Frequently Asked Questions
Online and Distance Students
- What is the Writing Proficiency Program?
This program oversees the Writing Proficiency requirement which is a graduation requirement for all baccalaureate students at Ball State University. Both WPP 392 (Writing Proficiency Exam) and WPP 393 (Writing Proficiency Course) satisfy this graduation requirement.
- What is the goal of the Writing Proficiency Requirement?
The goal of both the exam and course is to assess the ability of students who have completed a sufficient number of core curriculum courses at BSU to demonstrate the written and communication abilities outlined by the core curriculum goals for junior-level baccalaureate students.
- When should I complete the Requirement?
For each student, there is a very specific “window” of time within which to complete this junior-level requirement. At the time of enrollment for the exam or course, students must have completed at least 60 credit hours, but not more than 90 credit hours. Students must also have credit in ENG 104 or its equivalent.
- If the prerequisites for the Writing Proficiency requirement are not listed on my academic record, may I sign up to take the Exam or Course?
No. All prerequisites must be officially registered before you can register to take the Exam or Course.
- How do I register for the Writing Proficiency Exam?
Registration dates for upcoming exams are posted online, sent to you in an email from the Writing Proficiency Program, and around campus on fliers. To sign up, students need to go SS Banner Registration during the scheduled registration period. Registration is first-come-first-served.
- How often is the Writing Proficiency Exam offered to on-campus students?
In the Fall and Spring semesters, the exams is offered—usually September and November, and February and April. During Summer Semester, exams are offered—usually in June.
- What if I am registered with the Office of Disabled Student Development?
Students in need of testing accommodations and who are registered with the Office of Disabled Student Development may receive the accommodations they need. Look at the Accommodated Students link for more information
- If I cannot attend the exam session for which I’ve registered, what should I do?
You may not switch exams once the registration period has closed; therefore, you should make every attempt to attend. However, if you cannot attend the session for which you are registered, you can do Web Withdrawal on SSBanner until the close of the published Web Withdrawal period.
If Web Withdrawal has closed, you must email the Writing Proficiency Program at least 24 hours before the official begin time of your Exam. We will not accept phone calls; your request for withdrawal must be emailed. We will need to assess the reasons for your request for withdrawal before processing it, so you should include a detailed description of the reason for your withdrawal in your email.
- Will I be counted with an attempt if I do not write an exam for which I am registered?
If you do Web Withdrawal during the Web Withdrawal period, you will receive a "W" for the course which will not count as one of your 2 attempts.
Once Web Withdrawal has closed, you will receive a "NC" for the registrationwhich will count as one of your 2 attempts. Requests for exception to this rule will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
- Can I obtain an “excused absence” if my exam time conflicts with another class?
No. A full-year’s calendar of Writing Proficiency Exam dates is available on this website. You should plan ahead to ensure you avoid conflicts with other obligations.
- After registering, can I change my exam date?
Within the registration period, you can change your registration as many times as you wish or is possible. However, once the registration period ends, your registration is frozen, and you must attend the session for which you are registered.
- Can I be registered for WPP 392 (The Exam) and WPP 393 (The Course) simultaneously?
No. If you register for the Exam and are found to be enrolled in a current section of the Course, your Exam registration will be cancelled.
- Am I allowed to wear earphones or earplugs during the exam?
You can wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones; however, you may not wear ear buds or headphones connected to a device or that can connect to the internet.
- How is the exam graded?
Trained readers, all of whom have taught courses at Ball State University, assess your exam by using the Writing Proficiency Program’s Grading Criteria. The specific grading rubric is available on the Grading link.
- What if I would like information about my exam after I take it?
You may contact the WPP office (NQ 336) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How do I get my grade?
The results of your Exam will be posted to your academic record on the scheduled Posting Day. Grades may not be given over the phone or by email.
- Can I get a copy of my exam or talk to someone about my exam?
You may request a copy of your exam by requesting it in an email to email@example.com. Once you receive your exam, you can contact the program administrators to set up an appointment to review your exam.
- How many times may I take the exam?
Each student may attempt the exam two times. After two unsuccessful attempts, students must enroll in the Writing Proficiency Course (WPP 393).
- Do I have to be registered for classes during the semester I want to take the exam?
No. You can take the Exam any time it is offered as long as you are a current BSU student and have no holds on your record.
- Besides the Exam, are there other ways to satisfy the Writing Proficiency Requirement for graduation?
Yes. You may satisfy the requirement by signing up for the Writing Proficiency Course (WPP 393), a seven-week-long--or five weeks during the summer terms--portfolio-based writing course. Students may enroll in WPP 393 at any point after reaching 60 credit hours. Prior enrollment in the exam is not required.
- How do I sign up for WPP 393 (Writing Proficiency Course)?
You can sign up for the Course during the scheduled registration periods for courses using SS Banner Registration.
- I am a transfer student. Do I still need to complete the Writing Proficiency Requirement?
Most transfer students are required to complete the requirement. Check your DAPR or check with your Advising Resource Center if you have questions about whether you need to complete the Writing Proficiency requirement.
- What if there is a time conflict with a class or lab I'm taking when I try to register for WPP 392?
You can choose another date to take the exam, or you will need to have your professor email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible and designate that it is ok for you to miss class and take the exam on a specific date. You can make arrangements with your professor before registration begins to help assure you will have a spot in a specific exam. We will not override capacity limits on sections of the exam in this case.
- What if I find I registered for the wrong section of the exam? During the web withdrawal period you can withdraw from the exam and it will not count as an attempt. If you discover you registered for the wrong section after the web withdrawal period for the exam is over, you cannot change sections or withdraw, and you must take the exam for which you registered
Online and Distance Students
- I am an on-campus student. Can I take the Exam or Course online?
NO. Only students currently enrolled in Distance Education's online baccalaureate programs may take the Exam in the Distance section. On-campus students who are completing courses through the ILP program are NOT eligible to complete either WPP 392 (Exam) or WPP 393 (Course) via Distance.
- I am enrolled through Ball State’s Extended Education program. How do I satisfy my Writing Proficiency requirement?
Online and Distance Education students should consult all Online and Distance Education links on this website.
- How often is the Writing Proficiency Exam offered to Online and Distance students?
A section of the Exam for Online and Distance students is offered at the same time as it is offered to students on campus.
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