COM 3000, the Writing Proficiency Examination, is a single-session timed essay that tests your proficiency in written English. The exam period is 2.5 hours. Students choose from several writing prompts and are expected to write an essay of at least 750 words (roughly three double-spaced pages). Laptops are provided for this exam.

 

All Lawrence Tech students must pass the exam, including transfer students. This course is a graduation
requirement and a prerequisite for all junior/senior Humanities elective courses. It Cannot be waived or satisfied by alternate course work or transfer credit.

COM 3000 Writing Proficiency Exam is part of a University-wide campaign to improve student writing skills. Not only does the exam measure each student's ability to communicate in written English, it also helps the University assess the effectiveness of writing instruction at Lawrence Tech.

Students are eligible to take the exam once they have completed their core curriculum and 60 credit hours. Students should take the exam before they earn 90 credit hours. Banner will block registration fo all junior/senior Humanities elective courses for students who have not passed COM 3000.

The University expects students always to present well-written assignments, and, according to President Lewis Walker, the University wants "students to understand that good writing skills are an integral part of good communication for professionals in any field of expertise." The University also uses the results of the WPE to assess the effectiveness of writing instruction at LTU.
FAQ

What is the Writing Proficiency Exam?

COM 3000, the Writing Proficiency Exam, is a single-session timed essay that tests your proficiency in written English. The exam period is 2.5 hours. Students choose from several writing prompts and are expected to write an essay of at least 750 words (roughly three double-spaced pages). Laptops are provided for this exam.

Who must take the exam?

All Lawrence Tech students must pass this exam, including transfer students. This course is a graduation requirement and a prerequisite for all junior/senior Humanities elective courses. It cannot be waived or satisfied by alternate course work or transfer credit.

Why must I take the Writing Proficiency Exam?

COM 3000 Writing Proficiency Exam is a part of a University wide campaign to improve student writing skills. Not only does the exam measure each student's ability to communicate in written English, it also helps the University assess the effectiveness of writing instruction at Lawrence Tech.

When should I take the Writing Proficiency Exam?

Students are eligible to take the exam once they have completed their core curriculum and 60 credit hours. Students should take the exam before they earn 90 credit hours. Banner will block registration for all junior/senior Humanities elective courses for students who have not passed COM 3000.

How do I register for the Writing Proficiency Exam?

Register for COM 3000 as you would for other classes, online via BannerWeb or at the One Stop Center.

When will I find out how I did on the WPE?

Each essay is read twice.  Readers are LTU faculty members who also teach composition.  If both readers agree on whether the exam passes (CR), you pass.  If both readers agree that the exam does not pass (NC), you fail.  If the two readers disagree on whether your exam should pass or fail, the exam is given to a third reader, who decides whether the exam should pass or fail.  This process is usually completed about two and a half weeks after the date of the exam.  Your score is then posted on Banner under the section of COM 3000 for which you registered.

When and where is the Writing Proficiency Exam administered?

Each section of COM 3000 meets once, at the date, time, and location specified by the listing in BannerWeb. Exams are offered roughly every two weeks during the fall and spring semesters, and several times during the summer.

What if my schedule conflicts with the times the Writing Proficiency Exam is offered?

The exam is offered approximately 25 times each year. Although the bulk of exams are scheduled on Friday mornings or early afternoons, there are weekend and/or nighttime options every semester. If you have questions or concerns about scheduling, contact the program coordinator.

What should I do if I receive accommodations under the ADA?

Disability accommodations cannot be provided during the regularly scheduled exam. If you receive accommodations and wish to utilize the for this timed essay, you will need to make arrangements with the AAC (Academic Achievement Center). Unless you are otherwise notified, your appointment must occur during the week of the scheduled exam for which you are registered and be completed by the day of the exam.

How should I prepare for the Writing Proficiency Exam?

To prepare for COM 3000, first review your COM 3000 course Blackboard site. The site contains a veriety of resources, including the course syllabus, the exam grading sheet and sample essays.

If you still have questions or concerns about the exam, contact you COM 3000 instructor or the program coordinator.

What can I expect during the Writing Proficiency Exam?

The exam typically takes place in a classroom setting. There will be up to 24 students taking the exam together. A laptop that does not permit internet access will be provided for you, along with a USB drive. Several writing prompts will be given to you at the start of the exam. You write a minimum three-page (750 word) essay on a topic of your choice. You will save your file on the USB drive. When you are finished, you will hand the USB drive to the exam administrator.
Bring a writing utensil with you. Scratch paper will be available if you wish to brainstorm before you begin writing. You may also leave the room to use the restroom or get a drink.

How will my Writing Proficiency Exam be graded?

To prepare for COM 3000, first review your COM 3000 course Blackboard site. The site contains a veriety of resources, including the course syllabus, the exam grading sheet and sample essays.

If you still have questions or concerns about the exam, contact you COM 3000 instructor or the program coordinator.

How long will I wait for my COM 3000 final grade?

You can expect your WPE score to be entered in Banner approximately three weeks after your exam date. An Announcement will be posted in your COM 3000 Blackboard site to let you know the grades are ready for viewing.
If you do not pass the Writing Proficiency Exam, your scores and comments will be emailed to you so you can review them before your second exam attempt.

What happens if my essay earns "No Credit"?

If you do not earn credit for the WPE on your first try, you can register to take the exam a second time. the usual exam fee will apply. Before your second exam attempt, review your grading scores and comments and/or schedule a meeting with the WPE Program Coordinator to review your original essay so you can understand where improvements are needed. You may also need to practice some writing skills. The Program Coordinator can direct you to these resources.

What happens if my essay earns "No Credit" twice?

If you do not earn credit for COM 3000 on your second try, you must register for COM 3102. COM 3102 is a two-credit writing course designed to improve students' writing ability and prepare them to succeed on the WPE. The Writing Proficiency Exam is administered in class as the final exam for COM 3102, You must successfully complete COM 3000 or COM 3102 to take your junior/senior elective and to graduate.

Can I register for my junior/senior Humanities elective after I pass the Writing Proficiency Exam?

In most cases, once you pass the WPE, you will be able to register for any upper-level HSSC elective for which other applicable prerequisites have also been satisfied. Banner will block an attempt to register for the elective until you have a passing score for COM 3000.

 

Writing Proficiency Exam

COM 3000, the Writing Proficiency Examination, is a graduation requirement for all LTU undergraduate students. It's a timed (150 minutes) writing exam during which you write an essay of at least 3 double-spaced pages (at least 750 words) in response to one of several writing prompts provided at the exam. You write the essay on computers provided for that purpose.

The WPE is an "exit" examination, meaning that all undergraduate students must pass it in order to graduate from LTU. It is not an entrance or placement examination. The exam is required of all students, including transfer students. It cannot be waived nor satisfied by alternate course work or transfer credit.

In 2004, the University started a comprehensive campaign to improve the writing skills of our students. Instituting the WPE requirement in Fall 2005 is one component of this campaign. In addition, instructors in all fields are asked to require assignments for which students write within their disciplines as part of regular course work.

The University expects students always to present well-written assignments, and, according to President Lewis Walker, the University wants "students to understand that good writing skills are an integral part of good communication for professionals in any field of expertise." The University also uses the results of the WPE to assess the effectiveness of writing instruction at LTU.

We recommend that students take the exam after they have earned 60 credit hours and before they have earned 80 credit hours. Banner will block registration for Junior/Senior Humanities electives for any student who hasn't completed the WPE requirement. We urge you to take the WPE before you earn 80 credits. Do not wait until you have almost earned enough credits to graduate before you take the WPE!

Questions? Contact the Director at 248.204.3499 or jhobart@ltu.edu