteria discussed in detail below. If any one of the criteria below places you into WRT 102, then you are not required to complete the Online Writing Placement Diagnostic.

Writing Placement Criteria:

ACT Scores (administered beginning September 2015)

Students with an English Language Arts score of 23 or higher will be placed into WRT 102. Faculty from the Program in Writing and Rhetoric and Program in Academic English will review the online writing placement diagnostic of students with a English Language Arts score below 23 to determine placement into the appropriate writing course.

ACT Scores (last administered June 2015)

Students with a combined English and Writing score of 24 or higher will be placed into WRT 102. Faculty from the Program in Writing and Rhetoric and Program in Academic English will review the online writing placement diagnostic of students with a combined English and Writing score below 24 to determine placement into the appropriate writing course.

AP Scores

Students who have received AP scores in English Language/Composition or English Literature/Composition with a score of 3 or higher will be placed into WRT 102. 

Transfer Course Equivalence

Students who have transfer college credit in English Composition from a regionally accredited institution with a grade of C or higher can determine transfer equivalency information by visiting Stony Brook's transfer equivalency page here.

Online Writing Placement Diagnostic

Students who have not satisfied the SBU writing requirement (WRT 102) or who have not been placed into WRT 102 through one of the established mechanisms listed above will take an online writing placement diagnostic. Students will read excerpts from source texts and respond to a writing prompt. This 30-60 minute online writing diagnostic will be made available to students as described below. Failure to complete the online writing diagnostic could impact a student’s ability to register for a writing course and to make degree progress.

Freshmen Students 

Freshmen students who need to complete the online writing placement diagnostic will be contacted via email by the Writing Program with instructions about how to complete the diagnostic. Freshmen students must complete the diagnostic by June 27, 2018.

Transfer Students

Transfer students who determine they need to complete the online writing placement diagnostic should email jilleen.may@stonybrook.edu to request access to the diagnostic. Please plan for a two (2) business day response time. New transfer students must complete the diagnostic at least one week before their orientation

FAQs regarding the Online Writing Placement Diagnostic

Who needs to take the online writing placement diagnostic?

Students who have not satisfied the SBU writing requirement (WRT 102) or who have not been placed into WRT 102 through one of the established mechanisms listed in the Placement Test section of the Undergraduate Bulletin will need to take an online writing placement diagnostic.

What does the process involve?

 Students will read excerpts from source texts and respond to a writing prompt. Through writing this essay, students will consider their experiences and proficiency with writing. This process of thinking and writing encourages students to consider the intellectual and practical work of college-level writing that lies ahead. .

Is there a fee for taking the online writing placement diagnostic?

 No. There is no charge to take the diagnostic.

Can I take the online writing placement diagnostic more than once?

 No, you have one opportunity to take the online writing diagnostic. In the first week of your writing course, faculty may ask students to complete a separate in-class writing diagnostic to determine if the students' current writing placement is appropriate. When necessary, faculty evaluation could require students to change their writing course. Advisors are available to assist students with schedule changes if needed.

How long do I have to complete the online writing placement diagnostic?

 

You have 1 hour from the time you begin the diagnostic to write and proofread your essay, and submit your work online.
Who will score the online writing placement diagnostic?

 Faculty from the Program in Writing and Rhetoric and/or Program in Academic English will read essays to determine which writing course is the best fit for each student. Each essay will be read and scored by at least two readers according to a rubric.

When can I take the online writing placement diagnostic?

Once you have confirmed your intent to attend Stony Brook by paying your tuition deposit, you will be eligible to complete the diagnostic. 

How do I access the online writing placement diagnostic?

 Freshmen students will receive an email with a link to the online diagnostic. Transfer students who need to take the diagnostic should email jilleen.may@stonybrook.edu to request access to the diagnostic. 

When will I receive the results of the online writing placement diagnostic?

 

If you take your diagnostic by the deadline, you’ll receive your writing placement at orientation.
What if I have problems accessing the diagnostic?

 If you are unable to access the diagnostic, please contact the Program in Writing and Rhetoric Office at (631) 632-7390 or jilleen.may@stonybrook.edu.

What if I have a disability that may impact this diagnostic?

 

If you have a disability that may impact this diagnostic, please contact the Program in Writing and Rhetoric Office at (631) 632-7390 or  jilleen.may@stonybrook.edu.
What happens if I don’t complete the online writing placement diagnostic by the deadline?

 

Failure to complete the online writing diagnostic by the deadline will impact your ability to register for a writing course and to make degree progress. If you do not complete the diagnostic by the deadline, please contact the Program in Writing and Rhetoric Office at (631) 632-7390 or  jilleen.may@stonybrook.edu.
What if I am an international student? Do I have to take the diagnostic?

 Freshman and Transfer students attending international student orientation do not need to complete the online writing diagnostic. These students will take a 30-45 minute onsite essay exam during orientation.

 

 

Onsite Writing Placement Essay-International Student Orientation ONLY

Students attending international student orientation will take an on-site writing placement exam during orientation and do not need to complete the online writing diagnostic. This 30-45 minute essay exam will be administered to these students on campus during this orientation.

Final Placement

In the first week of WRT and WAE class, faculty may ask students to complete a writing diagnostic to determine if the students' current writing placement is appropriate. When necessary, faculty evaluation could require students to change their writing course. Advisors are available to assist students with schedule changes if needed.

Test or Course

Score

Action

Writing Placement

SAT
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (administered beginning March 2016)

580 or higher

Waived from WRT 101

WRT 102

SAT
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (administered beginning March 2016)

Below 580

Online writing diagnostic evaluated for placement

Students attending international student orientation will take an onsite writing placement exam

WAE 190, WAE 192, WAE 194, WRT 101 or WRT 102

SAT
Combined Critical Reading and Writing (last administered January 2016)

1050 or higher

Waived from WRT 101

WRT 102

SAT
Combined Critical Reading and Writing (last administered January 2016)

Below 1050

Online writing diagnostic evaluated for placement

Students attending international student orientation will take an onsite writing placement exam

WAE 190, WAE 192, WAE 194, WRT 101 or WRT 102

ACT
English Language Arts (administered beginning September 2015)

23 or higher

Waived from WRT 101

WRT 102

ACT
English Language Arts (administered beginning September 2015)

Below 23

Online writing diagnostic evaluated for placement 

Students attending international student orientation will take an onsite writing placement exam 

WAE 190, WAE 192, WAE 194, WRT 101 or WRT 102

ACT
Combined English and Writing (last administered June 2015)

24 or higher

Waived from WRT 101

WRT 102

ACT
Combined English and Writing (last administered June 2015)

Below 24

Online writing diagnostic evaluated for placement

 Students attending international student orientation will take an onsite writing placement exam

WAE 190, WAE 192, WAE 194, WRT 101 or WRT 102

AP
English Language/ Composition

3 or higher

Waived from WRT 101

WRT 102

AP
English Literature/ Composition

3 or higher

Waived from WRT 101

WRT 102

Transfer
English Composition
(course equivalent to WRT 101)

C or higher

Waived from WRT 101

WRT 102

Transfer
English Composition
(course equivalent to WRT 102)

 C or higher

 Waiver from WRT 101 and 102

 WRT completed

 

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