Writing Proficiency Exam comes again

Tyrone Shaw


Tyrone Shaw

This semester’s Writing Proficiency Exam is scheduled to take place Sunday, October 19, at 9 a.m. and Thursday, October 23, at 7 p.m. Those using the computer will take it in LLC 216/217. Those taking it by hand will go to LLC 212/213.

This exam is a graduation requirement for all JSC students, except those in the External Degree Program (EDP). Ideally, students should take this exam simultaneously with Exposition and Analysis and when they have between 45 and 60 credits. “I can’t stress enough the need to take this exam sooner rather than later,” said Professor of Writing and Literature, Tyrone Shaw. “Remember that this is a graduation requirement, so you need to get this done. There is absolutely no excuse for waiting until the senior year to take this exam. Why on earth put yourself in that position?”

Prep-sessions will be held in the Freda Hebb Room in Martinetti and have been scheduled for Monday, October 13, at 1 p.m.; Tuesday, October 14, at 10 a.m.; Wednesday, October 15, at 1 p.m.; Thursday, October 16, at 11 a.m.; Monday, October 20, at 12 p.m.; Tuesday, October 21, at 10 a.m.; Wednesday, October 22, at 1 p.m.; and Thursday, October 23, at 11 a.m. Each session will last one hour.

“The prep sessions I offer provide a succinct overview of successful strategies for taking this exam,” said Shaw. “Most of those who attend one of these sessions do pass the exam the first time. Preparation is key. Your chances of passing the test depend largely on how well you’ve prepared for it, so do not wait until the last moment. I just urge anyone who plans to attend one of these sessions to have chosen a topic already.”

You can choose, space permitting, between taking the exam on a computer, or by hand. Students can register for the exam until noon of the exam date, provided space is available. No advisor approval is required, and if you register and then find you cannot attend, it is asked that you please remember to remove yourself from the course by noon of the exam day.
The exam is once again tied to the Exposition and Analysis course, which in part explains the relatively higher pass rate for the past two years — over 70 percent.

Those failing the exam twice must satisfy the graduation requirement by taking the three-credit course, Self Sufficient Writer. Those failing the exam once can choose to take it again or go directly into the course.

Topics for this year’s exam are: is there a strong ethical basis for sacrificing animal lives to save human ones?; should Vermont impose a moratorium on ridge-top wind power development?; should the federal government end subsidies for corn-based ethanol production?; should the NBA institute a salary cap?; should Vermont schools require HPV vaccines for females between the ages of 11 and 18?; should the federal government end the so-called War on Drugs?; should the Federal Government restore the ban on assault rifles, which was repealed in 1996?; and, should Vermont ski areas require all skiers and riders to wear helmets?

The exam itself was emailed to students before their scheduled exam date, and is available on the portal to those who have registered.