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Writing Placement Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the Who, What, Where, When, & Why of the Writing Readiness Review

1. Who needs to take the writing survey?  

All incoming UC Merced first-year students who have not satisfied UC Entry Level Writing Requirement through appropriate ACT, SAT, AP exam(s), International Baccalaureate exam(s), or a grade of C or higher on a UC-transferable English Composition class taken at a college or university. More information about the ways to satisfy ELWR can be found here: https://admitted.ucmerced.edu/required-documents

2. What does the Writing Readiness Review consist of, and why do I need to take it?  

The Writing Readiness Review is a tool that will help you determine your writing course of study at UC Merced.  During this process, you will be invited to (1) engage with course materials (readings and assignments) from UC Merced's writing courses, (2) answer questions based on your experiences and confidence with reading and writing, and (3) upload or compose a piece of your own writing that you feel best represents your work.  Altogether, you will engage in a reflective process that will help you determine your first writing course at UC Merced - either WRI 01 or WRI 10.  

3. Where do I go to take the Writing Readiness Review?

To access the WRR, incoming students should check their official UC Merced emails for the placement link.  Not sure how to access your official UC Merced email? Click here to learn more about how to use your student portal.

4. When will I be able to take the Writing Readiness Review? 

Incoming Spring admits can take the Writing Readiness Review between November 1st and November 30th.  Information about the Writing Readiness Review and other placement exams will be sent via email.

5. How much time will the Writing Readiness Review take to complete?

Expect to dedicate 2-3 hours for the Writing Readiness Review, though you may need more time  This survey has no maximum time limit as long as the survey is fully completed by the November 30th deadline.  

6. Help!  I can't find the link for the Writing Readiness Review. 

To access the WRR, incoming students should check their official UC Merced emails for the placement link.  Not sure how to access your official UC Merced email? Click here to learn more about how to use your student portal.

 

Taking the Writing Readiness Review

7. What do I need to access the Writing Readiness Review?

The link for the Writing Readiness Review survey will be sent via email in May. When you access the Review, you will be asked to log on through UC Merced’s single-sign on system, for which you will need your UCM Net ID and password.  You will also need your student ID number.  You can access the WRR anywhere you have internet access.  Again, we strongly recommend using a computer to take the Review.

8. Do I need to study for the Writing Readiness Review? 

The Writing Readiness Review is not an exam, so there is no need to study.  During the survey, you will reflect on your past experiences with writing, engage with supplemental class materials, and answer open-ended and multiple-choice questions.  You will also be asked to select a piece of past writing or compose a new one for submission.  

9. Do I need a computer to take the Writing Readiness Review? 

We strongly recommend students use a computer to take the Writing Readiness Review.  Because you will be engaging with a number of supplemental materials, answering open-ended questions, and submitting materials, we do not recommend using your cell phone or other small electronic devices.   

10. How many questions are on the Writing Readiness Review?  

In general, the Writing Readiness Review is made up of 27 multiple choice and 15 open-ended questions.  You will also be asked to submit an example of your writing. 

11. Do I have to finish the Writing Readiness Review in one sitting? 

No, you do not need to finish the Writing Readiness Review in one sitting as your progress will be saved.  

12. Can I speak with someone to talk about my writing?  

Yes!  One important component about the Writing Readiness Review is that it offers an opportunity for students to speak with a writing instructor about their needs as a reader and writer.  Upon completion of the survey, you will sent information on how to set up an appointment. 

13. Can I take the Writing Readiness Review more than once?   

There is no reason to take the Review more than once. After completing the survey, you will be provided with options and opportunities to consult with writing instructors who will support your decision-making process. 

14. How is the Writing Readiness Review scored?  

The Writing Readiness Review is not an exam.  Therefore, it does not result in a traditional, formal score.  Your responses will calculate a course recommendation based on your responses to a set of questions. This recommendation is designed to help you determine what writing course (Writing 1 or Writing 10) will work best for your development as a reader and writer. 

15. What if I do not agree with my recommended course?  

The Writing Readiness Review offers multiple opportunities for students to decide which writing course will best support their goals as a reader and writer.  If you’d like to rethink your decision, please email writingplacement@ucmerced.edu.

16. I've had accommodations in the past for the SAT/ACT/AP or in my high school.  Can I get similar accommodations for the WRR?

We may be able to provide accommodations to you depending on what is needed.  Please contact Student Accessibility Services at access@ucmerced.edu or by completing their web form at https://access.ucmerced.edu/student-accommodation-request.

17. What if I don't take the placement, miss the deadline, or don't complete the placement process?

Unless you have fulfilled the Entry-Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) through another means (see list of ways to meet ELWR here), you will be placed into Writing 1.

If you feel you had extenuating circumstances that prevented you from completing the exams by the deadline, you may request to take the exams by exception by sending an email to writingplacement@ucmerced.edu.

Extenuating circumstances beyond a student's control could include, but are not limited to the list below. Please note: experiencing and documenting an extenuating circumstance is not automatic cause for petition approval.

  • Documented death of an immediate family member (spouse, mother, father, guardian, sister, brother, son, or daughter)
  • Documented major medical issue experienced by the student or immediate family member (designated above)
  • Documented other extreme circumstances (case by case basis)

These exceptions are approved on a case-by-case basis only and submitting a request does not guarantee that you will be permitted to take the WRR after the deadline. In your request, include the reason(s) you were unable to complete the exams by the deadline, your student ID number, and your UCM email address. 

 

Troubleshooting

18. What if I can’t access the Writing Readiness Review or do not receive an email, who do I contact?  

Students who have submitted their Student Intent to Register (SIR), will be emailed a link to access the Review on November 1st.  For those who SIR after November 1st, student data will be uploaded on Fridays and it may take up to a week to gain access.

Please check your email for a message from writingplacement@ucmerced.edu and double-check any Spam folders.  If you still have trouble accessing the survey tool or questions about the process, please email writingplacement@ucmerced.edu.  

19. What if something goes wrong while I’m taking the Writing Readiness Review?   

If there is an unexpected problem during your engagement with the survey (internet disruption, or other technology concerns), know that your progress will be saved and you can finish the survey at a later time.  If you experience technology concerns that cannot be resolved, please email writingplacement@ucmerced.edu.  

 

Other - Waitlists, Summer Bridge, Summer Edge, and More

20. I am on a waiting list for another campus.  Should I take the Writing Readiness Review

Yes.  If you are considering attending UC Merced, you should plan to take the Writing Readiness Review. Our survey is designed to help prepare you for success in college-level writing courses.  

If you decide to attend another campus, you will likely be required to take that campus’ placement exams. Your UC Merced Writing placement will not be sent elsewhere. Please contact your intended campus for more information. 

21. I plan to transfer to another UC campus.  Does the WRR satisfy the other UC campus ELWR?   

There is no guarantee that other UC campuses will accept the WRR results as ELWR satisfying, although they may decide independently to do so.  If you decide to attend another campus, you will likely be required to take that campus’ placement exams. Your UC Merced Writing placement will not be sent to another campus. Please contact your intended campus for more information. 

22. I plan to participate in the Summer Bridge program.  Do I need to take the WRR?

No, students accepted into Summer Bridge do not need to take the Writing Readiness Review.  Students who apply to but are not accepted into the Summer Bridge program will be given the opportunity to take the WRR at a later time.

23. I plan to participate in the Summer Edge program.  Do I need to take the WRR?

Yes, students who participate in Summer Edge should take the Writing Readiness Review.

24. I have a question not answered here.  What should I do?

Please email writingplacement@ucmerced.edu.

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