Events
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bestselling novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and a Carnegie Medal from the American Library Association. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Nguyen is also the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America and Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.

  • Tonya Foster

    Sep 21| Lectures
    More

    Poet Tonya Foster is the author of the collection A Swarm of Bees in High Court. Her work has appeared in nocturnes, Callaloo, Traffic, Gulf Coast, and other journals. Her essays have appeared in NY Arts Magazine, NYFA Quarterly and The Poetry Project Newsletter. A co-editor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing Through Visual Art, Foster teaches at California College of the Arts and lives in the Bay Area.

  • Steven Ehrlich and Frederick Fisher will present their firms’ collaboration as EHRLICH | FISHER on Otis College’s new Goldsmith Campus Academic Building and Residence Hall. The campus-wide expansion and renovation project includes a new academic building, 300-seat Forum (the venue for this lecture), café and dining commons, Student Life Center, and residence hall.

     

  • Opening Reception

    Sep 24| Special Event
    More

    New York-based artist Polly Apfelbaum’s work has situated itself as a hybrid of painting, sculpture, and installation over a career spanning 30 plus years. Exploring the intricacies of color, Apfelbaum weaves her way, both literally and conceptually, through ideas of Minimalism, Pop aesthetics, and Color Field painting to blur the lines between two and three dimensional art making.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with Connie Butler, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • John Keene

    Oct 05| Lectures
    More

    John Keene is the author of the novels Annotations and Counternarratives, as well as several other works, including the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst's novel Letters from a Seducer. The recipient of a Whiting Award, Keene has been a member of the Dark Room Writers Collective and a Cave Canem fellow. He has served as the managing editor of Callaloo and taught at Northwestern. He currently teaches at Rutgers University-Newark and lives in New York.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with David Pagel, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

O-Tube

Writing Placement

The Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) is a one-hour timed essay designed to assess your English reading and writing proficiency. The assessment is used to place you in the level-appropriate English course. We do not want to place you in a course that is too easy because you have come to college to be challenged, to learn and to grow. However, we do not want to place you in an English course that is too hard because we want to support your success at Otis.


FAQs >

Who has to take this assessment?

All incoming first-year and transfer students excluding anyone with a prior degree from an accredited college or university where instruction was in English, scored 529 or higher on the SAT Critical Reading, or scored 22 or higher on the ACT.

I have transfer credit. Do I still need to take this assessment?

Yes, even if the transfer credit is for an English course. All incoming first-year and transfer students must take the assessment unless they are waived because they have a prior degree from an accredited college or university where instruction was in English, scored 529 or higher on the SAT Critical Reading, or scored 22 or higher on the ACT.

What are the classes I can place into?

This course will focus on popular culture and what it means to communicate in today’s technological and media rich world.

  • Writing in the Digital Age (ENGL 107)
  • Writing in the Digial Age - Honors (ENGL 107)
  • Writing in the Digital Age - iPad (ENGL 107)
  • Writing in the Digital Age + 1 (ENGL 107 and 1 unit Writing Lab)

These courses will focus on helping you develop more writing skills and fluency with English.

  • English as a Foreign Language (ENGL 020)
  • Developmental English I (ENGL 050)
  • Developmental Englsih II (ENGL 090)
  • Linked Developmental English II (ENGL 090)

Can I use a dictionary?

Yes. You can consult handheld dictionaries during the exam.

Is the assessment online?

Yes.

What is Examity?

Examity is an online proctoring service. Otis is using it in summer 2016 to administer the WPA. Once you have deposited, you will receive an email with information on how to access Examity and schedule your exam. Here is the Examity Student Quick Guide.

What is a good strategy for taking this assessment?

A proctor will call time after 60 mintues. Be sure to spend the entire time on the essay. Spend 5-10 minutes outlining how you want to approach the question, 40-45 minutes writing your essay, and 5-15 minutes proofreading. It helps us better assess your writing level if you develop your ideas as fully as possible. The more you write, the more we have to assess your writing skills.

What if I need special accommodations?

If you need them, contact Students with Disabilities Services at 310-846-2554.

Do you expect my essay to be perfect?

No. We know it is a timed exam and that you would revise if you had more time.

What assessment criteria do the faculty use in determining placement?

WPA Scoring Guide (PDF).

What if I do not think my results are really representative of my writing abilities?

You may appeal your assessment by following the appeal process (PDF).



 

Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist