Writing Placement Survey FAQ

How do I complete the questionnaire?

  • Access the exam through the Suffolk Canvas platform.*
  • Click Canvas in the navigation bar at the top of the page (if the page does not load, make sure you disable your pop-up blocker).
  • In the 'My Courses' box, you should see a link to the Writing Placement Questionnaire.
  • Read through the on-screen instructions and begin.

*Students will receive instructions about the Writing Placement Questionnaire when it opens in early May. If after receiving the instructions you need assistance logging in, please contact the Suffolk Help Desk or call 617-557-2000.

Who needs to complete the questionnaire?

All first year students must complete the Writing Placement Questionnaire (WPQ). Transfer students are strongly encouraged to take the WPQ. However, transfer students who have already fulfilled the writing requirement at another institution may be exempt from taking the WPQ. If this is your situation, you must bring the evaluation of your transfer credits that the admissions office sent you to Orientation as evidence that you have fulfilled the writing requirement.

What is the questionnaire like? What does a “placement recommendation” mean?

  • Timing: The Writing Placement Questionnaire is designed to take up to 30 minutes to complete. You should plan to complete the questionnaire in one sitting. If your writing placement is WRI H103, your questionnaire will end early and will not take the full estimated 30 minutes.
  • Types of questions: The questionnaire includes several different types of questions that are designed to help you reflect on your prior experiences with writing. You will be asked to reflect and report on what kinds of writing you have done, your comfort level with different kinds of writing, your learning and writing habits, and your concerns about writing (if any). You will also be asked to read a representative student writing sample and answer questions about it.
  • Placement Recommendation: For students who do not have a H103 placement, the Writing Placement Questionnaire will end with a recommendation for either WRI 100 or WRI 101. If your recommended writing placement is WRI 100, we recommend that you complete WRI 100, followed by WRI 101 and WRI 102 to fulfill your writing requirement. If your recommended writing placement is WRI 101, we recommend that you complete WRI 101 and then WRI 102 to fulfill your writing requirement. You should strongly consider following your writing placement recommendation and registering for the appropriate starting course. However, you are allowed to start your writing requirement in either WRI 100 or WRI 101, regardless of your recommendation. Students who receive a recommendation for WRI 100 but choose to start in WRI 101 should keep in mind the inherent risk of starting in a writing course that is too challenging. It is possible that some WRI 100 students will opt to start in WRI 101 and go on to fail the course because it is too challenging. It’s very important to choose your writing placement carefully and with all of your needs as a writer in mind.
  • If your writing placement is WRI H103, you must take the course in which you are placed. WRI H103 placement is determined by your high school English GPA for grades 9-11. You will not receive a placement recommendation at the end of your questionnaire, and you can immediately register for the course in which you have been placed.

When and where do I complete the questionnaire? You will complete the questionnaire online. In most cases this will be at home before attending Orientation. You will receive an email from the University with information on how to access the questionnaire. 

How should I prepare for the Writing Placement Questionnaire?

No special preparation is needed other than your recall of past writing experiences. You should plan to complete the questionnaire at a time when you can focus and work free of distractions for at least 30 minutes.

When will I find out my writing placement?

Your writing placement recommendation will be generated immediately at the end of the questionnaire. You should see your recommended writing placement on the very last page of the questionnaire, after you answer the final question. Please write down your recommended placement and save it. It will take up to 3 business days for your recommended placement to be officially recorded and for you to be able to register for your starting writing course. Please note that you will be able to register for either starting course (WRI 100 or WRI 101), regardless of your recommended placement, after your placement recommendation is officially recorded. If you are in WRI 100 or H103, your writing placement has already been officially recorded and you are able to register immediately for your starting writing course.

What if I need extra-time accommodations?

The Writing Placement Questionnaire is not a timed test. You are welcome to take as long as you like with completing the questionnaire, though you should keep in mind that the questionnaire is designed to be completed in one sitting.

Can I put off the writing requirement until later?

It is wise to not wait. Many courses depend on writing as a prerequisite. In some majors, your entire degree program may be delayed if you delay starting your writing requirement. Your writing requirement is an essential part of your undergraduate education and is designed to prepare you for the high-stakes writing you will do throughout your college career and beyond.

What if I'm placed in the wrong course level?

During the first class meeting of all writing courses (WRI 100 and WRI 101), your instructor will spend time discussing the content and prerequisites for the course and will have every student complete a diagnostic writing sample. If your writing sample indicates that you have chosen an inappropriate starting writing course or have been placed into an inappropriate writing course, it may be possible to move from one class to another during the “Drop-Add Period” (the first week of class).

How do I find my writing placement recommendation?

  • Log into Workday with your Suffolk username and password
  • In Workday, click on “Profile” in the upper right-hand corner
  • Within “Profile,” click on "Academics” > “External Records, Writing Placement” > “View All”