Southeast Missouri State University

WP003: 75-Hour Writing Exam

WP003 or the 75-Hour Writing Exam takes approximately two hours. The first part of the examination is a 50-minute expository essay on a general knowledge topic. The second part of the examination is a 70-minute argumentative essay on a topic related to the part one topic. In part two, the student is provided with source material and asked to incorporate those sources into the essay.

How to Prepare

For students enrolled in WP003, it is not actually a class, although it has a number like one. Students should register for it the same way they register for classes. It is an exam, and each section meets only to take the exam. Dates and locations for the sections are given below.

WP003 is a two-part essay examination that is the initial step in fulfilling the University's writing proficiency graduation requirement. It is offered on-campus twice each semester on Saturday mornings and once during the summer on the Monday morning before the beginning of the 8-week session. It is also offered several times each semester at off-campus locations. One-hour review seminars are held in the Writing Lab before each on-campus examination.

Students should enroll in WP003 in the semester after they have completed their 75th credit hour towards graduation, following the same procedure as enrolling in any other course at Southeast. WP003 carries no credit hours and hence does not incur any fees. Students are strongly urged not to delay taking WP003: if a student has not fulfilled the writing proficiency requirement, he or she will not receive a diploma. Further, under certain circumstances, that student will not be allowed to participate in commencement.

Please come about 15 minutes early for your exam, and be sure to bring two forms of photo identification and a pen or pencil with you.

Students with Disabilities

Students with documented learning disabilities who require special testing accommodations should contact Testing Services as early in the semester as possible.

Dates, Times, and Locations

Students will sign up for the WP003 through the student portal. Students will enroll in the test using the CRN to sign up for the specific date, time, and location that works best for the student. Students enroll in the test the same way they will enroll in classes.

Spring 2014 - On Campus
WP003-01 Feb. 8
WP003-02 March 29
WP003-04 Feb. 8
WP003-05 March 29
WP003-06 Feb. 8
WP003-07 Feb. 8
WP003-08 March 29
WP003-09 March 29


Spring 2014 - Off Campus
WP003-751 Sikeston Regional Campus March 26 — 6 pm
WP003-771 Kennett Regional Campus Feb. 13 — 5:30 pm
WP003-791 Malden Regional Campus March 27 — 5:30 pm
WP003-901 Perryville Higher Education Center March 25 — 5:30 pm


Review Seminar Schedule

Review seminars for WP003 will be held in Kent Library 412 (Center for Writing Excellence) on the Cape Girardeau Campus. All seminars are similar, will last approximately one hour, and no registration is required.

Tuesday, March 25 11 am
Wednesday, March 26 3 pm
Thursday, March 27 4 pm
If You Fail

If a student does not receive a score of 7 or greater on WP003, he or she will meet with a Writing Associate from the Center for Writing Excellence, who will explain the following options:

  1. The student can retake WP003. WP003 can be retaken any number of times; however, a student can take the exam only once each semester.
  2. The student can appeal the score. A student can choose to write an appeal letter requesting that the exam be scored again and explaining on what basis the student feels the rescoring is justified. This option is appropriate for students who receive a score of 6.5.
  3. The student can complete an Option A portfolio. The Option A portfolio consists of three timed essays: the parts 1 and 2 of WP003 and an additional source-based argumentative essay; please note that the first two parts will be a different topic than the regular WP003 exams. The student has up to three hours to complete each essay. The Option A portfolio is offered on three consecutive afternoons twice each semester. This option is appropriate for students who, because of text anxiety, learning disability, etc., require additional time to write their essays.
  4. The student can complete an Option C portfolio. The Option C portfolio is a semester-long project consisting of five essays the student writes and/or revises under the supervision of a Writing Associate from the Center for Writing Excellence. A student completing this portfolio must meet with the supervising Writing Associate at least eight times during the semester. Because the Option C portfolio is time-consuming and labor-intensive, it should be chosen only as a last resort.
Sample Topics

All entering first-year students with an ACT English subscore below 22 must take the WP001 Placement Exam. All students completing a course in Written Expression (usually EN140) must take the WP002 Exit Exam. And all students, regardless of whether they have taken the previous two tests, must take the WP003 Writing Proficiency Examination.

It is strongly recommended that students acquaint themselves with these tests and the manner in which they are scored, by studying the information on this web site or visiting the Writing Lab to ask questions.