English Placement Test - Essay Component
(Paper-and-Pencil On-Campus Placement Testing)
For the essay portion of the English Placement Test,
students receive four topics in advance and, at the test session, are
asked to write on one of two of those topics. Before the test day,
students are asked to review sample essays, to give some thought to each
of the four potential topics they received, to make notes on the topic
sheet, and to bring the sheet with them when they come to test. At the
test session, the exam proctor designates two of the four topics on the topic sheet
from which the students may choose.
Each of the exam topics quotes a writer's position
on an issue. The exam directions ask the student to explain the
writer's position, and then to express his/her own position on what the
writer has said. In other words, the student's job is to help readers
understand both the writer's ideas and the student's own ideas on a particular
issue. The essay readers are not interested in whether the student
has the "correct" position on an issue. The readers do want to
see how well the student read a passage, explains the writer's argument,
and presents his/her own argument in an organized essay with relatively
few grammatical errors.
This PDF file contains a sample topic, a sample passing essay, and a sample failing essay.