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UH Hilo Writing Placement Assessment

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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. You must have verification of acceptance of this transfer course from the Admissions Office.

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

  • English 100H - SAT-EBRW 675 or higher
  • English 100 - SAT-EBRW 525 to 674
  • English 100T - SAT-EBRW 524 or below

*SAT Writing (W) Score Table

  • English 100H = SAT-W 625 or higher
  • English 100 = SAT-W 475 to 624
  • English 100T = SAT-W 474 or below

**ACT Score Table

  • English 100H = ACT 28 or higher
  • English 100 = ACT 18 to 27
  • English 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 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 100H
  • English 100
  • English 100T


  • English as a Second Language (ESL) 100
  • ESL 100T
  • Pre-100 ESL

How do I register for the assessment?

You must reserve a seat for the assessment by completing the online registration form. See the left sidebar for contact information 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 e-mail her at 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.