GRIPS Placement Test of Academic Writing

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In order to complete successfully their studies at GRIPS, most students will need assistance with the preparation and writing of their final theses or dissertations. The GRIPS Placement Test of Academic Writing is designed to assess incoming students’ ability to write graduate‒level academic texts to help CPC faculty identify students’ needs so that appropriate support and resources can be provided in a timely fashion.

What kind of test is it?

grips-print-17The test is designed to measure students’ ability to write in a style that is particular to academic writing, especially graduate writing. This form of writing involves making an argument that is based on previous research. On the test,

  • Students will be given a statement that they must respond to; their comment should be based on research evidence (see next point), not on their personal opinions.
  • Students will be provided with a number of short research abstracts that they will use as material for their answer.
  • Students will need to examine each abstract in order to identify the relevant information for their response. Students will also need to decide whether the information in the abstract is reliable.
  • Students will need to take all the information from the different abstracts and use it to make an argument in support of, or against, the provided statement.

Is it an English test?

The focus of the test is split between students’ English language ability and students’ ability to write from academic sources. Students will receive one score for English Language Ability and one score for ability to write from academic sources.

What happens if I fail the test?

There are a number of possible outcomes to the test.

English Language Ability

A student’s response may be deemed

  • adequate or largely adequate for graduate study in terms of English language ability,
    In this case, the student is not required to take English for Academic Purposes
  • limited or severely limited for graduate study in terms of English language ability,
    In this case, the student will be required to take English for Academic Purposes

Ability to Write From Academic Sources
  • If the student receives a score of 4, the student is required to take lectures 1-2 of Policy Proposal Writing (lectures 3-8 are optional);
  • If the student receives a score of 3, the student is required to take lectures 1-4 of Policy Proposal Writing (lectures 5-8 are optional);
  • If the student receives a score of 1 or 2, the student is required to take lectures 1-8 of Policy Proposal Writing

Note: Regardless of score on the placement test, all students are required to take Thesis and Policy Paper Writing in the Spring term

I have already taken the TOEFL/IELTS test. Why do I need to take this test?

The TOEFL and IELTS tests are tests of English proficiency; they do not assess students’ ability to write graduate-level academic papers. The GRIPS Placement Test of Academic Writing is designed to assess that ability.


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Academic Writing