The College of New Jersey

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WRI 102 Placement & Exemptions

Academic Writing/WRI 102 is TCNJ’s required writing instruction course.  This four-credit course focuses on academic argumentation and is designed to prepare students to successfully meet the demands of the college’s writing intensive curriculum. All students are required to take the Writing Placement test to determine whether or not they need to take WRI 102. The score on the Writing Placement test will determine placement in WRI 102 for students who score below the following thresholds for SAT, ACT or AP scores:

  • SAT scores of at least 600 in Math and 640 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; OR
  • An ACT composite score or 26 or higher; OR
  • An AP score of 4 or higher in English Literature, English Composition, US History, or World History.

For students scoring above these thresholds, placement will depend on the Writing Placement test score and the SAT, ACT, or AP score.

If you were not able to take the Writing Placement test in Canvas between May 20 and June 7, we will make the test available once more, from July 15 through July 29,  2019.  

Each student will be placed into a Canvas Writing Placement space ( and will be able to access the test there. Students will be notified through a course invitation email from, alerting them that they now have access to the Canvas Writing Placement space.

Students will have two hours to complete the test, which consists of reading a short article and writing a response to the article based on a prompt. The test will automatically shut down after the allotted time. See the Placement Book for additional details.

Consult the rubric for how essays are scored.

If the Writing Placement Test score indicates the need for additional assistance, students will be enrolled in the Fall semester into a two-credit writing studio course (Writing Studio/WRI 101) that supports students through the writing assigned in the First Seminar.

If you are exempt, you do not receive credit for the course, but your PAWS account will show this requirement as satisfied.  To meet the required number of units for graduation, you can take an extra elective.

Special Note to Transfer Students

You may also be exempt from taking WRI 102 if you enter as a transfer student, and at your previous institution, you have taken a credit-bearing course (numbered 100 or above) in writing or composition which has been approved as equivalent to WRI 102.

Dual Enrollment

Taking Writing courses at a college or university during high school will not exempt a student from Academic Writing. We will ask you to submit a Writing Placement test, and that score, along with SAT, ACT, or AP scores, will determine placement.