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. Some students are exempt from the course through SAT, ACT or AP scores.

The following scores exempt students from Academic Writing:

  • For students who took the SAT before March 2016, scores of at least 580 in both Math and Critical Reading (Our data on TCNJ students indicates that high reading scores matched by high math scores are more effective predictors of college writing proficiency than reading scores alone.); OR
  • For students who took the SAT after March 2016, 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.

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.

If you do not have the scores listed above, or you did not submit SAT scores, you are required to take our Writing Placement test.

Each student who needs to take the Writing Placement test 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 notifications@instructure. com, alerting them that they now have access to the Canvas Writing Placement space.

If you were not able to take the Writing Placement test between May 21 and June 8, the test will open once more, from July 16 through July 30, 2018.

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 at for additional details.

Consult the rubric for how essays are scored.

In addition, some students’ scores on this test and/or their SAT scores indicate the need for additional assistance, as early as the Fall semester while taking their First Seminar (FSP). These students will be enrolled in a two-credit writing studio course (Writing Studio/WRI 101) that works in conjunction with the FSP.

Special Note to Transfer Students

You may also be exempt from taking WRI 102 if, 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. If you do not have the SAT, ACT, or AP scores listed above, we will ask you to submit a Writing Placement test.