Alternate Placement Options for First-Year Writing Classes

Portfolio Placement Dates:  May 2, 2017 to August 7, 2017

Note: The Core Writing Program at the University of Nevada, Reno does not accept results from Accuplacer for placement in courses.

Alternate Placement Options for First -Year Writing Classes

  It is important for students to begin their college educations in writing courses that best fit their levels of experience and current ability.  If you believe your test score does not accurately reflect your writing skills, you may request an alternate placement evaluation.  We feel that your actual writing, not just your test score, should determine your final placement in writing courses.   When considering alternate placement, keep in mind that the writing samples you provide help us place you in the class that best fits your writing abilities.  It is not a way to challenge a course, and it is not the same as credit-by-exam.  It only determines which writing course you take first in your college career.   There are two options for evaluation, and there is a $35.00 fee for either. (Make checks payable to the Board of Regents.) Your placement cannot be processed without payment of the fee. For this reason, faxes are not accepted. Portfolios and essays must be maintained in the Core Writing Program office and will NOT be returned. Your placement submission will be processed in approximately two business weeks.   Note: It is important that you begin this placement process as soon as possible in order to ensure class availability.   Note: If any work in a portfolio is plagiarized, the student will be placed into English 098 automatically. In addition, the student's work and evidence of plagiarism will be kept on file, and a copy will be sent to the Office of Student Conduct.

Option 1: Bring or mail to the Core Writing Program office a portfolio containing three or four essays you've written in the past year. Submit clean, unmarked, ungraded, polished essays. Graded or marked papers will not be evaluated.  ONLY hard copies will be accepted. Electronic submissions will not be accepted. It is prudent to send copies and keep your originals as portfolios will NOT be returned. Enclose a cover letter that includes the following: a) Your full name, address, phone number, and an email address we can use to reach you. b) Your student ID (NSHE) number.  Do NOT include your social security number. c) A correct, current, secure email address.  Please note that if you do not provide an email, you will need to call the Core Writing Program Office to ask about your placement results. Please wait two business weeks before calling the office at 775-784-6709. d) A brief statement explaining why you believe you should be placed differently than your scores suggest. e) A short description of what the essays in your portfolio show about your writing's strengths and weaknesses. Send your portfolio, including the cover letter as outlined above and the $35.00 payment to:

Core Writing Program/ MS 0098
Attn: Brenda / Placement Exam
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557-0098

We recommend that students submit a portfolio rather than take the exam because a portfolio shows more about your writing than the timed essay exam, which gives you little time for reflection and revision.

Option 2: Make an appointment by calling the Core Writing Program office at 775-784-6709 to come in and write a placement essay. The essay exam must take place during normal business hours and is written in our office. Please have several options in mind for your appointment. You will need to allow for a two hour block of time. Bring your $35.00 placement fee to your appointment. An essay topic and all exam materials will be provided when you arrive. Finding Out Results: As is noted above, you will need to provide an email if you want your results delivered to you. Otherwise, you will need to contact the Department of English at 775-784-6709 after two weeks and request your placement results. PLEASE NOTE: Due to FERPA regulations, we can only communicate placement information to the student in question. Any other person, unless that person is a parent and the student is a minor, must provide a signed privacy waiver (available from Admissions & Records) before Core Writing can communicate the student's placement results or any other academic information.