What determines Math & Foreign Language placement?
Please click here to learn more about Math placement, which is determined by your SAT or ACT scores, and foreign language placement. If you wish to place higher, you may opt to take the COMPASS math placement test or Foreign Language Achievement Test (German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Latin).
What determines English placement?
The required Writing Sample Placement Test (WSPT), along with transfer credits, AP/IB credits, and dual enrollment.
What is the WSPT?
A 95-minute essay test in response to a "should," "would," or "could" question. The 3 topic areas are Basic Human Rights, Television, and Education. Make sure to include an introduction, a body of paragraphs supporting the thesis, and a conclusion. The test score will determine which English course you're eligible to register for your first semester. The WSPT is administered in Blackboard.
Do I have to take the WSPT?
Yes. Every student must take it. There are no exceptions. ODU places a high value on the ability to think critically and learn through the writing process. This process will be emphasized in your coursework. You'll be required to successfully complete an Exit Exam of Writing Proficiency before you graduate.
Students without transfer English credit: The essay determines whether you're eligible to enroll in English 110 (score of 3) or General Studies 050 (score of 1).
Students with transfer English credit: You will not lose your transfer credit. However, if you receive a score of 1, you must meet with an Academic Skills counselor to correct writing deficiencies and retake the exam before registering for your second semester. You're required to pass the WSPT before the end of your second semester.
When should I take it?
Wait 48 business hours after you've finalized your Preview date or made the decision to opt out of Preview. Your test is stored in a specific Blackboard group. Making a change may cause your test to be lost before it's been graded.
To receive your grade before Preview, complete the test no later than 12pm three weeks prior to your Preview.
Transfer & Midyear Students
You must complete the test no later than 12pm the day prior to your Preview date. To receive your score by your Preview, complete the essay three weeks prior to your Preview.
What if I miss the deadline?
You won't receive your test results before Preview. You'll be unable to sign up for any class that has a pre-requisite of a passing score on the WSPT (such as English Composition). However, you can adjust your schedule from home once your test is graded.
What if there's a technical problem?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, University ID Number, and a summary of the problem. A staff member will respond to your request as soon as possible.
How do I take the WSPT?
Two business days after you register for Preview (or complete the online orientation), you may take it in Blackboard.
- Go to my.odu.edu and enter your MIDAS ID and password.
- Click on the Blackboard button at the top right of the webpage.
- Under My ODU Courses, you will see the Preview course that corresponds to the Preview date for which you are registered. Click it to enter the site.
- Click on Welcome and Important Information. Read the content carefully.
- Click on WSPT Instructions. Read the content carefully.
- Click on Writing Sample Placement Test to complete the essay.
How do I check my score?
Three weeks after you take it, the score will be available in Blackboard.
- Log into the myODU portal and click on the Blackboard button on the top right.
- Look for the 'Tools' section on the left-hand side of the webpage. Click 'View Grades'. The WSPT score will be graded as a 3, 1, or 0.
- Dissatisfied with your score? There is a 10-week waiting period to retake the WSPT. Contact Academic Skills at 757-683-3699 to review your test and schedule to retake it.