Writing Resources


What is the writing placement test?

Warm Up and Practice Exercises

The content below is organized into a step-by-step tutorial and simulation that is meant to help you prepare for the timed e-Write essay test.

How to Write an Essay -- Before you try your hand at writing a practice essay, view this website to brush up on strategies for writing essays.

Essay Structure -- Take a few minutes to review the necessary elements of an essay.

Sample Essay Prompt -- After working through the exercises above, take a few minutes to review this sample writing prompt, which is similar to the prompt you will be given for the Compass E-Write test.

Practice  & Assessment -- Draft a short essay in which you develop a thesis statement and then support the thesis with examples and/or facts. The idea is to take a position on the topic and then develop 3 major points related to that position. Refer to the essay structure document to be certain that you include all of the necessary elements for paragraph and essay development.

Once you have composed the essay, click "Get Report" at the bottom of the Paper Rater page to find out how well you did with spelling, grammar, sentence structure, focus, and content development. (Note: This is only a tool for editing and targeting errors. The score that Paper Rater generates is NOT calibrated to the E-Write scoring rubric.)

Grammar Tutorials -- After you submit the essay in the practice assessment, visit this website to learn more about the errors in your essay and grammar rules to follow. There are lots of practice exercises to use as you target the most frequent errors in your essay.

Once you have followed all of the steps above, continue to revise, edit, and proofread your essay. Submit it multiple times to the assessment tool, until you achieve a score of 80% or better. (Note: This is only a tool for editing and targeting errors. The score that PaperRater generates is NOT calibrated to the e-Write scoring rubric.)


Strategies for Success

Before you go to take the e-Write test, review the Compass Tips for the e-Write Test, watch this

     Test Anxiety Video to help prepare for the psychological stress of taking tests, and read these

    Test Taking Tips.


Best of luck with your writing placement test!