Student Self-Placement Questionnaire: For Writing-Intensive Courses

This questionnaire is for students who want to enrol in University Transfer (UT) writing-intensive courses, for example in English, Communications or Creative Writing.

To find out whether you are ready to succeed in a writing-intensive course at the college/University Transfer level, please take about fifteen minutes to answer both parts of this questionnaire. General Readiness has ten questions, and Sentence and Vocabulary Skills has twenty questions. Your scores in each part will help you assess your writing abilities, and the “Interpret Scores” sections at the end of each part will help you choose courses that match your abilities.

For useful self-placement information, answer the questions without help and without consulting a dictionary. Afterwards, you can consult an academic advisor or an instructor if you would like to discuss your results.

This questionnaire is voluntary, anonymous and advisory only.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your reading and writing skills are mid-range, for example from Grade 12 English “C” to “B+”, this questionnaire will help you choose a course that will best fit your skill level.

  • If you had “A” level grades in high school English courses, you don’t need to take the questionnaire.
  • If you already know you need ESL courses, please contact the ELLA (ESL) Department for placement testing.
  • If your first language is English and you already know you need to upgrade your reading and writing skills, please contact the English Upgrading Department (ENGU) for placement testing.

Students’ scores on this questionnaire generally correlate with their grades in English 1130, the first-year composition course at Douglas. This means that students who have higher scores in both sections of the questionnaire are more likely to do well in college writing courses.

No placement test, however, is completely accurate at predicting your grades in courses. Success in college depends on many factors, including the number of courses you are taking and your responsibilities outside of college. Most importantly, academic success depends on the level of your interest in and commitment to college courses.

Your questionnaire scores are not official in any way; they are intended only to help you choose courses and  learning opportunities. They cannot be used, for example, to replace a course pre-requisite, or as evidence that you “should” be able to succeed in a course.

For help in interpreting your scores, you can contact an academic advisor.

You can discuss your scores with advisors in the ELLA (ESL) or English Upgrading (ENGU) departments, if your scores suggest you would benefit from those courses.

You can also discuss your scores with an instructor of any writing-intensive course you would like to take, such as English 1130, English 1099 or a Student Success course.

Please consider the brief explanations that appear after you have answered each question; they will help you to understand the concepts in the questions. 

General entry into ϼ requires a “C” in Grade 12 English, or equivalent test score. This grade does not guarantee that your writing skills are strong enough for you to succeed in a writing-intensive college course, for example a first-year English course.

Many other colleges and universities have an internal pre-requisite for entry into first-year writing courses, for example a “B” in Grade 12 English. ϼ does not have this type of requirement; instead, we offer this questionnaire to help you select a writing-intensive course that matches your skill level.

The questionnaire is anonymous; no personal information is being collected. The test designers will see only general data, such as how many students complete the questionnaire.