Writing Competence Exam: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to take the Writing Competence Exam (WCE)?

Albion College believes that writing proficiency is an important part of a liberal arts education.  In order to graduate from Albion, all students must demonstrate college writing proficiency; the Writing Competence Exam (WCE) is one option for students to demonstrate this proficiency.  For more information, see the Writing Proficiency Requirement in the Academic Catalog

Do not confuse the Writing Competence Exam with the SOAR English Placement Test: these are separate tests, and your results on one have no bearing on the other.

When should I take the WCE?

The Writing Competence Exams during fall semester 2021 will not be open for general student registration.  In addition, first-year students will not be permitted to take the WCE this year.

Upon reaching sophomore status, any student who has not yet fulfilled the Writing Proficiency Requirement will be automatically registered for and required to take the WCE during the year.  

In addition, students planning to study off-campus must fulfill their writing proficiency requirement before the semester they will participate in their program. 

If you believe that you need to take the WCE this year, please email  with that information, including your specific concerns and/or reasons for taking the exam.

What happens if I have not passed by the end of my sophomore year?

Students who have completed 14 units or more, but who have not passed the WCE or otherwise fulfilled the writing proficiency requirement, will be required to register for classes in subsequent semesters with the sophomore class until they have passed the examination.

Transfer students who have completed 14 units or more (including transfer courses) should review the Writing Proficiency Requirement in the Academic Catalog to learn how the WCE policies apply to their particular situation. 

What happens if I fail the WCE more than once?

Upon a second failure, students must contact the Director of Writing and schedule a meeting to review their writing.  After this consultation, the Director of Writing will require students to participate in appropriate writing practice, which may include tutoring and/or mandatory enrollment in English 101 as part of the writing proficiency requirement.  Students must complete the assigned writing practice prior to attempting the examination again.

What are the WCE dates for the academic year? 

The Writing Competence Exam is offered multiple times during the year - see the schedule.

Where do I go to sign up and is there a deadline?

At the start of each semester, students who plan to take and pass the Writing Competence Examination (WCE) to fulfill their writing proficiency requirement should review the WCE schedule and go to the online sign-up form for registration details.

Is there a review session before each test?

Review Sessions are offered online —click here for the Online Review

When are students notified of their test results?

Students are generally sent their test results four weeks after the exam date.  Results will be sent to your Albion College email address.

Where do I get more information?

For more information, review the English Department WCE webpages and the Academic Catalog. If you still have questions after reviewing this information, contact the Director of Writing, Scott Hendrix:  or 517-629-0828.