English Qualifying Exam

Exam information

We are remaining closed for in person testing for the immediate future. Please check https://testing.wayne.edu/testing/coronavirus for updates. 

In lieu of  placement testing, the English Department is using directed self-placement for classes.  

  • If you wish to change your ENG 1010/1020 placement, please complete the steps listed here

Several basic courses at Wayne State University (WSU) are taught with the expectation that the student has attained a certain level of knowledge and skill in the subject.  Since it is better to be placed into a lower level course by taking an examination than to fail a higher-level course for which you are not adequately prepared, there is every reason to feel comfortable about taking a placement examination.

The American College Test (ACT) score in English or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score in Writing is used to determine placement into the appropriate basic composition course, either ENG 1010 or 1020.

ACT English Score
Old SAT Writing Score
New SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score
21 or higher = placement into ENG 1020 480 or higher = placement into ENG 1020 520 or higher = placement into ENG 1020
20 or below = placement into ENG 1010 470 or below = placement into ENG 1010 510 or below = placement into ENG 1010


  1. The ACT or SAT score used may not be from an exam taken more than three years prior to enrollment in the course.
  2. If a student has more than one valid ACT and/or SAT test score, the score that produces the highest placement will be used.

The information listed below refers to pre-social distancing testing and will apply again when in-person testing resumes

Any student placing into ENG 1010 via the ACT or SAT may take the English Qualifying Exam if he/she wishes to attempt placement into ENG 1020.  Students who have not taken the ACT or SAT, or have ACT or SAT scores more than three years old, must take the English Qualifying Exam to determine course placement.  Those students who have received transfer credit for WSU ENG 1020, or credit for WSU ENG 1020 through the Advanced Placement or College-Level Examination Programs, do not need to take the exam.

The English Qualifying Examination is a computer-based impromptu essay, timed for 50 minutes.  The total administration time is approximately 75 minutes.  The examination fee is $43.00.  This examination may only be taken twice within a two-year period.  Examination results are valid for three years.  The WSU English Department will not change a course placement determined by the exam. Practice material is available online at this link: Practice Sample Questions

Rescheduling, refunds, and fees

  1. You may reschedule a test registration a maximum of three times per fee payment.
  2. A refund can be processed only if it is made before the day of the examination.  Requests for refunds made on or after the examination date, or after the third reschedule, cannot be honored.
  3. Examination fees not rescheduled or refunded are subject to forfeiture after one calendar year.
  4. Test fees are subject to change without notice.

On the day of the examination

Bring your WSU OneCard, or government-issued, current, signed, photo-bearing identification (e.g., driver's license, state ID.)  The identification presented must be an original document.  Valid identification is required to test.  Scratch paper and a pencil will be provided.  No other aids are permitted.   Be on time.  Late arrivals will not be admitted.

Examination schedule


How to register for an examination

This examination is not administered on a walk-in basis.  You must register to reserve a seat for an examination at least one business day in advance of the desired date provided that room capacity has not already been reached.

  1. In Person Registration:  If you wish to pay your test fee(s) with a check, money order, or WSU OneCard, come to Testing, Evaluation and Research Services, Room 686 Student Center Building, 5221 Gullen Mall (map). Make your check or money order payable to Wayne State University. You may also use our public computer to make your credit card payment. Cash will not be accepted.
  2. Online registration: Click on the "Register for a test" button at the bottom of this page.  This will lead you to the online registration system where you may pay with a credit or debit card and choose your test date. You will receive an email confirmation of your payment and registration.

Special accommodations

If you have a documented disability that requires testing accommodations, you will need to register with Student Disability Services for coordination of these accommodations. The Student Disability Services (SDS) office is located at 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library in the Student Academic Success Services Department. To schedule an appointment, call 313-577-1851. Information about SDS can be found at http://studentdisability.wayne.edu/ .


Register or Reschedule a test