A passing score on the test of critical reading and writing skills (CRWS) is required for registration in the courses below. Many of these courses are required admission courses for Extension degree programs. Most have an alternative prerequisite expository writing (EXPO) course that can be taken instead of CRWS (see Alternatives to the test, below).

How to take the test

  1. Go to the online services login page. If you are a new student, see “Test of Critical Reading and Writing Skills” at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions to login and read about the test. If you are a returning student, login and select “Placement Tests” from the main menu, then “Test of Critical Reading and Writing.”
  2. Read carefully the page of test information and procedures.
  3. Select “Begin Test” to take the test immediatelyor select “Return to Menu” to take the test at a later time.
  4. You cannot pause or cancel the test once you start it, so take the test when you have strong computer connectivity and are not likely to be interrupted.

When to take the test

The test of critical reading and writing skills is available in online services year-round between 4 am and 11 pm eastern time. Test scores are posted to your online services account according to the schedule below.

It is best to take the test before registration begins, as most courses that require CRWS have limited enrollment and fill quickly.  You may take the test as far in advance as you wish, but you may take it only once for each term.  

Test schedule for fall courses 

Take the test between:

To have your score available by

June 9 and June 15

June 20

 

June 16 and July 6

July 14

 

July 7 and July 17*
(last test period before fall registration opens)

July 25

July 18 and July 31

August 8

August 1 and August 7

August 15

August 8 and August 21
(last test period for fall courses)

August 29

Test schedule for January and spring courses 

Take the test between:

To have your score by

August 22 and September 18

September 26

September 19 and October 16

October 24

October 17 and October 30

November 7

October 31 and November 6*
(last test period before spring and January registration opens)

November 14

November 7 and November 20

December 1

November 21 and December 4

December 12

December 5 and December 11
(last test period for January courses)

December 18

December 12 and January 4

January 9

January 5 and 15
(last test period for spring courses)

January 23

* We strongly encourage you to take the test by these dates to have your score before registration begins. Most courses that require this test have limited enrollment and may fill quickly.

See the test dates for summer courses.

Courses that require this test

A passing score on this test is required for registration in the courses below. Several of the courses that require the test are admission courses for Extension School degree programs, and many designate an alternative prerequisite expository writing (EXPO) course that you can take instead of CRWS.

Alternatives to the test

  • For EXPO E-25, you can earn a grade of B or higher in EXPO E-15
  • For MGMT and MUSE courses, you can earn a grade of B or higher in EXPO E-/S-34
  • For BIOS and BIOT courses, you can earn a grade of B or higher in EXPO E-42c/W
  • For ENVR courses, you can earn a grade of B or higher in EXPO E-42b/W or EXPO E-42c/W
  • For SSCI courses, you can earn a grade of B or higher in EXPO E-42b/W

Registering for courses that require this test

You must have a passing score on the test of critical reading and writing skills to register for the courses listed above, unless you have earned a grade of B or higher in the designated alternative course.

You can register or be waitlisted for a course that requires CRWS if you are currently enrolled in the designated alternative course and that course will end before the course with the CRWS requirement begins. If you do not earn a grade of B or higher in the designated alternative course, you will be dropped for a full tuition refund from the course with the CRWS prerequisite.

Courses that require CRWS may have other prerequisites; see course descriptions for all course prerequisites.

Test policies

  • Any use of outside resources is strictly forbidden.
  • All test scores are final.
  • You may take the test only once for a term (fall, spring, or summer).
  • If you pass, you do not have to take the test again to register for any course that requires it. If you do not pass, you will be advised to enroll in a writing course to help improve your critical reading and writing skills before attempting the test again. You can see your course recommendation in your online services account, along with your test score.
  • If you fail the test three times, you will not be allowed to attempt the test again. If you fail the test even once, you are advised to take the course recommended to you before attempting the test again.
  • If you fail the test two times, you will not be eligible for admission to the Master of Liberal Arts degree program in a liberal arts field (anthropology and archaeology; biology; Celtic languages and literatures; clinical psychology; dramatic arts; English; foreign literature, language, and culture; government; history; history of science, technology, and medicine; international relations; legal studies; linguistics; medieval studies; middle Eastern studies; psychology; religion; visual arts).
  • Passing this test does not satisfy the English proficiency requirement.  If your native language is not English and you plan to take a course that requires proof of English proficiency, as well as CRWS, you should meet the English proficiency requirement before attempting this test.

Academic integrity

You may not use outside resources when taking this test. The answers and writing you submit must be your own. Breaches of academic integrity are referred to the Administrative Board, which may impose sanctions that include indefinite suspension from the Extension School.