The English Test

Students taking WritePlacer® are presented with a prompt and asked to write an essay of 300 to 600 words. A prompt consists of a short passage. Following the passage is an assignment that requires the student to focus on the issue addressed in the passage.

Your essay will be given a holistic score that represents how clearly and effectively you expressed your position. The following six characteristics of writing will be considered:

  • Purpose and Focus
    The extent to which you present information in a unified and coherent manner, clearly addressing the issue.
  • Organization and Structure
    The extent to which you order and connect ideas.
  • Development and Support
    The extent to which you develop and support ideas.
  • Sentence Variety and Style
    The extent to which you craft sentences and paragraphs demonstrating control of vocabulary, voice, and structure.
  • Critical Thinking
    The extent to which you communicate a point of view and demonstrate reasoned relationships among ideas.

Scores on WritePlacer® range from 1 to 8.  An essay that is too short to be evaluated, written on a topic other than the one presented, or written in a language other than English will be given a score of zero.


  • Online Writing Lab at Purdue University
    Students can use this link and search for help in the following areas: writing process, sentence structure, or specific grammar work such as subject/verb agreement, use of pronouns, capitalization, punctuation, etc.  The site has a teaching section and quizzes for every aspect.
  •  NCC Writing Lab Resources

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