Placement Exams

Online Math Placement and Writing Placement Assessments

For new students who do not have transferrable college level math or English credit, WSU has two separate placement assessments that students can complete before enrolling in courses, the Writing Placement Assessment and the Math Placement Assessment. Both assessments can be completed online.

These placement assessments are administered by WSU to ensure that students are ready to take the appropriate UCORE [WRTG] writing course or Quantitative [QUAN] math course required for their major.

  • If you have taken placement exams at previous colleges or universities, those results do not transfer to WSU.
  • If you have taken coursework that you feel should satisfy the Writing [WRTG] or Quantitative [QUAN] requirement and they are not showing up on your unofficial planning worksheet, please talk with your Global Campus academic advisor during your first advising session.

It is recommended that you take these placement assessments as soon as you are able so you can work with your academic advisor to determine the best path to meet your requirements.

Information about each assessment and summaries of what to expect is provided below.

About the Math Placement Assessment

Mathematics provides the foundation for many of the science, business, and professional courses you will take during your college years. With only a few exceptions, WSU undergraduate students are required to take the WSU Math Placement Assessment (MPA) to determine readiness for various courses.

The WSU Math Placement Assessment is through ALEKS and is a fully automated, adaptive system that covers material from Basic Math through Precalculus and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. After the assessment, a targeted Prep and Learning Module is available for you to review and learn material, and to improve placement and eventual course outcomes.

There is a $50 fee to take the assessment which will be charged to your WSU student account. This fee covers the initial Math Placement Assessment, 6-month access to the Prep and Learning Module after the initial assessment, and up to 4 re-assessments if needed.  

All students are strongly encouraged to spend several hours using the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module. Even if you have achieved placement in your desired course, time spent in ALEKS will better prepare you for your upcoming course and ultimately lead to better grades.

Business, Data Analytics, and Economics students: Be sure to check your Transfer Credit Report in myWSU. If you do not have MATH 101 or higher please plan to take the Math placement exam prior to your first advising appointment.

How to Take the Math Placement Assessment

If it has been some time since you have taken any math course, before you take the assessment we encourage you to visit the Khan Academy website and try out the Algebra II Course Challenge or start practicing Algebra II.

When you are ready to take the assessment, go to Take the Math Placement Assessment. Review the instructions provided then select the link WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver and WSU Global Campus Students: Sign in to take the Assessment.

Your Math Placement Assessment Results

Your results are reported to you immediately after the exam, and your score will be available to your Global Campus academic advisor in approximately one business day.

You can review math course eligibility scores at Math Placement. Select Download the WSU Math Placement Chart (pdf file).

Currently, WSU Global Campus does not offer online developmental math classes. Depending on the major and math requirement, some students may need to refresh basic math skills at a local community college. Your Global Campus academic advisor can work with you to find the best path to reach your goals.

About the Writing Placement Assessment

All WSU students who need to take a first-year writing course must take the Writing Placement Assessment for appropriate assignment to English 100, 101, 104, or 105.

Once the essays are assessed, the WSU Writing Center will charge your student account a fee of $40 for the placement.

Some students may be exempt from taking the assessment if they have transferrable college credit for English/Writing through running start, AP/IB exam credit or other college coursework. For specifics on exceptions to the requirement, visit Writing Placement at WSU and review the information under Exceptions to the Writing Placement Process requirement.

The Writing Placement Assessment

  • is hosted in the Qualtrics Survey platform
  • asks students to consider their abilities as writers in a few multiple-choice and short-answer questions
  • provides an article for students to read (students select between two articles chosen by the English department)
  • prompts students to write a short essay (600-800 words) in response to the article and upload it into the platform
  • guides students through a few more reflective questions after submitting their essay
  • is evaluated by trained readers who are also the teachers of first-year writing courses

If you have questions regarding the Writing Placement Assessment, please contact

How to Take the Writing Placement Assessment

The Orientation email you receive from your Global Campus academic advisor will indicate if you need to complete the Writing Placement Assessment. If you have questions, please ask your academic advisor.

Once you have confirmed that you need to take the exam and you are ready to start, visit the Writing Placement website. Under Completing the Writing Placement Assessment, select an “Alive! Session” link with dates listed that correspond to when you’re taking the exam. Results will be available in myWSU approximately five days after the date listed for when the link closes. 

Your Writing Placement Assessment Results

The Writing Program will review your submission and communicate your assessment results in myWSU. Students are placed in the English course that most supports their need as writers. For course placement options, visit Writing Placement at WSU and review the information under Placement Results.

Currently, WSU Global Campus does not offer online developmental writing classes. Some students may need to refresh basic writing skills at a local community college. Your Global Campus academic advisor can work with you to find the best path to reach your goals.