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Deadline to Complete Writing Placement Process (First-Year Students)

The writing placement process is for first-year students only. Transfer students do not need to complete the writing placement essay unless they have not taken a writing course at their previous institution.

You must have a Clark log-in to complete the process.

We want to make certain that as a first-year student you register for the writing class that will best prepare you for the writing you will do throughout your four years at Clark. To ensure that you register for the correct writing course(s), you must complete the writing placement process and submit your questionnaire and placement essay by June 4, 2021.

Take this writing placement assignment seriously, as it will affect the classes you are allowed to take in the upcoming semester. Please note: This test may be preliminary; you may be asked to take an additional writing placement test once you come to campus.

Writing placement is a multi-step process. You must be logged in.


Submit Advanced Placement (AP) Credit

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Frequently Asked Questions

All incoming first-year students must complete the writing placement process and submit a writing placement essay by June 4, 2021.

Transfer students who have not taken a writing course at their previous institution also need to complete the writing placement process.

To complete the writing placement process, you will need to be logged in, as noted above, to start the process:

  • Fill out a questionnaire to help us understand more about your writing experience.
  • Download the posted reading and essay question.
  • Write an essay of approximately 500 words.
  • Upload your essay.

The faculty members who read your essay will assess the strengths of your:

  • Ideas and argument
  • Organization
  • Use of evidence and engagement with the posted reading
  • Style and grammar

Faculty readers are not just from the English department; they are from fields as diverse as sociology, biology, economics, theater arts, philosophy, and management.

The faculty readers’ evaluations of your essay will determine your writing placement. If the two faculty readers disagree on your placement, your essay will be evaluated by a third refereeing reader. Throughout the placement process, your questionnaire will help us learn about your reading and writing experience.

The status of your writing placement will be discussed during your advising appointment.

Even if you took the Advanced Placement (AP) test in literature and composition, you must complete the writing placement process. The ONLY exceptions are if:

  1. You have completed a college-level writing course, or
  2. You took the Advanced Placement in literature and composition previously and already have your score.

Otherwise, you must complete Clark’s writing placement process.

Please note that scores from the AP test in language and composition do not exempt you from the writing placement process.

Later this summer, when Clark University has received your score on the AP test in literature and composition, we will, if necessary, change your placement as follows:

  1. If you receive a score of 5 on your AP test in literature and composition, you may be exempt from your Verbal Expression (VE) requirement. (The VE requirement is part of Clark’s Program of Liberal Studies.)
  2. If you receive a score of 4 on the AP test in literature and composition, you will be eligible to take any course at the VE level.
  3. If you receive a score of 3 or below on your AP test in literature and composition, you will keep the same placement you were assigned in the writing placement process.

Fill out the Advanced Placement Form to report when you took the AP test, any advanced standing credits, or a previous score received from the AP literature and composition exam.

If English is not your native language, you will still complete the same writing placement process and respond to the same essay question as all other incoming first-year students. This will help us determine the appropriate writing placement for you.

If English is not your native/first/only language, please be certain to note this on the appropriate question in the writing placement questionnaire you complete as the first step of the process.

We strongly suggest that you not receive any help planning, writing, or revising this essay. It is important that you submit a true representation of your own writing if you wish be placed in the appropriate class. You will, however, be asked to state whether you received any help with your essay. Please answer honestly and completely. Read Clark University’s Academic Integrity Policies.

If you have questions about the writing placement process, or feel you do not have sufficient access to complete the writing placement process online, please contact Jennifer Plante by email.

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