UH Hilo Writing Placement Assessment

Students are urged to take the online Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) in a continuing effort to reduce the number of people on UH campuses. The online WPA instructions and link can be found here. Please note that if you possess SAT or ACT scores you do not need to take the WPA.

On this page:

Online Writing Placement Assessment Instructions

The Writing Placement Assessment site is currently closed and will reopen on October 16, 2021. Students may take the assessment beginning October 16 and be eligible to participate in early registration which begins November 8, 2021.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, students are strongly encouraged to take the online Writing Placement Assessment. The online WPA option is intended to prioritize the health and safety of everyone by limiting contact between students, faculty, and staff.

The online assessment will be conducted via the university’s Learning Management System called Laulima. In order to access Laulima and the online placement exam, you must have your assigned UH User ID and password. If you do not have your UH User ID and password you can contact the UH ITS Helpdesk at (808) 956-8883 (toll-free from neighbor islands at (800) 558-2669) or via email at help@hawaii.edu for assistance.

Initial Instructions:

  1. To begin the assessment, Visit the online Writing Placement Assessment on Laulima. The “Login Required” screen will appear.
  2. Log into Laulima by entering your UH User ID and Password.
  3. Once you are logged into Laulima click on Yes, add me. You should arrive at the WPA Start page.
  4. Follow the instructions to take the assessment.

Writing Placement Assessment screenshot

WPA start screen

If you do not see an invitation to join the group, then you may need to Log out of Laulima first.

What is the UH Hilo Writing Placement Assessment?

The Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) is a timed essay writing activity that determines what level writing course you will be assigned to if you are a non-native speaker of English or you are a native speaker of English, but you do not possess SAT-W or ACT scores.

Who does not take the assessment?

You do not have to take this assessment if you meet at least one of these criteria:

  • you are a native speaker of English and you possess SAT EBRW or W scores or ACT scores which will determine what English course you are placed into
  • you are a Regents' or Chancellor's Scholar
  • you scored a "4" or "5" on the Language and Composition Advanced Placement Exam.
  • you have transferred a course from another college that is officially equivalent to ENG 100 Composition I (3) You must have verification of acceptance of this transfer course from the Admissions Office.

SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (EBRW) Score Table

UH Hilo Placement SAT EBRW Score
ENG 100 SAT-EBRW 525 to 674
ENG 100T SAT-EBRW 524 or below

SAT Writing (W) Score Table

UH Hilo Placement SAT Writing Score
ENG 100 SAT-W 475 to 624
ENG 100T SAT-W 474 or below

ACT Score Table

UH Hilo Placement ACT Score
ENG 100 ACT 18 to 27
ENG 100T ACT 17 or below

Who takes the assessment?

You have to take the assessment if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • you are a native speaker of English and you do not possess SAT-W or ACT scores
  • you are an entering non-native speaker of English
  • you have been accepted to and intend to enroll at UH Hilo
  • you have not transferred a course from another college that is officially equivalent to ENG 100 Composition I (3) at UH Hilo

What is the purpose of the assessment?

This writing assessment is the University's way of placing you into the course that will best prepare you for academic writing. On the basis of the English faculty members' evaluation of your essay, you will be assigned to one of the following courses:

  • English
    • ENG 100 Composition I (3)
    • ENG 100T Composition with Tutorial (3)
  • or English as a Second Language
    • English as a Second Language (ESL 100 Composition/Nonnative Speakers (3) )
    • ESL 100T Composition/Non-nativeTutorial (3)
    • Pre-100 ESL

How do I register for the assessment?

You must reserve a seat for the assessment by completing the online registration form. Contact the Writing Center Coordinator if you unable to use the online registration form.

  1. Registration is limited to the number of seats for each assessment date.
  2. Walk-in seating will only be available after those who have registered have been accommodated.
  3. All students must check in at the assessment site no later than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
  4. All currently enrolled students must bring their UH Hilo photo ID. All newly accepted students must bring their acceptance letter and a photo ID.

What happens on the day of the assessment?

  1. You must bring your registration email confirmation, a pen, photo ID, and proof of UH ID number with you. Please also bring your own dictionary.
  2. You will write a complete essay during the timed assessment. You will have half an hour to plan and draft. You will have one additional hour to write, revise, and edit your essay.
  3. Paper will be provided for you.

Who can I call if I have questions about the assessment?

You may call Karla Hayashi , Writing Placement Coordinator, at (808) 932-7287 or email her at karlah@hawaii.edu if you have questions.

Students who may require accommodations should contact the University Disability Services Office before taking the assessment.

How and when may I get my results?

The proctor will let you know when you can expect results to be posted. Results are posted online at the search page.

What are the assessment date(s), time(s), and location(s)?

Assessment dates are posted on the online registration form page.

No face to face assessment is currently scheduled due to COVID-19.

Complete the online registration form to sign up for the assessment.