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Writing Placement Test

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No matter what you're studying in college, good writing skills are essential. The Writing Placement Test assesses your writing ability to determine if you require remediation and assure that you are placed in the correct classes your first semester at Columbus State.

IMPORTANT: ACT or SAT must have been taken in the past two years.

Who Needs to Test?

  • If you have an ACT English score of 18 or higher, an SAT Writing score of 430 or higher (old format) or an SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of 490 (new format), or official transcripts with previously earned qualifying English college credits, you are not required to take the Writing Placement Test.
  • All others must complete both the Reading and Writing Placement Tests before you can register for your first semester of classes at Columbus State.

Practice is The Best Preparation

Before you test, be sure to review. Proper placement is important to your success in college. Your scores will determine whether you will be required to take developmental writing/composition course(s).

It's important to understand that, while developmental writing courses are critical for some students, they do not count toward your degree. Scoring 5 or higher on your Writing Placement Test will allow you to begin your first semester in courses that apply toward your major, saving you time and money!

Practice Tests

Click the links below to take practice tests. This is an important step because it will help you get an idea of what the test is like, and what your score might be if you took the test today. It also provides a review of material that will be on the test, to help you achieve your best score.

WritePlacer Guide with Sample Essays

WritePlacer Essay Study Guide

WritePlacer Essay Guide

English Study Guide - Mesa Community College

In-Person Preparation Help

College Readiness Center
Columbus Campus
Aquinas Hall, Room 214

Tutors are available to suggest tips and offer exercises that may improve your scores in reading and/or writing.

Taking the Test

Test Format

For Writing Placement Test, you will be asked to:

  • Read a short passage that ends with a writing prompt.
  • Develop an opinion with supporting reasons, explanations, and examples.
  • Write a 300-600 word formal academic essay (on a computer) in standard, edited English.

Testing Locations

Take your Placement Tests at a Columbus State Testing Center location convenient to you. No appointment is necessary, just walk-in during their scheduled hours. Be sure to arrive at least two hours prior to closing to take your tests. Remember that you are not able to register for classes until you have completed your placement tests

Visit for Testing Center hours and directions.

Important: Be sure to arrive 2 hours or more prior to closing. Tests will not be administered within 2 hours of closing.

Timing, Cost, and Testing Rules

  • There is no charge to take the Writing Placement Test the first time. Retesting is available for $20 for both the Reading Placement Test and Writing Placement Test.
  • Most students choose to take the Reading Placement Test and the Writing Placement Test at the same time. The tests are not timed.
  • Allow two hours or more to take the two tests. Neither are timed and students generally spend about 90 minutes total to complete both tests.
  • You must complete the Writing Placement test in one sitting. You won't be permitted to start the test, leave the Testing Center before completion, and return at another time to resume the test.
  • Once you start the test you will be permitted to work on the test until the Testing Center closes. You will be required to complete your test by closing time.

Test Scores

Placement Based on Scores
Developmental Levels College Levels

Scores of 0-3*
Basic Composition
DEV 0155

Score of 4
Introduction to Composition
ENGL 0190

Score of 4
Introduction to Composition
ENGL 0190

Scores of 0 or 1 on the Writing Placement Test in conjunction with a 21-30 on the Reading Placement Test will result in referral to the Aspire Ohio Program.


Students who wish to retest must wait at least 24 hours before starting their retest and must have a referral form from an advisor. There is a $20 retesting fee to retake the Reading and Writing Placement tests. The Testing Center strongly encourages all students planning to retest any Placement Test to study. Test preparation can be done by visiting and clicking on the link for the appropriate test, and/or by visiting the College Readiness Center, Aquinas Hall room 214.