Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to take the Writing Competence Exam (WCE)? Toggle Accordion

Albion College believes that writing proficiency is an important part of a liberal arts education. In order to graduate from Albion, all students must demonstrate college writing proficiency; the Writing Competence Exam (WCE) is one option for students to demonstrate this proficiency. For more information, see the Writing Proficiency Requirement in the Academic Catalog.

Do not confuse the Writing Competence Exam with the SOAR English Placement Test: these are separate tests, and your results on one have no bearing on the other.

When should I take the WCE? Toggle Accordion

Upon reaching sophomore status, any student who has not yet fulfilled the writing proficiency requirement will be automatically registered for and required to take the WCE during their sophomore year. Students will receive information about their scheduled exam date by the Monday before their scheduled exam.

In addition, students planning to study off campus must fulfill their writing proficiency requirement before the semester they will participate in their program.

See the exam schedule

What happens if I have not passed by the end of my sophomore year? Toggle Accordion

Students who have completed 14 units or more, but who have not passed the WCE or otherwise fulfilled the writing proficiency requirement, will be automatically registered to take the exam, and they will receive an email notifying them of this.

If a student fails to take the exam twice or fails the exam twice, they will be placed on a registration hold until they contact Dr. Ian Kelley at [email protected] to register for and/or discuss the next exam date.

Transfer students who have completed 14 units or more (including transfer courses) should review the Writing Proficiency Requirement in the Academic Catalog to learn how the WCE policies apply to their particular situation.

What happens if I fail the WCE more than once? Toggle Accordion

Upon a second failure, students must contact the Director of Writing Assessment and schedule a meeting to review their writing. After this consultation, the Director of Writing Assessment will require students to participate in appropriate writing practice, which may include tutoring and/or mandatory enrollment in English 101W as part of the writing proficiency requirement. Students must complete the assigned writing practice prior to attempting the examination again.

What are the WCE dates for the academic year? Toggle Accordion

The Writing Competence Exam is offered multiple times during the year – see the schedule.

What are the logistics of the exam? Toggle Accordion

Each exam will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with a 3-hour essay exam window.

When are students notified of their test results? Toggle Accordion

Students are generally sent their test results three weeks after the exam date. Results will be sent to your Albion College email address.

Where do I get more information? Toggle Accordion

For more information, review the English Department WCE webpages and the Academic Catalog. If you still have questions after reviewing this information, contact the Director of Writing, Dr. Ian Kelley at [email protected].