College of General Studies

Placement Assessments

CGS Online Writing Placement Assessment

ENGCMP 0200 Seminar in Composition (SC) is the course that most undergraduates take to fulfill the first of three writing-intensive requirements at the University. SC is preceded in some cases by ENGCMP 0150 Workshop in Composition or ENGCMP 0152 Workshop in Composition: ESL for students who may benefit from extra support. Placement in these courses is normally based on the student’s SAT and ACT writing scores.

The College of General Studies’ Online Writing Placement Assessment is available to incoming CGS students who do not have SAT or ACT writing scores. The CGS Writing Assessment is an essay-based exam written in response to one of two prompts. The results of the CGS Writing Placement Assessment will help advisors determine whether students should take ENGCMP 0150 Workshop in Composition  first or go straight to ENGCMP 0200 Seminar in Composition.  

Students without valid scores will be identified upon acceptance to the College of General Studies and notified by CGS Admissions that they are eligible to take the CGS Writing Placement Assessment. The Placement Assessment is available online via the University of Pittsburgh Blackboard Learning Management System or it may be taken in person upon request. At their first advising meeting, students will have the opportunity to learn more about the assessment process from their advisor and decide whether they would like to take the writing assesment and in what format.

Students who do not complete the assessment will be placed automatically in ENGCMP 0150 Workshop in Composition.

Online Math Placement Assessment

If students plan to take a math course such as Math 0120, Math 0125, Math 0200, Math 0220 or Math 0400, they must take the placement assessment. Exceptions apply. Please visit the Department of Mathematics website for detailed information:

Online and On-Campus Language Placement Assessments

The online French, German, Italian and Spanish assessments are administered through the WebCAPE system. On-Campus Placement Assessments are available for Music Theory, Portuguese, Russian and Latin. For more information, visit: