Upper-Division Writing Directed Self Placement (Formerly Writing Skills Test)

Before the pandemic, all SJSU students preparing to enroll in upper-division courses were required to take a timed writing exam called the Writing Skills Test (WST).  The score from the exam was used to place students in one of two upper-division writing courses.  When the pandemic began, the WST was suspended and replaced with an online exercise called the WST Directed Self Placement (WST-DSP) that helps students place themselves in the upper-division writing course that is appropriate for them.  Because this placement exercise is not actually a test (unlike the original WST), the name has been changed to the Upper-Division Writing Directed Self Placement.

By completing the Upper-Division Writing Directed Self Placement, students will fulfill their “WST” requirement.  Below you will find all the information you need about the Upper-Division Writing DSP and how to complete it.

What Do You Need to Do?
Your job is to learn about the 100-level writing courses that are available to you (both 100A and 100W) and choose the course that is right for you. To help, we've developed a Directed Self Placement exercise that will guide you through your decision.

The Upper-Division Writing Directed Self Placement should take you 15-20 minutes to complete. Please have a sample research paper (one that required you to use sources) that you recently wrote for a class at SJSU or your community college ready to upload (in either PDF or Word format).

Begin the Upper-Division Writing Directed Self Placement Exercise.

If you still have questions after completing the UDW Directed Self Placement (formerly WST), please contact an Adviser in the Student Success Center for your College (see list here).

What is the Difference Between 100A and 100W?
100A is an extra semester of writing instruction, available to students who need more practice in academic writing before enrolling in 100W. 100A prepares students for 100W through extensive practice in drafting, feedback, and revision to demonstrate writing competency.

100W is an advanced, upper-division writing course designed to introduce students to writing in their disciplines. Students learn writing and appropriate contemporary research strategies and methodologies to communicate effectively to both specialized and general audiences.

The Other Prerequisites for Enrolling in 100W Have Not Changed
You must still have earned 60 units and satisfy one of the following prerequisites in order to enroll in 100W:
- A grade of C- or better in an A3 General Education course.
- A grade of C- or better in English 1B, English 2, or Humanities 2B.
- EC2 transfer credit (which means a student successfully passed a second-semester composition course at a community college).

Also, some majors have additional prerequisites for enrolling in 100W, so be sure to check the course catalogue and talk with your adviser if you have any questions.

What About Registering for Other SJSU Studies Courses (Areas R, S, and V) That Require the WST?
After completing the Upper Division Writing Directed Self Placement, you may register for all other courses that require the WST, as long as you have earned at least 60 units total and satisfied one of the following writing prerequisites:
- A grade of C- or better in an A3 General Education course.
- A grade of C- or better in English 1B, English 2, or Humanities 2B.
- EC2 transfer credit (which means a student successfully passed a second-semester composition course at a community college).

Questions?
Sara Cook, the Upper-Division Writing DSP (formerly WST) Coordinator, is here to support you and answer your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for a regularly updated list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers [pdf]

Virtual Office Hours
Sara Cook, UDW DSP Coordinator, will be hosting virtual office hours every Wednesday from 3pm - 4pm to answer any questions you may have about the WST or the new DSP process.

To join office hours during the scheduled days/time, please click the link below.
https://sjsu.zoom.us/j/96191902982

Send Sara Cook an E-mail
Send Sara Cook an e-mail at:
Sara.Cook@sjsu.edu