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Writing & Rhetoric Studies' First-Year Writing Assessment

First-Year Writing Assessment Banner

First-Year Writing at the University of Utah

As part of statewide general education requirements, all University of Utah students need transcripted credit for two first-year writing courses: WR1 and WR2.

We've created a Required Writing Pre-Orientation to make sure all incoming students:

  1. Understand the first-year writing requirements at U of U.
  2. Determine whether they have fulfilled WR1 and/or WR2 through transfer credit or qualifying AP, IB, or CLEP exam scores.
  3. Become familiar with important writing resources on campus.

Writing Pre-Orientation begins with a series of questions to help you determine whether you are arriving at the University of Utah with first-year writing credit.

If you do not have credit for WR1 or WR2, Writing Pre-Orientation will invite you to complete the First-Year Writing Assessment.


What is the First-Year Writing Assessment?

The First-Year Writing Assessment will help you decide whether you think you would benefit most from starting first-year writing in WR1 or going directly into a WR2 course.

If you decide you would benefit from going directly into a WR2 course, the First-Year Writing Assessment gives you the opportunity to make your case in a 500- to 750-word essay. This essay will be reviewed by a team of first-year writing instructors. 

If the team approves your case, you will be eligible to receive transcripted credit for WR1 without taking WRTG 1010: Introduction to College Writing. 

If you do not have WR1 credit and you do not complete the First-Year Writing Requirement, you will need to earn a C- or higher in WRTG 1010: Introduction to College Writing before taking a WR2 course.


How do I complete Writing Pre-Orientation?

You complete Writing Pre-Orientation online by clicking HERE.

You complete Writing Pre-Orientation at your own pace and on your own device. Please use a device that will enable you to do your best possible writing. 

The First-Year Writing Assessment can take2 or more hours to complete.


When should I complete Writing Pre-Orientation?

If you do not have first-year writing credit, you should complete Writing Pre-Orientation at least 5 days prior to your orientation date

If you do not complete Writing Pre-Orientation at least 5 days prior to New Student Orientation, you might not be eligible to enroll in your preferred first-year writing course.


What if I didn’t complete Writing Pre-Orientation before New Student Orientation?

Students who have already attended New Student Orientation can access Writing Pre-Orientation at any time to take the First-Year Writing Assessment.

Please allow 5 business days for our team of instructors to review your First-Year Writing Assessment essay and enter their decision into the registration system.


What if my case is not approved?

If you submit your case for WR2 placement and it is not approved, you can retake the First-Year Writing Assessment one time.

If your retake essay is not approved, you will need to enroll in WRTG 1010.


Who do I contact with questions?

If you have questions about Writing Pre-Orientation, the First-Year Writing Assessment, or your first-year writing course options, please email

Transfer Credits

If you have first-year writing transfer credits from another college or university, those credits might satisfy either one or both of required first-year writing courses at the University of Utah, depending on which class or classes you took elsewhere.

The following test scores will count for WR1 credit:

  • A score of 3 or higher on the AP English Language and Composition exam 
  • A score of 4 or higher on the IB Language and Literature Higher Level exam
  • A score of 50 or higher on the CLEP College Composition exam

An AP Seminar exam score of 3 or higher will count for WR2 credit.

A score of 4 or higher on either the AP Language and Composition or the AP English Literature and Composition exam will only count for WR2 credit if the exam was taken by the end of Summer 2022. More information can be found at the Utah Admission's Advanced Placement Credit page

After August 2022, public college and universities in Utah will accept the AP English Literature and Composition exam for English elective credit but not for WR1 or WR2 credit. 

If you do not have transfer or exam credit for WR1 and choose not to complete First-Year Writing Assessment, you will receive a default placement into WRTG 1010.


Last Updated: 5/14/24