The Basic Writing Challenge Exam is an optional, free essay exam, available to anyone who has an SAT Writing score of 479 or lower or an ACT Combined English/Writing score of 20 or lower or who has neither an SAT Writing score nor an ACT Combined English/Writing score. ENGQ20 is Developmental writing. It's a 3 credit course that counts toward students' grade point average (GPA) but does not count towards graduation. Students who pass the challenge exam will be permitted to take WRT120, Effective Writing 1 without first taking ENGQ20.
You should only take this optional exam is you believe that your SAT Writing score or your ACT Combined English/Writing score does not accurately reflect your writing ability and if you think that you will not benefit from the extra support ENGQ20 can give you as a writer. If you do not have either test score, you may wish to take the BWCE to provide a replacement score. Taking the BWCE does not guarantee placement into WRT120. Students may have to wait one semester until sufficient spaces are available in WRT120.
The BWCE is an essay exam that asks you to write in response to a selected reading. The exam will have several prompts or questions relating to the reading. You will be asked to write an essay in response to one of the prompts (of your own choosing) for the exam. Students are encouraged to read the essay ahead of time to prepare for the exam (See link to article below). Copies of the reading will be provided during the exam. Previously prepared notes or writing is prohibited during the exam.
The proctored exam is held in a computer lab. You will type/compose your essay in Microsoft Word. You will have approximately one hour to read, brainstorm, outline, take notes, and write your essay. Once you are finished, you will be provided with instructions to submit your essay online.
BWCE will be offered on:
Saturday, April 11, 10:00am - 11:00am
Saturday, May 2, 10:00am - 11:00am
Saturday, May 16, 11:30am - 12:30pm
Arrive 30 minutes before the test to check-in at the exam site. All exams are administered in Anderson Hall.
Reminder: You must bring a photo ID to the test site in order to take the exam.
Note: Registration closes at the end of the day on the Wednesday before each test date.
Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register at least four to five business days before the exam.
You will receive an email confirmation of your registration.
Every exam is read and rated by three West Chester University writing faculty who are trained and supervised by the Director of the Basic Writing Challenge Exam, a senior member of the English faculty. The readers apply carefully chosen standards that reflect the real requirements of West Chester University writing courses. A passing exam essay will demonstrate:
The test provides an excellent measure of your skills as a student writer and provides a highly accurate basis for your placement.
Students who pass the exam will be enrolled automatically into WRT120, if space permits. Official email notification of exam results will be sent to students' WCU email address. The passing rate for the BWCE historically has been 40-45%.
We only offer the exam once per student.
Follow the instructions on the New Student Account Information page or call the IT Help Desk at (610) 436-3350.
Office of Admissions:
108 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester PA 19393
The exam will be held in Anderson Hall in the computer labs located on the ground floor. Anderson Hall is located on South Church Street near the corner of Rosedale Avenue. Enter through the main doors on South Church Street and sign-in with your photo I.D. in the lobby area.
You may park behind Sykes Student Union or in the Bull Center parking lot which are located nearby. There are also some metered spots along Church and Rosedale.