Lawrence Tech University expects students to understand that good writing skills are an integral part of good communication for professionals in any field of expertise and to present well-written assignments. The COM 3000 Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) is a single-session timed essay that measures proficiency in written English. Students choose from several writing prompts and write an essay of at least 750 words (roughly three double-spaced pages) in a 2.5 hour time limit. Laptops are provided.

Who must take the Writing Proficiency Exam?

All Lawrence Tech students must pass this exam, including transfer students. This course is a graduation requirement and a prerequisite for all junior/senior Humanities elective courses and select senior-level courses in science, architecture and engineering. It cannot be waived or satisfied by alternate course work or transfer credit.

When should I take the Writing Proficiency Exam?

Students are eligible to take the exam once they have completed three of the following courses: LLT 1213 (World Masterpieces I), LLT1223 (World Masterpieces II), SSC 2413 (Foundations of the American Experience), SSC 2423 (Development of the American Experience). Students should complete the exam before they earn 90 credit hours.

How do I register for the Writing Proficiency Exam?

Register for COM 3000 as you would for other classes, online via Banner or at the One Stop Center. In Banner, look under the subject “Communication” and select “3000.” Keep clicking ‘submit’ (and do not type in any information) until you are registered.

How much does the Writing Proficiency Exam cost and how do I pay?

The exam fee is $40 per attempt. The fee gets charged to your student account. If you have questions regarding paying this fee, visit the One Stop Center.

When and where is the Writing Proficiency Exam administered?

Each section of COM 3000 meets once at the date, time and location specified by the listing in Banner. Exams are offered roughly every two weeks during the fall and spring semesters, and multiple times during the summer.

What if my schedule conflicts with the times the Writing Proficiency Exam is offered?

The exam is offered approximately 25 times each year. There are weekday and evening and/or weekend options available each term.

How should I prepare for the Writing Proficiency Exam?

The COM 3000 course site contains a variety of resources, including the course syllabus, grading rubric and sample essays. If you still have questions, contact the program coordinator.

What can I expect during the Writing Proficiency Exam?

The exam is held in a classroom setting with as many as 24 students. A laptop that does not permit internet access will be provided for you, along with a USB drive. Scratch paper will be available. Several essay topics will be given at the start of the exam. You write one essay (750 word minimum) on the topic of your choice. There will be one break at the halfway point of the exam.

What should I do if I receive accommodations under the ADA?

Disability accommodations cannot be provided during the regularly scheduled exam. If you receive accommodations and wish to utilize them for COM 3000, you will need to make arrangements with the AAC (Academic Achievement Center). Your appointment must take place during the week of the exam for which you are registered.

How will my Writing Proficiency Exam be graded?

Your essay is reviewed separately by two graders who are University faculty members. Each grader evaluates your essay using the grading rubric. If both graders agree that your essay passes, you earn credit (CR). If both graders agree that your essay does not pass, you earn no credit (NC). If the two graders disagree on whether your exam should pass or not, the exam is given to a third faculty member who determines the final grade – CR or NC.

How long will I wait for my final grade?

Exam grades are entered in Banner about two weeks after the exam date. Students are notified by email when grades are posted. If you do not pass the exam, your scores and comments will be emailed to you so you can review them before a subsequent exam attempt.

What happens if my essay earns “No Credit”?

If you do not earn credit for the WPE on your first attempt, you can retake the exam. The usual exam fee will apply. Before your second attempt, review your scores and comments and/or schedule a meeting with the program coordinator to review your essay and understand where improvements are needed. The program coordinator can also direct you to writing resources.

What happens if my essay earns “No Credit” twice?

If you do not earn credit for COM 3000 on your second attempt, you must register for COM 3101 Writing Workshop. COM 3101 is a one-credit writing course designed to improve students’ writing ability and prepare them to succeed on the WPE. The Writing Proficiency Exam is the final exam for COM 3101. You must pass COM 3000 or COM 3101 to take select courses and to graduate.

Can I take COM 3101 instead of COM 3000?

COM 3101 Writing Workshop is intensive, guided writing practice plus the WPE as the final exam. COM 3000 is only the exam. Both courses satisfy the WPE requirement. Students can choose the workshop instead of the exam-only option or after one exam attempt.

When can I register for a class that requires WPE credit?

As long as you are registered for an exam section (or workshop) in one semester, Banner will allow you to register for an upcoming class that requires WPE credit. (Banner assumes you will pass the
exam/workshop.) If you do not pass or if you fail to attend the exam, and do not successfully complete another section that semester, you will be removed from classes that require WPE credit.

Questions? Contact the Director at 248.204.3499 or